Baer

LACONIA — Brenda Baer, who served a dozen years on the City Council before losing a re-election race two years ago, celebrated her 93rd birthday Thursday by filing to run for her old Ward 4 council position.

Councilor Mark Haynes, 69, is running to retain the seat.

In a letter to the editor, Baer said she’s not looking to do major changes.

“I believe in the kind of community we are and why I feel we should stay that way,” she said. “Change is not always the solution. Keeping what we have and investing in doing just that is what is important to a lot of us.

“The huge influx of retirees who have come into our City have done so because they liked what we are.”

Baer said she has been keeping a close eye on the City Council, and hasn’t seen a lot of independent thinking.

“As a councilor, I would research matters that came before the council and would give my thoughts on them, and would ask questions that needed answering, and would present a differing point of view,” she said. “Today, I find there is very little debate, hard-hitting questions, or voting in opposition to most of the important financial projects. Motions are made and all hands go up in unison.”

One of those projects is the refurbishment of the Colonial Theatre.

Baer said in a previous letter to the editor that she regrets that she voted for the refurbishment.

Haynes, meanwhile, said one of the major reasons he is seeking re-election is to see major projects, including the Colonial Theatre, through to fruition.

“St. Joseph Church is another issue I would like to continue to be involved in,” said Haynes, who has retired from his longtime job as facilities manager at Laconia Clinic.

“I have been very involved in making sure the church doesn’t see the wrecking ball.”

He said he is also committed to road improvements.

“A lot of people are frustrated, not only by the construction, but by the pace of the road improvement program,” he said. “They would like to see it accelerated.

“The city has spent considerable money on streets, and we will get there.”

Haynes and Baer are the only two people who have filed candidacy papers for the City Council.

Rep. Peter Spanos, R-Laconia, has filed for mayor to succeed Ed Engler, who is not seeking re-election. Councilor Andrew Hosmer has also said he will run for mayor.

The election is Nov. 5. If there are more than two candidates for an office, there will be a primary election to narrow the field on Sept. 10. The candidate filing period for mayor, city councilors in all six wards, police commission and school board, among other offices, began Wednesday and ends on Aug. 16.

Citywide turnout for the last municipal election was about 14 percent.

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