Letter: Pettyjohn calls Howell a ‘critical thinker’

March 9, 2023

It is a good thing to have Mark Howell as a candidate for Concord’s Select Board. From personal experience, I know that Mark is a critical thinker who can examine a situation, analyze and assess the issues from all points of view, and devise a creative, practical and cost effective solution.

When a new Alcott School was still in the planning stages 20 years ago, Concord had a problem. We needed a new Thoreau School too, but with limited land, there was no room to construct a replacement building without tearing down the old one. Thinking ahead, Mark and the other Build Thoreau Committee members looked at all the options, examined costs and benefits, and thought outside the box to come up with a solution: use the original Alcott building as a swing space. This plan allowed a new Thoreau to be built as quickly and efficiently as possible while saving the town hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Other people have written about Mark’s many contributions to the town – his six years on the Finance Committee, his work to see that fiber-to-home broadband is distributed equitably to Concord homes, his commitment to sustainability and diversified housing – but as the Thoreau school librarian for 22 years, including time in both buildings, I am especially grateful that his work with the Build Thoreau Committee resulted in our beautiful school.

I have every confidence that Mark will approach any issue with the same critical thinking skills, the same creativity, and the same passion to arrive at a fair, efficient, and cost effective solution. And isn’t that exactly who we want on our Select Board?

Karen Pettyjohn, former Thoreau School Librarian

Ministerial Drive