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State Representatives for Carroll County District Five


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
August 28, 2014
COUNTY — There will be three open positions for state representative in Carroll County District Five (Brookfield, Wakefield, Effingham and Ossipee) in the general election on Nov. 4, and two of the three incumbents are running for re-election: Democrat Tom Lavender and Republican Bill Nelson, both from Brookfield (Republican Harry Merrow of Ossipee decided not to run again).

Lavender is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, but in the Republican primary on Sept. 9 there are four candidates running for three slots. In addition to Nelson, the other three contenders are Ed Comeau of Brookfield, Lino Avellani of Wakefield and Carolyn Carruth of Ossipee.

All four Republican candidates were sent questionnaires with the same questions and their responses have been edited only for style. The candidates are presented in alphabetical order.

As of press time on Tuesday, candidate Carruth had not submitted her response.


Why are you running this office?

I feel we should bring some common sense changes to the political table.

I also like the fact that New Hampshire has a Citizen Legislature, where average citizens can make a difference and have their voices heard – unlike Massachusetts, where they have professional politicians.

As the years have gone by, there seems to be less accountability for most of our elected politicians in both parties.

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

I have been a small business owner in Carroll County for 13 years. I know the burdens New Hampshire small business owners and taxpayers face everyday. Having to make payroll, maintain a tight budget, and keep on top of all the state and federal regulations, including licensing, fees and paying all my taxes on time, is almost a full time job.

I have also been involved with local, county and state politics since 2004.

What do you consider the three major facing New Hampshire?

Our Healthcare costs have been rising and are a major cost issue for small and large businesses here in New Hampshire. Regulations on businesses, in all segments, both small and large, need to be addressed, as they have become harder and costlier to comply with. In the long run consumers have to pay these costs with higher prices. We also need to control spending at the county and state levels. For the last few years, most of us have had to cut back and live within our means, but our county and state budgets keep growing.

What would you do to address these challenges if elected?

There needs to be more choices for healthcare. For example, we can take government mandates out of healthcare and let the free markets work to bring down costs to consumers and businesses. roll back or reduce regulations and fees/taxes to businesses. More money and time in our pockets will result in a better business climate. I would work to keep the state spending under control and not vote for any new fees or taxes on New Hampshire businesses and taxpayers.

What are the three major issues facing Carroll County?

Carroll County faces an expanding drug problem.

The loss of Frisbee Hospital in the new healthcare exchange plans.

Expanding county budgets.

What would you do as a county delegation member to address them?

I would ask that our sheriff's office have a working relationship with local, state and federal agencies to reduce the drug flow into Carroll County. I would have the Delegation work with Anthem to have Frisbee Hospital added to the new healthcare policies that they are now excluded from. I would work within the County Delegation to find savings on the county budget, and pass the savings on to the county taxpayers.

Additional Information

I am a trained chef and owner of Avellani Restaurant Enterprises, LLC, which includes Lino's Restaurant in Wakefield.

I know firsthand the complexity of New Hampshire's business regulatory and tax climate all while trying to grow a business and make payroll. I know how to stretch a dollar and I value frugality. I have been active in the Carroll County Republican Committee and the Wakefield GOP and I am dedicated to taking the Republican values of thrift and greater individual freedom to Concord.


Why are you running for this office?

The prevailing atmosphere in Concord consists of a dysfunctional, negative, and divisive response to almost every issue that faces New Hampshire residents. We are experiencing a loss of the democratic process, and the people are being pushed out of a system that was designed to protect their future. The voter turnout is a good indicator of this disenfranchisement.

I am seeking this office with the intention of changing this existing paradigm. From one being driven by personal agendas to one based on the culmination of rigorous debate. This process must begin at the town level, and under my leadership we will focus our combined knowledge and expertise upon the issues we all face.

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

I presently serve on the Brookfield Planning Board, as well as their representative on the Strafford Regional Planning Commission and the Strafford Metropolitan Planning Organization Technical Advisory Committee. My strongest quality is the ability to constructively work with others with differing views without compromising my core principles of limited constitutional government. My experience as Investigative Specialist at GovernmentOversite.com has given me a unique perspective regarding the function and dysfunction within our government at all levels. It has allowed me to remain in touch with the concerns of taxpayers and elected officials who are trying to honestly represent the people.

What do you consider the three major facing New Hampshire?

It has come to my attention that people who do not have legal residency in the state of New Hampshire are voting in our local and state elections. A person can register to vote with the intent of moving to the area. These actions are changing the political landscape for the permanent residents of the area and invite voting fraud.

There is a exponential increase in federal influence on state affairs. Increasingly, the state and local budget shortfalls are being filled with federal grant funding without legal review of these grant agreements. The federal intrusion into our healthcare has crippled our ability to take care of our families by expanding costs and has transferred an entire sector of the economy to the federal government. Our children's education choices are also diminished and a nationalized curriculum is on the horizon.

The attempt at raising or cutting taxes without any plan to secure a healthy free market environment. We often hear the campaign promise to cut taxes. Cutting taxes alone will not spur economic growth. It only places more burdens on governmental services. The government does not create wealth. It can only take from one sector and move it to another. This action may get some elected, but it does not address the core problem.

What would you do to address these challenges if elected?

The law must be corrected in a fair manner as to secure our representation. Every voter should make a choice of one location and use the absentee voting method. As the law is interpreted now, a person can vote with only the intent to moving to New Hampshire.

Legislation must be enacted to provide protection from federal administrative rule making. This circumvents the authority of our state and local representation, restricts our private property rights, and controls parental educational choices.

If elected, I will actively pursue a comprehensive plan to invite industries from business unfriendly states to begin operations here in our state. Each new industry can spur hundreds of smaller services that would support the larger. This diverse labor force could decentralize the economic engine and provide economic elasticity.

What are the three major issues facing Carroll County?

The expansion of county government. When county government expands, it consumes the ability for the local economy to create jobs. This effect only provides more jobs to support county operations and is not financially sustainable. If the taxpayers within an area are all working for the government, this forces the private sector to move out of the region.

There is diminished local economic activity and very low public confidence in county government. I have observed county governments and school districts for four years. An unavoidable conclusion is that the taxes billed to each town has become a substantial drain upon the residents with minimal returns. High taxes further erodes the ability for families and local business to be successful and the subsequent pressure then makes it harder to maintain a local economy.

Public confidence in transparent, accountable, county government is almost non-existent. Without it, corruption can become established and the morale of the people suffers. It creates an atmosphere of distrust and encourages the people to respond in like. This effect further erodes the quality of life in Carroll County.

What would you do as a county delegation member to address them?

As a Delegation member I would support a comprehensive plan of action that prevents the county government from expanding past an agreed percentage of the available tax base. This would effectively keep in balance its size and scope.

As a Delegation member I would support all efforts to shift most county functions into the private sector. Local farmers and local wood processing businesses should not have to compete with a county farm and the county jail who provides free labor.

When the process of law is not enforced upon government, its absence encourages corruption. As a Delegation member, I will support all efforts to provide the residents with the tools needed to assure a fully transparent and lawfully constrained county government.

Additional Information

In a newspaper article a friendly reporter described me as being quixotic, the definition of which is "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." The reporter used it within the context of my mission to get people involved in their local government by filming their elected boards and making it available to the public. My idealism often annoys some, but my idealism stems from my belief in the human potential, a government needs to be representative of the mass of people and not one representing a few special interest groups and corporations that are control of it now.

PHOTO: CCI-AHouseCandidateDistrict5BillNelson.jpg

Bill Nelson


Why are you running for re-election?

I am proud to have represented the residents of Brookfield, Effingham, Ossipee and Wakefield for the past two years in the N.H. House of Representatives. Most residents do not want to see higher taxes /fees and they want their 2nd Amendment rights preserved.

If re-elected, I will continue to fight for a responsible budget, with no increase in taxes or fees. I will fight to prevent erosion of our constitutional rights.

During the past two years I have attended activities in all four communities – Town Meetings, parades, special events, breakfast put on by the Masonic Lodge, Farm Days, Senior Meals, yard sales etc. etc. I have enjoyed meeting residents and listening to their concerns,

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

I have served as a Brookfield selectman for 14 years and am finishing my first term as state representative.

I am a member of the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee and as a member of the County Delegation, I am serving on the Nursing Home sub-committee.

I believe I have demonstrated I am not a "yes" person and am willing to stand up for what is right. What would appear to be a simple bill, often times is not. I am willing to compromise on issues but not my principles nor my values.

Experience. I was told by everyone I came in contact with, that your first term is a learning curve on how the process works etc. They were certainly correct. With that behind me, I know that I will be even more effective should I be elected to a second term.

I did attended every session and committee meetings during my first term and only missed a few votes. In those cases, I was either attending a hearing in the Senate or returned home to address an important issue.

What do you consider the three major facing New Hampshire?

1. Creeping bureaucracy and a desire to spend, spend, spend.

2. Under-funded mandates.

3. Eroding of local control…education, voting etc.

What would you do to address these challenges if elected?

1. Little by little, government gets bigger and bigger and as a result, more expensive. I will continue to fight against unnecessary programs and wasteful spending.

2. When legislation is passed, necessary funding must be available. I want to stop the raiding of other accounts or skipping payments to make the numbers work. In the end it catches up with you!

3. I will continue to vote "No" when appropriate. The smaller towns must stick together to be sure voices are not overshadowed by the needs of the cities. I will continue to urge citizens to make their voices heard, be it at school board meeting, selectmen's meeting or at a hearing in Concord. While you can never make everyone happy – we do listen! Your voice is heard.

What are the three major issues facing Carroll County?

1. A lack of confidence in how the county is run.

2. Spending.

3. Use of county facilities.

What would you do as a county delegation member to address them?

1. I share the concern of the public. With all the accusations flying around, I can't blame them. Who do you believe? We cannot keep looking back, but must go forward with the understanding that the mistakes of the past must not happen again. It is time to move on! Voters expect better and deserve better.

2. The Delegation's responsibility is to set the budget. Like everything else, departments always seem to want more. Sometimes it is necessary, other times it is on a wish list. I think each department should list all new expenditures in a priority order. If the money is not available – you have X amount to spend and pick from your list.

3. The use of each facility must be reviewed carefully. Are they used to capacity? Are they needed? Are proposed uses practical? What are the hidden costs? Will they benefit the residents of the county? It is your property and your money!!!

Additional Information

I have B.S. degree from Spring Hill College and a M.A. degree from Johnson State College. I retired from teaching after 39 years. I have lived in Carroll County 26 years and have been a resident of Brookfield for over 18 years.

My wife Joan and I have been married 45 years. We have four children and four grandchildren. We started a non-profit organization to locate missing children and began and continue to direct a church ministry to the homebound, the sick and the dying in our faith community.

I am an active member of the Knights of Columbus. My hobby is Amateur Radio and I am a member of several clubs along with my participation as a member of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services).

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