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February 19. 2013 10:31PM

Goffstown residents hear office-seekers' appeals

GOFFSTOWN - Candidates running for offices and committees introduced themselves to the community Tuesday at Candidates Night, hosted by the Goffstown Lions Club.

Several races are contested this year - selectman, planning board and zoning board of adjustment, as well the school board.

Fred Plett, who moderated the event, said those vying for the public service positions are not doing so for monetary gain.

"They're doing it for their civic-mindedness, and I congratulate them all," he said.

Three candidates are running for two available selectman seats.

Nick Campasano, who served as selectman for two terms in 2006 to 2012, said he is passionate about the transparency of the board and plans to improve it.

Campasano said he will also work to ensure that the town budget strikes a balance between services and cost.

David Pierce, current chairman of the board of selectmen, said he has the skills necessary to make decisions on behalf of the community.

"I have the desire and the time to do what's best for the town and I'm not hesitant to meet the challenges of the position," Pierce said.

A third candidate, Allen Brown, was not present at the event.

Barbara Griffin is one of four candidates vying for two planning board positions.

Having previously served on the board of selectmen for 12 years and on the budget committee for six, Griffin said, "It's important for someone who has your interests as community members at heart."

Running against Griffin is Christopher Nadeau, who said he was extremely concerned about the town, and stressed the importance of a commercial tax base.

"We can't keep voting for services of a small city without a way to pay for it," he said.

Planning board candidate Leah Wolczko said she also supports a commercial tax base.

"I plan to say yes to help businesses that would like to come here," she said.

Wolczko also stressed the importance of serving local government.

"I really do believe that serving at the local level is one of the best things you can do," she said.

Candidate Tim McKernan was not present at the meeting, but sent a letter to be read, telling residents that he wants to make reasonable, careful decisions about town growth.

Four candidates are up for two three-year seats on the zoning board of adjustment: Vivian Blondeau, Joseph Femino, Gail Lebrecque and Timothy Redmond.

Femino said he grew up in Goffstown and appreciated the atmosphere that had been preserved over time, adding that residents should be able to use their properties as they see fit.

Labreque, a current ZBA member, said members of the board cannot run on emotion, preferences and opinions, but must uphold town ordinances and laws.

Redmond, a current member of the planning board, said he's never been afraid to ask applicants tough questions in his role there, and would listen to and respect applicants and make informed decisions.

Blondeau did not attend the event.

Three candidates are running for three available school board seats.

Reta Chaffee said she has 30 years of experience in education and understands the commitment that is involved.

She is currently the director of education technology at Granite State College.

Ben Hampton also stressed his experience in education, as a teacher, principal and superintendent.

Hampton said the school board is facing many challenging issues.

"In order to make a change in government, one must get involved," he said.

Dian McCarthy, the current vice chairman of the School Board, is seeking a second term.

"I have a strong passion for education," McCarthy said. "I believe in being part of the solution and in striving for excellence."

McCarthy said the board has a great deal of work in the years ahead.

"The people you elect to do this work will make a difference," she said.

Lorry Cloutier, also a current school board member seeking reelection, did not attend the event.

kremillard@newstote.com

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