Candidates file for local offices around county
February 03, 2011REGION —Throughout the month of February candidates will be interviewed so our readers can get to know who they are and where they stand on the issues before they make their selections at the polls. Here's a rundown of the candidates who have filed for office in the towns of Effingham, Ossipee, Madison, Freedom and Tamworth.
Effingham voters will have a chance to get to know the candidates as the town will be hosting "Meet the Candidates" forum on Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. at the municipal office building on School Street.
Three candidates will be vying for the three-year selectman position. Current selectman Tim Eldridge has decided not to run again after an eight-year stint in that seat. Henry Spencer, Joseph Sherin and Theresa Swanick all chose to seek the three-year spot instead of running against incumbent Susan Slack who is running unopposed for a two-year selectman's position. Slack was appointed last October to sit for long-term selectman William Piekut, who resigned.
Voters can choose who they think will best run the town's library with incumbents Deanna Amaral and Michael Cauble hoping to remain in their elected positions and Maureen Spencer and Celine Bergeron in the running against them.
Four candidates are running for two planning board seats – incumbents Jory Augenti and Steve Zalewski are facing off against former selectman Bill Piekut and newcomer Daniel Sinapius. Sinapius is also on the ballot for one of two zoning board positions and will be running against incumbents Jory Augenti and Timothy White.
In other Effingham election news, Moderator Michael Cauble is running unopposed for that position; Maureen Spencer and Michael Pilkovsky hope to fill two Budget Committee seats; and David Manley is running unopposed for a Cemetery Trustee position. Voters can "write-in" any name on the ballot if they have a candidate choice they do not see on the ballot. That will be especially important for the Trustee of Trust Funds position and the one-year Cemetery Trustee position as there are no candidates signed up for those.
There are only two contested races in this town. Incumbent school board member Ingrid Dewitt is seeking re-election and is being challenged for the three-year position by Todd Desmarais and Jake Stephan. Trustee of Trust Funds incumbent Eric Bossidy is seeking re-election to that three-year seat and being challenged by James Blake. Doris Sirois is running unopposed for the two-year trustee position.
Selectman Les Babb has signed up for re-election with no opposition. Don Johnson, the Town Moderator for another year, is seeking the school moderator position this year as well. Tax Collector Annette Babb is running unopposed in hopes of retaining her position.
There are no candidates for the three-year Cemetery Trustee position vacated by Betty Godfrey.
A "Meet the Candidates" event will be held at Madison Elementary School March 1 at 7 p.m. There is only one contested race among the 15 positions on the ballot. That race for the three-year selectmen's seat will find Josh Shackford and incumbent Michael Benoit vying for the job.
Incumbent Treasurer Catherine Tilton is seeking re-election. Mark Brown, Andrew Smith, and Noreen Downs are all seeking re-election to the planning board. No one signed up as a candidate for the one-year planning board seat. Three library trustees are needed this year and incumbent Beverly Klitsch is on the ballot as well as Peter Stevens and Ron Force.
David Chase is seeking re-election to the Budget Committee and Richard Wells to his seat on the Fire Commission. Ali Judkins is running unopposed for trustee of trust funds and Tamara Flanigan and Jenifer Garside have signed up for two positions on the Old Home Week Committee.
There will be three empty spaces on the Ossipee election ballot March 8. There are no candidates for a Cemetery Trustee position, a Budget Committee seat and a Zoning Board of Adjustment position. There are also five positions that have no opponents so those on the ballot are just about guaranteed to win unless there is a strong write-in campaign.
Longtime selectman Harry Merrow will face off against a former opponent, Kevin Houle. Merrow is hoping to break his grandfather's 14-year record as selectman. Houle, a constant at weekly selectmen's meetings and member of the town's Conservation Commission, has been highly critical through the years of what he perceives as wasteful government spending and "too much government," calling, at various times, for the abolishment of the town's police department, zoning board, highway department and the removal of the town's code enforcement officer.
There are two other contested Ossipee races – the library trustees and the planning board. For the library, two seats are being sought by Robert Morin, Joan O'Hara and incumbent Rachael Ward. On the planning board, current chairman William Grover and member C.J. "Ski" Kwiatkowski are running against Stuart Feldman for two three-year-term seats.
Trustee of Trust Funds Renee Nardello has resigned from her position effective Feb. 1 as she is moving out of town. Selectmen have chosen not to appoint someone for a month to fill that seat. Stephanie Milligan is running unopposed in March for that three-year position.
Joseph Goss and incumbent Donna Sargent are the only candidates for two three-year Budget Committee seats. Elliot Harris, Jr. is unopposed and seeking re-election as Water/Sewer Commissioner. Incumbent Bruce Parsons is running unopposed for a one-year Zoning Board seat. Incumbent Jonathan Brown is seeking re-election to a three-year term on that board.
The race is on here with five of the 10 positions on the ballot sparking competition. Incumbent selectman John Roberts is seeking re-election to his three-year position and facing off against Sandra Flanagan and Kent Jardine.
Road agent Bruce Robinson is not seeking re-election. Richard Roberts and Randall Gordon are running for that three-year position.
A petition to abolish the town's planning board will be voted on in March. Incumbent planning board members Nicole Maher-Whiteside and Dominic Bergen have filed in hopes of regaining their seats and are being challenged by David Goodson.
Ann McGarity, Melody Bergman and Anne Chant are in the running for two library trustee positions while Harry Remick and Shawn Bross are competing for the three-year Fire Warden position.
Treasurer Mary Mills and Trustee of Trust Funds John Wheeler are unopposed and seeking re-election. No one filed for candidacy in the two-year trustee position.
Wakefield is the only town besides Freedom where there is no contest for selectman – or any other position, for that matter – but three other incumbents are not running for re-election to their positions.
Selectman Ken Paul is running unopposed for a second three-year term. Also running unopposed are Monique Wood for a two-year term as Town Clerk, Heidi Smith for a one-year term as Treasurer (replacing Chris Fothergill, who is not running for re-election), Relf Fogg for re-election to a three-year term as Assessor, and Toni Sanborn as library trustee.
On the Budget Committee Relf Fogg and Connie Twombley are running for re-relection to a three-year term. Jerry O'Connor is the candidate for the third open position, also for a three-year term.
In the remaining three unopposed positions Charlie Edwards is running for a three-year term on the planning board, replacing Donna Faucette; Philip Twombley is running for a three-year term as Cemetery Trustee, replacing Dennis Herman; and Bruce Rich is for a three-year term as Trustee of Trust Funds.