By DENISE A. RAYMO
---- — MALONE — Dr. Carl Sherwin says that, if elected, he will work for more government efficiencies, a stronger local economy and expansion of services.
He is seeking the Democratic nomination for District 4 of the Franklin County Legislature and faces Paul Hogan in a primary on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
The winner will challenge incumbent Marc “Tim” Lashomb (R-Malone) in the November election.
Sherwin retired from his medical practice earlier this year and said the time is right to run.
“When somebody says they need help, I go, and that’s how I got talked into running for legislator,” he said with a laugh.
“I see a politician as a job that, if done right, takes a lot of time, offers little thanks, and the pay is lousy.
“But I grew up here, and it’s sad to see how the town has evolved in last 50 years, and if I can help, I’d be happy to,” he said.
“This is a place that has great potential. It’s a beautiful area, and there are lots of good people, and the trend it is taking can be reversed.”
Sherwin said Franklin County has the second-lowest per-capita income in the state behind the Bronx, and while it is encouraging to see projects like the Enbridge-St. Lawrence Gas natural-gas pipeline and new broadband services offered, each needs to be expanded so more households can take advantage.
“Other major assets are agriculture and tourism, and we need to do a better job at handling our projects and infrastructure for tourism.
“Local jobs need to be created.”
He’d also seek more open government.
“It amazes me that the county is a $100 million corporation whose purpose is to supply services to taxpayers at an efficient. But it’s difficult to get any information on what’s going on.
“I’d improve the education because you won’t get involved if you don’t know what’s going on. It’s fostering participation.”
He said the county hasn’t had a housing-rehabilitation grant for 11 years, but “the bulk of that money goes to local contractors and suppliers.”
He noted that “improving our buildings puts dollars into the local economy and helps us with energy conservation and, I’m hoping, energy production.
“It would mean improved health because there would be less exposure to the weather, and it would alleviate stress.”
Sherwin believes “we can easily produce energy we can use. It’s ironic and sad that we are energy producers but can’t get power. If we can improve access to Robert Moses power, we could provide it to local areas at a lower price.”
As a retired physician, he said, “health care is important to me. Franklin County is on track to collect $14.5 million in taxes this year, and the Medicaid expense is more than $10 million, so there needs to be efficiencies on how we obtain Medicaid.
“We have to aggressively look at exchanges and develop a cost-effective way to provide Medicaid. We need to improve access to care for people who fall between the cracks instead of sending them to the ER, which we end up paying for, too.”
He believes the County Industrial Development Agency should team up with IDAs in neighboring counties “to really market ourselves as a region versus a one-man or two-man office. We can join forces with them to generate more money around here.”
As far as county-budget decisions, “layoffs can’t be made without consulting with the department heads,” Sherwin said. “As a legislator, I think we ought to have significantly more input from the department heads before I make a decision on what is to be eliminated.”
He favors an occupancy tax and a county planner, believes shared services can be extended “to have a multi-county approach” and foresees uses for the soon-to-be-vacant County Nursing Home.
“The nursing home is a county-owned facility with multiple purposes. (Creating) county offices is the obvious one.
“But one of things we could do — because a big asset is local agriculture — is to make it more profitable by figuring out how to package and market goods, and you need a commercial-grade kitchen for that.
“The nursing home has a commercial-grade kitchen, and that could create jobs. It would be a great utilization of a county asset.”
RETIRED THIS YEAR
Sherwin grew up in Malone, the son of a doctor, and went to Dartmouth University and the University of Nevada at Reno, where he also attended medical school.
He remained in the West and had a practice there for many years before moving back to Malone in 1997.
He again opened a medical practice until his retirement earlier this year.
His wife, Barbara, is a nurse practitioner at the County Jail, and he volunteers at Barnabas House Homeless Shelter and serves on the Board of Trustees at Lifeway Community Church in Bangor.
He has two adult children and three grandchildren.
Email Denise A. Raymo:firstname.lastname@example.org