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Three Republicans seek election in Carroll County District 2


October 25, 2012
COUNTY — On Nov. 6, three people will be elected to serve as state representatives from Carroll County District 2 and six people are hoping to win those spots. District 2 is comprised of Conway, Chatham, Eaton, and Hales Location.

Republicans Frank McCarthy of Conway, Karen Umberger of Conway, and Richard McClure of Hale's Location responded to our questionnaire and will be challenged by Democrats Tom Buco of Conway, Dick Pollock of Conway, and Syndi White of North Conway. McCarthy and Umberger are currently serving as state representatives. Tom Buco has previously served.

This week we feature the Republican candidate responses, in their own words.

FRANK MCCARTHY

Why are you running for this office?

It is my profound belief that this Republican legislature has made great strides in bringing back the New Hampshire advantage. The contrast between the numerous accomplishments of this Republican legislature and the prior four years under a Democratic majority are, to say the least, absolute! We lowered taxes or fees some 40 times...they raised more than 100 taxes or fees. We enacted 80 laws decreasing regulations on small businesses and individuals; they stifled the business climate by increasing regulations. We downshifted zero onto the backs of property taxpayers they downshifted more than $200 million dollars. They increased state spending by 25 percent, and even at that, we were greeted in January 2010 with a $900 million dollar deficit as their going away gift. Notwithstanding that fact, we lowered spending more than 11.2 percent and general fund spending by 18 percent. I could go on for several pages. Let it suffice to say, although our accomplishments were many and commendable...there is much more to be done. I would like to be there to see the job come to even a more fruitful realization.

What qualifications, qualities or experience would you bring to this position?

Being an incumbent is extremely important. I also bring leadership, integrity, and a warrior's courage and fortitude. One does not go from a 17-year-old private in the U.S. Marine Corps to the field-grade rank of Major without such traits. I am more than willing to listen to all sides of a discussion. However, I will never prostitute my principles or integrity. I see my election as a sacred trust entered into between myself and "you...the people" As required by Art. 8 of the state constitution I will always be nothing more than the agent of my constituents; elected to act in their stead.

What do you consider the three major challenges New Hampshire is facing?

Number one, in general, is the overall economy. More specifically, it is JOBS...JOBS...JOBS. Number two is closely related, since high business taxation (we are very near the highest in the entire country) considerably dampens job creation. And third is making certain that our children receive the very best education possible.

If elected, how would you address these challenges?

Much was accomplished by this legislature; however, as I stated there is much more to be done. Government does not create jobs...the private sector does. We must do all that is humanly possible to make job creation in New Hampshire more profitable. Businesses losing money do not hire workers. We must cut taxes and regulations in order to enhance the job market. We must pass a "Right to Work Law" Are we not the "Live Free or Die" state? If so, we must live up to our motto. To force a worker to pay union dues, even when he or she is not a union member and does not want to become a union member, is a disgrace to humanity and shame on the state of New Hampshire for allowing it.

Finally, we must get the courts out of the business of being school principals! A constitutional amendment returning the business of schools back to local control, where it was, constitutionally, for more than 230 years must be accomplished without delay.

What do you consider the three major challenges at the County government level?

As I see it the ballooning county budget is a primary problem. How many readers are aware, in the past 10 years our county budget has doubled? That's just not sustainable. I believe the county delegation should pass a resolution at the first meeting in December advising the county commissioners that we will not entertain an overall county budget or a county department budget that increases spending more than the rate of inflation...period.

I also believe, to spend more than $300,000 to move the UNH Cooperative Extension to the county complex is an absurd waste of the taxpayer's money and must be stopped. It accomplishes absolutely nothing, other than being a feel good exercise for those who previously worked for the cooperative and those who see the county farm as their personal pet and, would use the move as a forerunner for additional farm funds. The move will accomplish absolutely nothing for the taxpayer. Government should be as small as needed and still able to accomplish its tasks...not on an ever increasing, empire building, all-encompassing enlargement spree.

Finally, except for two thirds of the core building, the old nursing home building must be razed. The people were sold a bill of goods that the building was uninhabitable due to black mold and countless additional problems, creating the need for a new $23 million nursing home. If it was uninhabitable then, it still is. Something must also be done about the county commissioners usurping the law relative to the bidding process and the use of bonded funds.

RICHARD MCCLURE

Why are running for this office?

This is perhaps the most important election of our generation to choose whether we will return to constitutional limited government and let the private sector generate growth and prosperity or continue on this current path of more government less liberty and a declining standard of living and opportunity for our children. I want to represent the people of my district to continue the progress the Republican led legislature has made in the last two years to restore fiscal responsibility to the State of New Hampshire.

What qualifications, qualities or experience would you bring to this position?

I am a retired business owner with 40 years of experience in finance, engineering and manufacturing. I graduated from Dartmouth College in 1966. I continued on at Dartmouth to earn an MBA in Finance from the Tuck School of Business Administration and an Engineering degree from the Thayer School of Engineering.in1968. I then worked for a Fortune 500 company for ten years with my last position being responsible for a $400 million revenue budget for the domestic marketing arm of the company. I then owned and managed the Aetna Machine Company providing engineering and precision machining services to customers in the energy, transportation, and chemical industries. I sold my company to my employees in 2011 and retired.

I served as president of the Northwest PA Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association and as Chairman of the Political Action Committee of the National Tooling and Machining Association. I was on the leadership council of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. I currently serve as the President of the Hales Location Owners Association and as Treasurer of the North Conway Public Library.

What do you consider the three major challenges New Hampshire is facing?

The major challenge facing New Hampshire is the economy and jobs. New Hampshire also has high energy costs that are 149 percent of the national average. Finally the state needs to hold the line on state spending.

If elected, how would address these challenges?

Government does not create jobs, but rather can create the conditions necessary to help the private sector grow. It can do this by cutting taxes and regulations and generally getting out of the way. Positive steps the state can take would be to pass Right to Work legislation to make it more attractive for companies to locate businesses in New Hampshire.

In 2008 Governor Lynch signed legislation committing New Hampshire to derive 23 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2025. These sources now defined as solar and wind will cause the energy costs in New Hampshire to escalate even higher than they are now. We should repeal this legislation to lower energy costs for the residents and businesses in the state.

The state can continue to balance the budget as they did over the past two years by realistically assessing the income available to the state and then identifying the core functions of government and adequately funding those functions.

What do you consider the three major challenges at the County government level?

Citizens should realize that the county budget is over $27 million and that taxes have increased 120 percent over the last dozen years. Managing a budget of that magnitude is a challenge and there seems to be a problem with the three commissioners working together in the best interests of the taxpayers. The commissioners are responsible to the county delegation of state representatives who ultimately approves the budgets submitted by the commissioners. There seems to be an issue of what to do with the old nursing home structure. The old nursing home was deemed to be unfit for habitation and that was the rationale for building the new home. Given that fact there should be no effort to rehabilitate the structure for other uses and it should be demolished.

Have you held political office before?

I currently serve as President of the Hales Location Owners Association. Since Hales Location is an unincorporated place the Carroll County Commissioners serve as our selectmen and I serve as a liaison between our association and the commissioners.

Background information

As I stated above I graduated from Dartmouth College in 1966 and added graduate degrees from Dartmouth in 1968. I worked for Burroughs Corporation from 1968 to 1977 in the greater Detroit area of Michigan. I owned and operated Aetna Machine Company in Cochranton, Penn. for 30 years. My wife and I chose to retire in the Mount Washington Valley 17 years ago. We built our house in Hales Location in 1998 and have lived here ever since. My wife, Gail, is known to the Valley as the founder of the Material Girls who donate quilts through RSVP to many charitable causes. She was recognized this past year as Carroll County Volunteer of the Year. I have two children. My elder is Ellen who has a PhD from the University of Michigan and is the Chair of the French Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago. My son, Rick, graduated from Dickinson College and is Vice President of the A.J. Gallagher Insurance Company.

I am a lifelong member of the NRA and hold a lifetime hunting and fishing license in New Hampshire. I have been a member of the New Hampshire Senior Golf Association for the past ten years.

My wife and I enjoy the four seasons here in the Mount Washington Valley. We golf in the summer and ski in the winter and I am fortunate to be able to walk my two golden retrievers in Echo State Park the year round.

KAREN UMBERGER

Why are running for this office?

I am looking forward to serving the residents of Carroll County District 2. I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years in the state legislature serving the people of Northern Carroll County. I believe it is my responsibility as an elected official to keep my constituents informed of what is happening in Concord as the legislation we pass effects everyone. I truly appreciate feedback on pending legislation as it is an essential ingredient in my decision making process. I have no hidden agenda and will work tirelessly to serve the needs of District 2.

What qualifications, qualities or experience would you bring to this position?

I have served as a state representative for the past four years. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about the workings of the State House. I have served as a member of the Transportation Committee and for the last two years as Clerk of the House Finance Committee. I have served as a selectman in Conway as well as on the Conway Budget Committee. I retired from the U.S. Air Force after having served 28 years in the field of logistics. I had many varied assignments which provided a wide range of experience. Additionally, I have a BA in political science and an MA in International Relations.

What do you consider the three major challenges New Hampshire is facing?

New Hampshire's three major challenges are economic growth, realistic budgeting and infrastructure funding. There are many other challenges facing the state and legislation will be introduced in the next session to include education reform, state retirement system changes, and Medicaid reform only to mention a few.

Economic growth is essential to the wellbeing of the state. Unemployment rates have gone up slightly and more and more people are only working part time. This is not a healthy situation for New Hampshire families. It is essential we encourage small business starts, provide some relief in the business tax structure and encourage our young people to obtain the training necessary for entry into the workforce. A recent jobs report indicated there were over 600,000 job openings across the nation for skilled workers in fields such as welding, tool and die, computer programming etc. These skills can be obtained at our community colleges and many of these jobs are right here in New Hampshire.

Secondly is realistic budgeting. Governor Lynch announced the FY 2012 unaudited budget surplus to be $13.8 million dollars. How did we get here? It started back in January 2011 with the Ways and Means Committee providing conservative revenue estimates followed by the Finance Committee developing a budget which was within the revenue estimates and the House and Senate passing the budget. I should point out that Governor Lynch did not sign the budget. Once the budget became law the various state agencies did a very good job managing the money they were provided. The state was also very fortunate that business taxes and rooms and meals taxes came in well over projections. Projected revenue based on realistic estimates, a state budget that stays within revenue projections without borrowing money for state operating costs. This is realistic budgeting.

Infrastructure improvements are a constant battle for funding within the state. There is never enough money to go around. Every corner of our state has roads and bridges that are in need of repair. The price of gasoline, high mileage cars and electric vehicles all combine to reduce the amount of money raised in road tolls or the gas tax. Actual fuel consumption is down 1.3 percent from 2011. This may not seem like much, but it translates into $1.2 million dollars lost for road and bridge construction as well as road maintenance. In addition to road and bridge construction managed by NH Department of Transportation, another area that requires attention is state grants for water and sewer infrastructure managed by NH Department of Environmental Services. Governor Lynch stopped the grant funding in 2008 and the result has been an increased burden on taxpayers and ratepayers who have had to make up for the lost dollars. In addition to the projects that have gone forward there is no telling how many projects have been deferred. These deferred projects can and will have an effect on the state's drinking water.

What would you do to address these challenges if you are elected?

To address the economic growth I will support legislation aimed at reducing the business taxes, support increased funding for our community colleges and work with businesses across District 2. I have submitted legislation to foster realistic budgeting and if reappointed to the finance committee will work with the state agencies to meet their needs not their wants. Finally on infrastructure, I will work with other legislators throughout the state to try to improve infrastructure funding not only for roads and bridges but also water and sewer infrastructure.

What do you consider the three major challenges at the County government level?

We are going to have some new faces at the County to include the human resource director and the nursing home director. These are two key positions. Additionally we will have a new sheriff, a new county attorney and several new delegation members and perhaps a new commissioner as two of the current commissioners are up for reelection.

The transition will need to take place quickly and I hope smoothly as everyone will need to immediately focus on the 2013 budget for the county. Funding priorities will need to be established recognizing the ability of the taxpayers to fund the County's needs versus their wants. An issue I want to begin a dialogue on is the possibility of hiring a full-time County administrator. I believe this will improve the effectiveness of County government. The commissioners are not full-time elected officials and should not be expected by the people of Carroll County to devote full-time to County business. It is time for the Delegation and the commissioners to think about how and what is the best way to ensure we have a smoother running county government.

Political experience

Conway Budget Committee 2000-2001 and 2007 to present

Conway Selectman 2001-2007

North Conway Water Precinct Clerk 2008 to present

State Representative 2008 to present currently Clerk of the Finance Committee

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