TUFTONBORO CANDIDATES vying for the two open seats in the newly-formed District Four presented their views at a Candidate’s Forum at the Town House on Monday evening, Aug. 27. Left to right are: Anthony Lyon, Glenn Cordelli, Paul Askew and Chip Albee. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
August 30, 2012TUFTONBORO — Four candidates from Tuftonboro running for the two New Hampshire House seats in new Carroll County District Four participated in a candidate's forum sponsored by Moultonborough Speaks on Monday evening at the Tuftonboro Town House.
Republicans Paul Askew, Glenn Cordelli and Anthony Lyon will be competing for two seats in the primary election on Sept. 11, along with Karel Crawford of Moultonborough. Crawford was not present at the forum but Democrat Chip Albee, former Tuftonboro selectman and Carroll County Commissioner, did show up, even thought he will be on the Democrat ballot unopposed.
Also present were candidates for District Eight, Republican Ted Wright and former N.H. State Representative, Democrat Susan Wiley, vying to represent a total of seven towns: Sandwich, Moultonborough, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, Brookfield, Wakefield and Effingham in what is one of two, multi-town "floterial" districts.
The four Tuftonboro candidates for District Four each had a turn to share their experience and issues of concern. Albee led off, saying that unlike the others, he has a record to run on. As Carroll County Commissioner (Commissioner of the Year in 2010) he brought the Mountain View Nursing Home project to completion under budget by $2 million.
He has continued to attend county meetings and kept abreast of current issues, which district representatives vote on as members of the county delegation. "Concord is in a dysfunctional place," he said. He expressed regret that it has defunded education and defunded the state's infrastructure, which is important to attract tourists and support business, for in his opinion, " A healthy state leads to a healthy economy."
Responding to the question of whether he would take any of the pledges circulating, he said that he would not, for representatives are elected "to represent every single citizen in Carroll County, not just taxpayers," and "decisions should not be made just on the basis of how they affect the tax rate."
Askew put forward his service to the community as a Lion Club member for 10 years and a Boy Scout leader for 12, his willingness to give time to the animal shelter and local museums, and experience building up his construction company. "I've sat in the audience for the last 20 years and it's time to stand up," he said, adding that "Government's got to run like a business." He said he had signed some of the pledges that have been coming his way since he registered to run, saying, "I guess that's part of the job," but also said that as a businessman, he looks "at people as people. I treat people fairly and honestly. I would represent everybody."
Cordelli told the audience that he moved here six years ago from Ridgefield, Conn., where he served on the Board of Education and the Board of Finance. He has also served as a representative on a house committee focusing on family and education issues.
He said he looks forward to serving with the conservative majority at the State House and said that he feels that the state is heading in the right direction.
When an audience member asked how the candidates felt about the "my way or the highway" leadership of Bill O'Brien, who she said from her personal experience in dealing with legislative issues in Concord pertaining to the NH Retirement system is appalling, Cordelli spoke up, "I would vote for his leadership. The Republicans have done a great job. They've made a great start towards fiscal responsibility."
At the end of the evening, Cordelli read off a list of pledges that he has signed: the
Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayer's "Taxpayer Pledge" against broad based income or sales tax, the Americans for Prosperity pledge to work to cut taxes and spending, and Cornerstone's "Family First Pledge" to defend traditional marriage, protect all human life, and the rights of parents.
Anthony "Tony" Lyon, a commercial banker for 35 years, stressed that the position they are running for is actually two jobs. One is to pay attention to county issues as a member of the county delegation; the other is to represent citizens in the state legislature.
Lyon pointed out the similarities in population, topography and local government among the three towns and said that he would bring his knowledge of land use gleaned from his experience on the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Capital Improvement Program committee and Agricultural Commission. He is also secretary/treasurer of the Carroll County Farm Bureau.
He said that he has been following county government and is disturbed at the current turmoil. "I believe that we should save the old nursing home," said Lyon, continuing, "There are other state agencies that could move in such as the Carroll County Extension Service."
As for the state legislature, Lyon said that he would "go along with the leadership."
Wiley – an educator and former state representative with a 100 percent attendance record – and Wright – chairman of Tuftonboro's Budget Committee, a surveyor and former member of the Coast Guard, who has also served on the planning board – have no primary opponents in the contest for a seat in the legislature.
Wright sees himself as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. He said that he would not sign any pledges. As far as he is concerned, a representative needs to listen to all positions and take them into account before voting.
Wiley took a similar position, saying that it is important to listen – not just listen while impatiently waiting for one's turn, but actually take in other's perspectives. "I found it very sad that when I worked in Concord on committees that we all would work together, but then when we went into the larger group, some would just follow the party leadership when they voted."
Her stated focus is on education and families. She told those gathered, " I always return phone calls and emails. I do not send out general mailings."
The audience expressed concern about how to increase revenues for the state, how to finance education and how to equitably support the retirement system.
Also at the forum was Republican Domenic Ricciardi, running for the position of Carroll County Sheriff currently held by Republican Chris Conley. He said that he'd like to get a positive rapport going once again with the area police departments to restore the Drug Task force that has fallen apart. Drugs lead to crime, said Ricciardi. In his opinion the mortgage fraud task force recently instituted by Conley is "best left to the state."
He also would like to get the trained police canine, a tool in the fight against drugs, that Conley retired, back to work.
Ricciardi started in law enforcement as a deputy and rose in the ranks to lieutenant over the course of his career. He worked for Conley for one and a half years and retired to run against him. Presently, he works part time for the Freedom and Effingham departments and sometimes assists the Conway and Madison departments, so he is familiar with the needs of the small town departments.
Republican Executive Councilor for District One, Ray Burton, too, has a Republican challenger this year, Jerry Thibodeau, who told the audience that Burton is "spending money the wrong way" and criticized Burton's support for the Brady Bill. His campaign literature accuses Burton of becoming "like the royal governors the council was created to check."