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Ward 5 Newsletter - April 2024

Items of Note for Monday’s, Apr. 8th City Council Meeting:

1.       Resolution modifying the Elderly Exemption (increasing income levels and asset limit for participation), Veteran’s Tax Credit (increasing from $200 to $300), and Blind Exemption (increasing from $120,234 to $125,000).

*Deadline for personal exemptions & credits, to include solar, are due on or before April 15. Applications at

2.       Report on increased turnover rate of City staff: Fire Dept has 8 vacancies, Police Dept has 14. Over half of 15 new laborer/truck drivers have less than one year of service. 16 out of 38 in the Community Development Dept have less than one year. Projected program of recruitment and retention will cost $198,570 in FY2025; “Perks Package” would give nonresident employees access to City pools, a library card, and the member guest rate at the golf course.

3.       Lobbyist and former mayor Jim Bouley is a proposed appointment to the Economic Development Advisory Committee.

How I am working on sustainability, livability, and equity:

·         Examining Concord streets and sidewalks as part of the Complete Streets working group to update the Transportation Chapter of our Master Plan.

·         Working with residents, School District and City staff to accurately reflect the economic, environmental, and traffic impact of the Middle School Project.  

·         Drafting a City-sponsored downtown tree tour and organizing a pilot community garden on Warren Street.

Highlights since the last newsletter:

·         Community Power adopted – residents will receive mailers detailing the programs with instructions for opting out or choosing a different level than the default. Another public meeting at least two weeks before launch.

·         Garrison Park Pool meeting – residents overwhelmingly preferred a pool over a splash pad. Facilities Supervisor Jay Burgess told me, if we can staff it, he’ll make sure it’s ready to open for the season. Please help spread the word that we are hiring lifeguards $16/hr to start. LIFEGUARD JOB AD

Let’s Connect! I’ll be at these:

1.       Apr 9th, 7pm-8:30pm, Joint City Council Ward 5 & School Board District B Listening Session with me and Liz Boucher, Woman’s Club of Concord, 44 Pleasant Street. Open to all.

2.       Apr 11th, 7:30am-9am, State of the City, Holiday Inn, 172 North Main Street. Register here.

3.       Apr 11th, 5:30pm-7pm, Middle School Sustainability Working Group, 38 Liberty Street. Open to all.

Scenes from Ward 5: Concord City Stables, 111.5 Warren Street and the Dewey School, 38 Liberty Street

Both buildings were designed by local architect James E. Randlett. The Stables, built in 1905, is not open (yet), but the Dewey School, built in 1900, is! Attend a School Board meeting on the first Monday of every month at 6pm, all meetings are open to the public, entrance is in the back.

Books I’m reading/listening: What are you reading?

The Debt Trap: how student loans became a national catastrophe, by Josh Mitchell. Available at the Concord Public Library.

Ghost Work: how to stop Silicon Valley from building a new global underclass, by Mary L. Gray. Book and audiobook available at the Concord Public Library.

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