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Republican Fraser to challenge Gulick for New Hampton & C. Harbor seat in N.H. House

NEW HAMPTON — Valerie Fraser, who is serving her first term on the Board of Selectmen, has filed to run for the seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives from New Hampton and Center Harbor.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Ruth Gulick, a retired attorney, who filed for re-election to a second term yesterday.

A Republican, Fraser said that she entered the race as advocate of public banking, believing that the state and counties should be authorized to establish banks that would hold public revenues from taxes and fees as deposits and fund investments in local commercial enterprises and infrastructure projects. North Dakota has successfully operated a public bank for almost a century, Fraser said. She said that no matter what the issue, "it always comes down to money" and public banking could provide some.

Fraser is a registered nurse and veterinarian, who recently sold her veterinary practice in Tilton and now operates from her home, where she raises dairy goats and keeps horses. Apart from public banking, she said "I've always been curious about what goes on in Concord."

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 12:58

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Forrester draws Free State challenger

GRAFTON — Tim Condon of Grafton has filed to challenge two-term incumbent Jeanie Forrester of Meredith in the Republican primary for the New Hampshire Senate.
A former member of the board of directors of the Free State Project, Condon moved to New Hampshire from Florida, where he still maintains a legal practice. In 2004, he founded the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire and describes himself as "libertarian-conservative," with the emphasis on the former.
Condon served two consecutive tours with the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam and graduated from the University of Florida, where he also earned his law degree. He has been active in politics since the 1960s and in 1972 was an elector for Professor John Hospers, the first presidential candidate of the National Libertarian Party. Condon has been a frequent contributor to GraniteGrok, the website co-founbded by Skip Murphy of Gilford.
Forrester, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, was among several Republican senators who Aaron Day, the executive director of the Republican Liberty Caucus, indicated would be targeted by primary opponents for having supported the use the Medicaid funds to extend health insurance.

Yesterday Carolyn Mello of Holderness, a Democrat, also filed to run for the seat. A retired educator who serves on the local school board, she said "I'm a brand new person in this realm of politics." After serving for four years in the United States Air Force as a Russian linguist, Mello pursued a career in special education working with both children and adults. Three years ago she retired from the Newfound Regional High School. "My entire career has been in the area of special education," she said, "but this was an opportunity to serve the community in another capacity. I'm already learning a lot."

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 12:48

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Democrat Marriott challenging Comtois for Barnstead seat in House

BARNSTEAD — Democrat Bruce Marriott has renewed his bid for the seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives representing Barnstead, a seat currently held by Republican Guy Comtois, who has filed for re-election to a third term. In 2012, Marriott ran against Comtois a close race, losing by 1,255 to 1,012.

Marriott, spent 30 years with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service, most as a county agricultural agent, and 12 as the supervisor of agricultural programming throughout the state. Before moving to Barnstead, he served as a selectman for eight years in Gilmanton, where he also was a member of the Planning Board. He describes himself as "socially liberal and fiscally responsible, a centrist, with an honest belief in the role of government."

Comtois is a hydroponic vegetable farmer who tends 93 acres. Elected in 2010 in his first bid for public office, Comtois emerged as one of the most conservative members of the Republican caucus. The House Republican Alliance, which rates members according to how closely their voting record matches the party platform, awarded Comtois a near perfect score of 98 in his first term. His score from The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, the self-described "conscience of the Republican Party," was the 23rd highest among the 400 members of the House.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 12:46

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Gilford officials believe it's prudent to leave sewer rates right where they are

GILFORD — Selectmen agreed by consensus to keep the town's sewer rates level for this year, even though the town has retired the village district bonded debt.

Finance Director Geoff Ruggles told selectmen that the town is seeing a continual decline in average usage and could reduce the rates by 40 cents for the administrative rate or meter fee and 15 cents for the flow rate.

The administrative rate is $58.38 per year and the flow rate is $5.99 per 1,000 gallons used.

He said he and the Public Works Director recommended keeping the rates the same because the town is going to need some capital in the upcoming years to replace at least three pump stations.

Ruggles said three of the pump stations and much of the piping is 30 yeas old and the older it gets the more likely it is there will be some kind of failure.

Secondly, Ruggles said the replacement and repair to the Winnipesaukee River Basin Project infrastructure will continue to increase over the next few years meaning that if the rates were to drop in 2014, they would likely have to go up significantly in 2015 and 2016 to pay for planned projects.

He said the Sewer Department is working on an inflow and infiltration study.

Selectmen said there is a Sewer Capital Reserve Account with just over $110,000 in it but agreed that building a cushion against future repairs and keeping the rates level would be better that dropping them only to see the spike next year.

"We thought it would be better to level off the rates in hopes that it will be sufficient to cover the capital charges," Ruggles said.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 June 2014 11:33

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