Courier Publications reporters and editors came up with a list of questions for candidates based in part on concerns raised by members of the public in "Heard on the Street" interviews. The questions were posed to candidates via email.

Republican Carole Gartley is running for the House of Representatives in District 46 representing Rockport and Camden against incumbent Joan Welsh, D-Rockport.

She was an educator for 16 years, starting as a high school biology teacher and then finishing as a middle school science and math teacher with the last nine years at Camden Rockport Middle School. Gartley then became managing partner of a group that renovated the 90,000 sq. ft. Breakwater Marketplace building in Rockland. She continues to manage it and other commercial and residential properties through her business, Gartley Management Services. Additionally, she is extensively involved in the community by being on the Board of Directors for the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, FMC’s community advisory panel, and other organizations and committees dedicated to women’s business networking and economic development.

Gartley has a BA in zoology, a master's in education administration, certificates to teach all subjects K-6; all sciences grades 7-12; certified assistant principal and principal, and is a graduate of Midcoast Leadership Academy.

Gartley was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and lived in Michigan and Delaware before her family — due to her father’s job — was transferred to Waterville when she was 8 years old. Gartley grew up in Waterville and aside from a short stint in Readfield, she and her husband — who has lived in Rockport his whole life — have lived in Rockport for more than 20 years.

She has been married to Will Gartley, owner of Gartley & Dorsky Engineering and Surveying for 22 years. The couple has two sons: Taylor, 21, a senior at Bates College, and Cameron, 20, a junior at the University of Maine.

 

Why are you running?

I’m running because I feel that my skills as an educator, a small business owner, and leader in several community organizations will be useful and valuable at the state level. I am a problem solver with deep roots in the community which enables me to understand and truly represent the variety of needs in Camden and Rockport.

What government services, if any, do you feel should be privatized?

I think it’s important to evaluate the services our state is providing and then conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the private sector can do it better. It is important to keep an open mind and explore all avenues of providing the best and most economical services to the people of our state.

What services do you feel need to be protected from budget cuts?

In this recession states are facing the difficult task of balancing their budgets yet also protecting the most vulnerable of their citizens. I believe that we should look for ways to help our departments become as lean as possible while maintaining the integrity of their services.

What services that are private now should be taken on by the government?

I do not feel that there are any private services that should be taken on by the government.

Mitt Romney has proposed kicking Medicaid costs back to the states to administer and cutting federal funds for them. Would you support this plan, and how do you think it would impact state government and taxes?

The debate surrounding Medicaid is very complicated. According to medicalnewstoday.com/info/medicare-medicaid, the Medicaid program cost the federal government about $330 billion, or 2.4 percent of GDP, 2007 numbers. Maine currently administers Medicaid through the MaineCare program. Gov. Romney proposes (see mittromney.com/issues/health-care) to empower the states to more effectively administer Medicaid. I think that further state control will allow our leaders to tailor the program to meet the neediest of our citizens in Maine.

What is your position on women's health issues including insurance coverage for contraceptives and the option of having abortions to terminate unwanted pregnancies?

Women’s health issues are everyone’s issues. When women are healthy and strong and have access to affordable medical care, they can better support their children, be economically vibrant, and contribute to the welfare of their communities. I believe that decisions regarding women’s reproductive health should be left to the individual.

We have seen a push, particularly from Republicans, for more showing of identification at the polls. What are your thoughts on balancing the need for preventing voter fraud with the need to provide access to citizens wishing to vote?

I think working with town clerks will enable us to have a system in place that is appropriate and manageable and will encourage all of our citizens to exercise their right to vote.

Why aren't there more jobs?

Again, another very complicated issue. We are in the middle of one of the worst recessions our country has faced. Thankfully, in the Midcoast area, there are companies hiring. They may not be the jobs from pre-recession and folks may need to acquire new skills to meet these jobs. The Career Centers throughout Maine — there is one in Rockland — is a great resource for help in this area.

What would you do for those seeking to start businesses and create jobs?

I would first say congratulations — small businesses are the life blood of Maine! My husband and I both own small businesses so I understand what folks are going through. I would encourage them to do their research and get as much information as possible. There are so many resources out there for people interested in starting businesses! Look online at maine.gov for rules and requirements, go to your local Women, Work, and Community Center — they run starting your own business classes, join your local Chamber of Commerce, contact a branch of SCORE — a free business advising group with branches in Camden and Rockland — and network, network, network!

How would you address the challenge of providing higher education for low and middle-income young people who cannot afford college without massive loans?

I have two sons in college and fully understand the struggle of paying for college. As in any financial decision, you have to be realistic in what you can afford. It is important to apply to a variety of colleges and see what sort of financial aid package you are offered. Many colleges have endowments and scholarships. Then, take a hard look at your financial situation and choose the best package. If you are still looking at huge loans, it might be beneficial to rethink your college strategy and take advantage of the University College or Community College branches of the University of Maine. They are affordable, usually close to home and offer flexible scheduling that allows students to work and go to school. Additionally, there are an increasing number of employers who are implementing tuition forgiveness programs as away of attracting new hires. Americorps is also a great way to work toward tuition forgiveness while building a resume.

How can we help Maine people transition from traditional energy sources, particularly for heat, to renewable sources?

Maine’s housing market is one of the oldest in the country. The lack of energy efficient buildings creates a situation in which our heating costs are debilitating. There are many organizations, such as Efficiency Maine, that will work with homeowners to evaluate their energy needs and offer solutions. Mainers are already working toward reducing their dependency on oil. There is a movement to bring affordable energy sources (pellet, natural gas, tidal, and wind power) to Maine that in the long run should help homeowners with cost savings. An added benefit of these alternate means of energy is that these industries could create jobs.

What should be done to protect Maine's environment and resources? Is this issue a priority for you as a candidate?

We are fortunate to live in a state with incredible natural beauty. It is in our best interest to make sure that Maine’s environment and resources are protected. We must continue to review and enact regulation that makes sense for everyone.

Do you support state government buying more land to preserve it as state parks?

In theory the idea of having more state parks is appealing. However, I’m a proponent of the state of Maine partnering with private organizations like the George’s River Land Trust and any of the other 100 land trusts in Maine. In this way, our natural resources are protected without overburdening our state agencies.

Where do you stand on campaign financing?

Currently Maine has a two-pronged system. A candidate can utilize clean election financing which currently distributes approximately $4,000 for a legislative seat or independent fund raising. As someone who is new to this process I chose clean election financing so that I could concentrate on meeting my constituents rather than fundraising.

What should be done about the state's welfare programs including disability benefits, MaineCare, and substance abuse treatment subsidies?

I think it’s important to continue to assist those people who really need the help. However, except in the most severe cases, these programs should all have exit strategies for their beneficiaries.

Do you support allowing gay marriage in Maine?

I support marriage equality in Maine and I support the right of churches to perform marriage ceremonies that align with their beliefs.

How do you feel the Tea Party movement has affected local, state and federal politics and policy decisions?

The Tea Party movement was a result of citizens feeling frustrated with the status quo. Their point of view along with other viewpoints helps shine a light on how people feel about issues. I think it’s important to include all stakeholders in healthy discourse when making decisions.