Laura Dunn

Laura Dunn

LACONIA — School Board member Laura Dunn is the fifth person to formally declare interest in representing Ward 2 on the City Council.

Dunn submitted her request on Monday, the last day for applications from those who wish to fill the 18 months remaining in the term of Councilor David Bownes, who died earlier this month.

In her application, Dunn said she would bring diversity and a “well-rounded perspective” to the council.

She was first elected to the School Board in November after winning in a write-in campaign when no one filed to replace Ward 2 board member Barbara Luther, who decided not to seek re-election.

State law does not prohibit a person from serving simultaneously on a School Board and City Council, according to City Manager Scott Myers.

COVID-19 safety, public education, and economic opportunities for the middle-class are the leading issues facing the city, Dunn said.

“The city cannot thrive on low-income and (the) elderly,” she wrote in her application. “We need more middle-class (people) to be able to have growth.”

She sees a high-quality school system, as well as quality public safety services provided through the police and fire departments, as critical to the city’s future.

“We want families to move here, to invest in our city, we need to give them the best package deal,” Dunn said regarding the level of a range of public services.

The mother of boys ages 7, 5, and 3, Dunn has coached T-ball and soccer for young children, as well as serving as chairwoman of Volunteers for Pleasant Street School, a parent-teacher organization.

The council is scheduled to interview Dunn and the other four applicants next Monday.

The other applicants are Kelley Gaspa, a human services professional; Phil Spagnuolo who is active in the drug recovery community and is a case manager at a treatment center in Effingham; Gregg Hough, a hardware store employee who is also a caregiver for an octogenarian family member who has diabetes and is legally blind; and Robert Soucy, who served one term on the council in the 1970s.

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