LACONIA — Marc Forgione says he is not content to be a bystander. He’s been a Scout leader and involved in youth sports organizations. Now he has decided to run for Ward 4 City Council.
“I miss involvement,” said Forgione who, along with Dan Lasata, is challenging incumbent Councilor Mark Haynes who is running for a third term. “I’ve never been one to sit and watch.”
The three candidates will face off in a primary on Sept. 14, with the top two vote-getters going on to the municipal election in November.
Forgione said his decision to enter the race did not come about because he disagrees with any of Haynes’ positions in particular. “Rather,” he said, “I’m putting out another option.”
While the restoration of the Colonial Theatre is a welcome development, Forgione is concerned about its cost and the impact that will have on the city’s taxpayers.
The project cost about $14 million overall, with $8.2 million of that amount being funded by the city.
“It seems like we’re not getting anything back in return except that it will bring more business to the downtown,” he said.
Forgione, 54, grew up in Laconia, and graduated from Laconia High School in 1985. After a stint in the Navy, he worked in the printing industry before moving into a different field, and now works in the electronics industry as a electro-mechanical technician.
He said that while he is not afraid to speak his mind, he promised that if elected he would pay attention to the views of his constituents.
“I’m brutally honest,” he said. “But I listen with care and I’m compassionate. I‘m not afraid to ask questions. I want folks being comfortable talking to me.”
Forgione said while the resurgence of economic activity downtown is welcome news there are serious problems that the city needs to tackle, namely homelessness and the prevalence of drug use.
He said that since he declared his candidacy he has been working to bring himself up to speed on the various issues which the council deals with. In addition he said that he is working to make himself better known to the residents in Ward 4, including outreach through social media. But he sees that his campaign will for the most part be a grass-roots effort and rely heavily on word of mouth.
Forgione acknowledges that partisan politics has made many people skeptical about the motives of people who serve in public office.
“I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum, but they are still my friends,” he said. “I don’t want politics to be the reason that somebody doesn’t bring their concerns to me.”