CLAREMONT — Six people have applied for the seat on the Claremont City Council vacated when Jeremy Zullo resigned in June. On Wednesday, the city council will convene early at 5:30 p.m. to interview the candidates, and they intend to appoint the new councilor by 7:30 p.m.
The six candidates for the seat are: Jeremy Herrell, Debora Matteau, Christopher L. Havey, James M. Contois, Patrick Lozito and Kristin M. Kenniston.
Herrell, a 10-year resident of Claremont, ran for county commissioner in the last election. He lists himself as a 39-year-old father of five who has served in the National Guard and works at SymQuest in West Lebanon. This would be his first appointment to a municipal board or committee.
Matteau has lived in Claremont 47 years (most of her life). Matteau has 13 years of experience working in the Community Development Office and as zoning administrator in Claremont, as well as three years working at Stevens High School. For 23 years she has worked as general manager of Sulco Corporation, a property management company that handles commercial and residential properties in and around the city. She has served on the school board, the zoning board of adjustment, the Master Plan Steering Committee, and is currently on the City Manager Search Committee.
Havey has lived in Claremont 20 years and is a graduate of Stevens High School. Currently the sales manager at Springfield Buick, Havey describes himself as a “problem solver who gets things done.” This would be his first appointment to a municipal board or committee. He is engaged to a member of the school board, Heather Whitney.
Contois has lived in Claremont 15 years. He is retired from 26 years of Army service and holds a B.A. in political science. He serves as the treasurer of the Claremont Historical Society, and is active in community affairs. He teaches Sunday school at Grace River Church. He was a case manager for six years in homeless services, juvenile probation and persons with special needs, and has worked as a machinist for Whelen after his retirement from the Army. He most recently served as a paraeducator for students with autism at Maple Avenue School. His wife, Rebecca MacKenzie, serves on the city’s Energy Committee.
Lozito has lived in Claremont 10 years. He works as a part-time assembler/technician at Whelen Engineering and has two years of college. He is affiliated with the Sullivan County GOP, Sullivan County Sportsman, Inc., and Friends of the NRA. He is a gunsmith who attended Smith & Wesson’s Armorer’s School, Glock Armorer’s School, and apprenticed at Griffin & Howe in Manhattan, New York. This would be Lozito’s first appointment to a municipal board or committee.
Kenniston is the deputy city clerk for the City of Lebanon. A resident of Claremont for about 33 years, she serves as vice chair of the Historic District Commission and is on the City Manager Search Committee. In the past she has served on the school board and the city center steering committee. She has 17 years of experience in civil administration and is a member of the New Hampshire City and Town Clerks Association as well as the New England Association of City and Town Clerks. Her education includes certification as a municipal clerk, public supervisor, and New Hampshire city clerk. Her husband, Scott Kenniston, is a lieutenant with the Claremont Fire Department.
This article has been edited from the print version to correct the spelling of Christopher Havey's name.