LAMONTAGNE HOLDS BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE IN N. CONWAY

by Christian Mower on July 18, 2012

NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL HOPEFUL OVIDE LAMONTAGNE USED HUMOR IN INTRODUCING HIMSELF LATE TUESDAY MORNING TO ABOUT A DOZEN PEOPLE WHO TURNED OUT TO MEET HIM AT A NORTH CONWAY RESTAURANT, SAYING THAT GROWING UP WITH A NAME LIKE OVIDE “BUILDS CHARACTER.”

HIS LUNCHTIME APPEARANCE AT THE BLUEBERRY MUFFIN JUST NORTH OF SETTLERS CORNER ON ROUTE 16 WAS THE FIRST OF WHAT HIS CAMPAIGN SAYS WILL BE SEVERAL “BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS” HE’LL HOLD AROUND THE STATE.

THE CANDIDATE BRIEFLY TALKED ABOUT HIS BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE, TELLING THE SMALL GROUP HE OWNS A VACATION PROPERTY IN CHATHAM AND HAS BEEN A TAXPAYER IN CARROLL COUNTY SINCE 1989. HE’S A FORMER TEACHER TURNED LAWYER WHO NOW OWNS HIS OWN LAW FIRM, AND HE STRESSED HIS RANGE OF EXPERIENCE ACROSS THE BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT, CIVIC AND CHARITABLE SECTORS.

CONCLUDING HIS OPENING REMARKS, LAMONTAGNE TOOK A NON PARTISAN TONE AND STRESSED THAT IF ELECTED, HE WILL SERVE ALL THE PEOPLE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

THE CANDIDATE THEN ASKED EACH ATTENDEE TO TALK ABOUT THEIR CONCERNS.

MOUNT WASHINGTON VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JANICE CRAWFORD REPRESENTS HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES IN MORE THAN TWO DOZEN TOWNS. SHE TOLD THE CANDIDATE BUSINESSES WERE “TREADING WATER” IN THE VALLEY AREA AND MANY OWNERS WERE TIRED OF BURDENSOME REGULATIONS.

CRANMORE MOUNTAIN RESORT PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER BEN WILCOX TOLD LAMONTAGNE OF HIS CONCERNS ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES, SUCH AS HOW TO MORE EFFECTIVELY GET TOURISTS TO HIS YEAR-ROUND RESORT – AS WELL AS HEALTHCARE COSTS FOR COVERING MORE OF HIS EMPLOYEES.

LAMONTAGNE ALSO HEARD CONCERNS ABOUT FINANCIAL REGULATIONS FROM A LOCAL BANKER, FROM A HOTEL MANAGER WHO SAID THE VALLEY AREA SHOULD GET MORE ATTENTION FROM THE STATE – AND FROM A TEACHER WHO DESCRIBED HOW COMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE TRYING TO ENSURE GRADUATES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ARE PROPERLY TRAINED FOR THE RIGHT JOB.

FOLLOWING LUNCH WITH OTHER INVITED GUESTS, LAMONTAGNE TOURED A LOCAL BUSINESS IN THE AFTERNOON AND FINISHED HIS DAY BY ATTENDING AN EVENING MEETING OF THE MOUNT WASHINGTON VALLEY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE IN INTERVALE.

CARROLL COUNTY DEMOCRATS HELD A CANDIDATES’ FORUM FOR GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES TUESDAY NIGHT AT THE SALYARDS ARTS CENTER IN CONWAY.