Published DateLACONIA — With the filing period set to close this afternoon, only one of the five incumbent city councilors seeking re-election this fall has a challenger while two candidates have filed for the open seat in Ward 2.
So far sitting councilors Ava Doyle (Ward 1), Henry Lipman (Ward 3), Brenda Baer (Ward 4) and Bob Hamel (Ward 5) are unopposed in their re-election bids. In Ward 6, incumbent Armand Bolduc, who has served on the council for three decades, will again be challenged by Tony Felch.
In Ward 2, the declared candidates are Richard Beaudoin and Mark Templeton.
Running for the first time in 2011, Beaudoin lost to incumbent Matt Lahey by a margin of 103 to 44 in an election marked by paltry turnout. "I think the city is running pretty well," he said yesterday. "I decided to run because I think I can keep it running well."
A lifelong resident of the city, he described himself as a "blue collar" member of the "gray patrol, or in my case bald patrol," quickly adding that "grass never grows on a busy street. I fix most everything," continued Beaudoin, who said he works 40 or 50 hours a week repairing "pretty much anything around the house" as well as designing and assembling the electrical and mechanical components of robots mostly used to train tennis players.
Beaudoin stressed that "I look at both sides of the coin before making a decision and I don't jump off a cliff without a bunge cord." He questioned both a "pay-as-you-throw" and mandatory recycling programs, saying "it's up to the citizens to do their part." He suggested that stringent measures were not necessary unless it becomes a total hassle."
Beaudoin called the city acquiring the former Laconia State School property "a good idea," explaining that if it were sold on the open market, it would likely become home to a retirement community paying less than the full tax rate.
Templeton, an engineer with Electronics for Imaging, Inc. (EFI) of Meredith, is making his first bid for public office. He said when no one stepped forward to fill the seat, he decided to run, moved in large measure by the tragic accident on Messer Street that took the life of 14-year-old Lily Johnson and severely injured Alyssa Miner. "That was about all I can take," he said. "I want to improve public safety and make the city a better place to live.
Born in Laconia, Templeton was raised in Sanbornton and while enrolled at Winnisquam Regional High School, took his first steps at the Huot Regional Techical Education Center toward his career as an engineer. "I went to school in Laconia by bus," he remarked.
Before joining EFI, he worked with a Canadian firm that manufactured injection molding systems, including a stint in Luxemburg, and as a designer with Freudenburg—NOK in Bristol. Now 37, he suggested that with his relative youth and varied experience he could bring a fresh perspective to the council.