Five candidates in the running for Budget Committee seats
March 03, 2010
In the five candidates running for the three open Budget Committee seats, voters will see some new and old faces.
Corry has been a resident of Gilford for 21 years and has seen his son and two step-children make their way through the Gilford school system. Corry said ever since he moved to a smaller town, he has felt compelled to get involved in the community.
Budget Committee members appointed Corry to sit in on the remainder of Bill Phillip's term in 2009, and Corry decided to run again now that the remainder of this term has ended. Corry ran for a seat on the Budget Committee last March as well, and came in fourth out of seven candidates looking to fill the three open positions.
Corry received his associates in information technology and said he has worked with computers for 40 years. He is currently employed with NSS Corp and deals with software for the banking industry, and Corry said his job allows for flexible hours. He has a background in accounting software, in financing, and numbers.
Corry said he has decided to run for the Budget Committee again this year, and stands behind his reasons for running last March.
"I've gotten more involved with the town and what is going on," said Corry, who makes it a point to attend selectmen meetings as well. "I thought it was about time to contribute to the process. I've been volunteering since I moved down here."
Corry said now that he can work from home, he has decided to put his extra time to good use and also serves on the ZBA as an alternate member. He also lives near the Meadows and participates on the Meadows Advisory Board.
Corry also volunteered a few hours a week to the Gilford school system when his son was in school, got involved in his kids' sports programs, and volunteered at Gunstock. He said that moving to a rural setting years after living in a more urban community has helped him to appreciate a smaller town, which is more readily accessible to its residents.
"It is so anonymous in a big city. When things are smaller, it is easier to get to know people, and it is a much nicer place to bring up kids," said Corry.
Incumbent Dormody just finished his first three-year term on the Budget Committee. He has been a resident for 10 years, along with his wife Katherine, the Gilford Library director, and their 14 and 16 year-old sons.
Dormody grew up in the Midwest, attended high school in southern Minnesota and finished his education at Luther College with a four-year degree.
He began working as an airline project manager and started a similar job when we made his way to Gilford, but his career took a different turn. He decided to run his own company, which provides Web sites to 17 states throughout the U.S.
Dormody said he finds it important to be involved within the community, and feels he can contribute to the Budget Committee.
"It is important for everyone to be as involved as they can. It is important that the particular community maintains some balance," said Dormody.
The Budget Committee needs to continue its "political balance," added Dormody. He said committee members have always been questioned on who is a true conservative or not, and although Dormody considers himself to be politically conservative, he said it has been noted that he tries to keep an open mind during budget season, and that balance is essential.
Since Dormody has already served three years on the committee, he said that his experience will be a benefit because he already understands the process and has gone over each department and school budget multiple times during his term. He said that sometimes committee decisions made the year before may alter or affect a budget in the next year, and that this prior understanding can be helpful.
Last budget season, the committee faced a relatively level budget, said Dormody.
"My credit goes to the town and school administration staff that developed this from the ground up and came to the committee with a tight, responsible budget," said Dormody.
He said keeping a good relationship between the Budget Committee, the town, and the schools is essential to maintain a lean budget since team effort is needed to brainstorm ways to save money while retaining efficiency. Dormody used town employees' increased contribution to their health insurance rates as an example.
Although coming up with long-term budgetary solutions is necessary, Dormody said it is important to focus on the details at hand on current budgets as well.
Dale "Channing" Eddy
Eddy has lived in New Hampshire for most of his life and spent his last 20 years in the Lakes Region. He received his degree in electrical engineering at the University of Connecticut.
Eddy said he follows a line of hard workers, including his father, who was a business man and consultant, and his mother, once the director of a rehabilitation medical center.
When his parents retired, they decided the Lakes Region would suit them well. Eddy also has one son who attends Gilford High School, and lives with his wife of five years.
Eddy is a current member of the Facility Planning Committee, which has helped to plot out the future renovation of the town hall and police station expansion. He has also run for a spot on the Board of Selectmen for the last two years, and said he didn't do half bad on his second try, but he supports the current chair of the board and has decided not to run this year.
Eddy said he has decided to run for the Budget Committee instead and said it is the duty of the committee to ensure that town needs are met. Eddy describes himself as "frugal" and said he is a firm believer that a committee member's job is to spend on necessities.
"For the most part, we should make sure all the town's needs are covered and focus on what we need to have, versus what we want to have," said Eddy.
He added that he has always kept up with town politics and finances, but that he could get the best insight to town budget processes and pressing issues by becoming a member of the committee, rather than "looking in from the outside."
With an engineering background, Eddy said he has to make budgets as well as manage his own personal budgets. Eddy is also a small business owner, and owns the Curves franchise in Alton with his wife.
"Things can get dicey in this economy, but we have managed to keep costs under control," said Eddy.
Horvath, a taxpayer and homeowner in Gilford for 23 years, is running for a seat on the Budget Committee for the first time. Horvath lives with his wife of 33 years and his two sons.
He has a background in engineering and construction project management, a career he first worked toward back in Pennsylvania while taking night classes out west. Horvath then finished up his education in the New Hampshire University system.
Horvath just completed his term as president of a local neighborhood association, which includes 44 homes, and said that he served as an advisor for the association for over six years. He said he has not run for any other particular commissions or committees before, but that he can bring a fresh perspective to the Budget Committee.
He is also part of the Greater Laconia Babe Ruth association and said he has been involved with sports throughout his residency in Gilford.
As for his decision to run for one of the three open seats on the Budget Committee, Horvath said he has taken a good look at the town and feels that the committee is doing just fine, but he would like to contribute to its efficiency.
"The current board has served well and I wish to continue that tradition. This has made Gilford an enjoyable place to live," said Horvath. "It is an affordable town, and the community has a lot to offer."
Horvath added that he has something to offer the town as well with his background, since he has always dealt with money or budgets in some shape or form.
"I am working towards town fiscal management," said Horvath. "The project manager is responsible for budgets and deadlines."
Although the budget still may be a tight squeeze next year, Horvath said it is important to maintain town assets as well.
"We need to focus priorities to the right places, versus spending money on frivolous things," said Horvath. "We can't let things run to the ground, whether they are roads, equipment or people. We need to treat people right."
He said that it is important to fix certain problems before they become bigger problems or cost the town more money, such as a hypothetical leak in the library roof. Horvath said that he could contribute to the committee not only with his budget and people management skills, but because he is a fresh face with no prior ties to the Budget Committee.
Philip "Pat" Labonte did not return calls for comment and did not attend Candidates' Night.