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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Running unopposed secret to his success

BROOKLINE – It’s the fourth time that’s a charm for John Carr.

Carr, a former police officer and the town’s health officer, ran unopposed at Town Meeting to fill former Chairman Tad Putney’s seat on the Board of Selectmen.

He’s not alone in being alone. Eleven of the 12 positions on Brookline’s ballot this year have just one candidate.

Carr said he likes to help but three other times voters chose someone else.

“A lot of us sit on the sidelines and complain. I wanted to help the town,” Carr said Monday before the vote. “Everybody here knows the beauty of New Hampshire and the towns up here, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

In the only contested race on the ballot, longtime state Rep. Betty Hall fell short in running for the town Finance Committee. Linda Chomiak and Richard Pocklington easily outpolled her with more than 320 votes, while Dennis Skey got the third open seat with 280 votes, to Hall’s 265.

In the other issue of interest, Brookline and Hollis voters both supported a switch to SB2 ballot-voting law for the Hollis/Brookline Cooperative District, but not by enough.

Hollis gave the idea a slim majority, 861-807, and Brookline strongly supported the idea, 266-165; but the combined result, 1,127 yes to 972 no, fell about 120 votes short of the 60 percent margin needed.

Carr grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Brookline almost five years ago, after retiring from the Brockton Police Department where he was a cop for 22 years.

He and his wife of 25 years, Margie, have four daughters and two sons, the 51-year-old said. He now spends his time as the town health officer and as a member of the Knights of Columbus.

“I just wanted to offer myself to carry the people’s voice. There’s so many important issues today,” he said. “The biggest issue I see facing us is communicating well with each other.”

Carr said he’s particularly concerned with the town’s budget, making sure services aren’t cut too far and encouraging healthy but responsible growth.

“We have a lot of great things going on, and I just want to make sure that continues,” he said. “My main mission is just to give back to the community.”

Carr received 409 votes.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).