Meet the candidates for Sunapee Selectboard

In Sunapee, there are four candidates vying for two seats on the board of selectmen. The top two vote getters on Election Day, March 13, will fill the positions, each with a 3-year term of office. There are contests for the zoning board and school board, too.

The candidates for selectboard include a former selectman, a member of the budget advisory committee, a local business owner, and a computer programmer.

In response to our inquiry, candidates in these contested races sent Sunapee News information for publication. We asked each to respond to three questions and include their qualifications and occupation. Later this week, we’ll publish the responses from the candidates running for the zoning board and the school board.

Meet the candidates for the Sunapee Board of Selectmen: Shane Hastings. Debbie Samalis, Joshua Trow and Stephen White.

Shane Hastings

Why are you running? I have been to many of the Board meetings.  It troubles me that we have such a large number of seniors on the board. I am hoping that I can bring some balance into the equation.

I also love living in the small town of Sunapee. I think it is a good example of a sleepy New England town, and I would like to keep it as close to that as possible. I started life in the town, and I hope to be living in the same sleepy New England town when it comes time to pass on.  Being on the board will give me the opportunity to effect change and keep the small town I love.

What are some of your goals if elected? The item that pops into my head is the budget. We look at the budget each year and say we want to level fund it. For the last 3 years, we have had very little increase in the budget. This can be credited to the Town Manager and the town employees.

I would like to go into the budget season with the thought of reducing the budget 2 or 3%. I think this can be done if we look at each individual line and question whether we need that much, can we reduce it, or eliminate it.

As a board, we also need to look at the town’s wants and needs. For example, the town needs to run sewer to Perkins Pond and wants to build a new library. We also have to look hard at our road system. Some of the town’s paved roads are in terrible condition, and it takes a lot of money to bring them back. This is something that needs to be done, and I have not heard of a plan to accomplish this.

What other information would you like voters to know about your candidacy?  I am married with children and grandkids. My youngest two children are still in the Sunapee school system. The bank and I own a house in the Lower Village. What I am trying to say: “I have some skin in the game.” I will be watching very closely where and on what we are spending taxpayer dollars.

Qualifications: Born in Concord, N.H., grew up in Sunapee and Grantham, and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1980. Spent the next 8 years in the U.S. Marines traveling the world. Married and started a family in 1988; moved to Spokane, Wash., in ’92; and returned to Sunapee in 2005. I do not plan to leave again. President of the Sunapee Lions Club. Appointed to the Budget Advisory Committee (3 years ago).

I am not afraid to fight for what I think is right; I can lead and take the lead, if needed; and I have the life experiences of someone who has left this small town and returned, knowing it is the best place to raise a family.

Occupation:  Machinist by trade. Currently, I own 50% of Sunapee Precision Corp., a precision turning machine shop in Newport. (If there were a suitable building in Sunapee, I would move my business here.)

Debbie Samalis

I was raised in Manchester, N.H., and lived there until I moved to this area, about 7 years ago. I have been a Sunapee resident for over three years.

When I decided to make Sunapee my permanent residence, I moved forward with opening two businesses in the Harbor.  I own Wildwood Smokehouse and Kitchen & Bath Design Studio. It was through this process that I decided I would like to be involved with the town on a higher level.

I do see a need for change, and I believe in growth.  I think there is room for growth in Sunapee, without losing the charm and beauty of the town. I also believe in term limits. I think it is our obligation, as residents and business owners, to serve our community, and I believe term limits allow that opportunity to more people. It also brings new minds and ideas to the table.

My restaurant in particular has allowed me to have direct contact with locals and hear their concerns and opinions.  I would like to have the opportunity to be a voice for the residents of this town, as well as the seasonal residents, who I feel contribute a great deal financially to Sunapee, yet have very little voice.  I would be honored to be that “Voice for the People.”

Although I do not have all the answers, I can offer a fresh view and perspective to making Sunapee a better place. I welcome comments from the residents of this town at any time.  My email :  Thank you.

Joshua Trow

Why are you running? I have lived my entire life in Sunapee and feel that I have a fairly good understanding of the town. I know that Sunapee is a wonderful place to live, and while I want to make sure we keep up with the times, I also believe that it is important to keep the sense of a small town. At the prodding of my family, I am running in the hopes of keeping Sunapee as close-knit and self-sufficient as possible, while also providing a new, logical insight into the issues facing the town.

What are some of your goals if elected? I do feel that it is in the best interest of the town to both install the Perkins Pond sewer line as well as build a new Abbott Library. I support the sewer line because I strongly believe in protection of water bodies, both for nature and recreation, and I believe that the longer we wait to install this line, the more expensive it will be and the more environmental damage will occur. My support of the library comes from my history with it. I would say that as a younger resident of Sunapee, I was one of the most frequent visitors to the library, and I credit that reading with much of my current success and knowledge.

I do not support the ownership and repair of the old town hall. I do not feel it is financially or historically worthwhile for the town to take that responsibility, but I would support selling the building to a private party with the understanding that they would repair it, rather than demolish it.

What other information would you like voters to know about your candidacy? I want the voters to know that I am not trying to get anyone in trouble, kick anyone out, or proceed with any other negative ideas. I have no personal axe to grind with anyone, and hope that everyone can see that, even though I am young, I do feel that Sunapee is a fantastic place to live. I will try to do my best to protect and grow it.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me at or 603-454-4826.

Qualifications: Sunapee resident for my entire life. Engineering background.

Occupation: Computer Programmer at The RightThing, an ADP Company in Lebanon, N.H.

Stephen White

My wife Ellie and I have lived in Sunapee since 1991 and I am retired from 32 years at DuPont.  Right now, I have my own intellectual property consulting business.

Experience in the Town is a strong point, as I have already served on the Selectboard.  I also bring a long reputation of service within the Town having been a Sunapee Lion for 18 years and on several boards and committees.

I hope to bring a sense of conservatism back to the Board and can promise close scrutiny of the budgetary process. We also need changes from the State, especially in the way County taxes are applied.

Another issue that holds my interest is the restoration of the Harbor House Livery (aka the Old Town Hall). We need to protect and preserve those buildings that have a history in the Town and I hope to be active in that area.

I will appreciate your vote on March 13th and will promise you that I will serve the Town to the best of my abilities. I have the energy and the desire.

Please contact me if you wish any further information at: 603-763-3111 (land line); 603-558-2283 (Cell); (email).


Election Day is Tuesday, March 13, 2012. The polls in Sunapee will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sherburne Gym, Route 11. Information about absentee voting is available at the town clerk’s office.

One Response

  1. […] earlier: Meet the candidates for Sunapee’s Selectboard. Responses from the school board candidates will follow later this […]

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