10/23/2012 1:07:00 PM West Concord
City candidates run unopposed
By Nan Babcock
Mayor Jeff McCool and council members Ryan Fay and Al Gilbert are incumbents running unopposed in West Concord this election year.
All have projects and goals they will continue to work on as well as positive things to say about their community.
In looking back on his last term, Jeff finds satisfaction in the progress that has been made with city financial planning, and with the recent bond refinancing. The biggest challenge for West Concord's future, he believes, is growth. "We need to continue to be an attractive place to live," he said. "This brings homes and with homes comes business growth. This not only impacts the tax challenge by increasing the tax base, but also makes the place I call home an even better place to raise a family for everyone."
For the future, "I plan to continue to focus on the ever present tax issues making sure we spend wisely," Jeff commented. "I also plan to continue to focus on education. I believe this is one avenue for growth, and because I care deeply for our children's educational future."
Jeff has many favorite memories of his first term in office, but what stands out in his mind is "how well the spirit and pride of West Concord comes through its citizens. Sure everyone has their moments, but what lies as the foundation of West Concord is strong and good, and that is shown throughout the community."
When Ryan Fay looks back on his first term of office, he finds great satisfaction in the fact that the council has been able to "hold tight to the budget with no drastic changes and still have a well-run community." He believes the biggest challenge facing the city is "trying to keep living affordable while still updating the aging infrastructure."
During his next term of office, Ryan hopes to see the charter school up and running, to keep the city running efficiently, and to continue updating the infrastructure.
"Everything about my experience has been fun and also very eye-opening," Ryan said of his first term. "I don't think many people know what it takes to operate a community even as small as West Concord. There is much more more involved than I ever realized."
During his previous term of office Al Gilbert also got great satisfaction from being able to keep the tax rate as low as possible while maintaining services without cuts. Lowering the municipal bond rates was significant because it will lower tax rates. For the future, Al believes the biggest challenge will be "keeping the city growing and bringing in new residents and businesses. We have been able to attract several new businesses in the last couple of years and I would like to keep that going."
Al hopes to have plenty of time to listen to the people and answer their questions during his next term of office.
"It has been a pleasure to serve this community and its people," Al said. "The people of West Concord have such a great attitude and a history of pulling together and working together for the betterment of their town. I couldn't have picked a nicer place to live and serve."