2016-10-21 / Front Page

Register of probate race includes two


Nadeen Daniels Nadeen Daniels The race for Cumberland County Registrar of Probate features two candidates – Democrat Nadeen Daniels and Republican John Hughes – vying to replace retiring registrar, Democrat John O’Brien.

Candidate survey forms sent by The Sentry to each candidate are provided below, in alphabetical order by last name. The surveys include contract information, should readers care to question the candidates further on their positions.

Name: Nadeen Daniels

Age: 59

Address: Portland (street not given)

Phone: 871-8380

Email: nadeen.daniels@gmail.com

Occupation: Cumberland County Grants and Special Projects manager

Family: Married, one child

Education completed: attended the University of Southern Maine

Political experience: None

Organizations and activities: Maine Town & City Clerks Association (past president)

Top three issues:

1. The fires of 1866 and 1908 destroyed all the probate records in the county courthouse. The office initiated a scanning project and has so far preserved records through 1998. I intend to ensure that this project is fully completed during my term, so that these important records are preserved in perpetuity.

2. Recent legislation referred to as the Home Court law has affected the probate office and its operations. This has, to me, showcased the need for the next register of probate to escort their experience guiding and responding to the legislative bill making process. As president of the Maine Town and City Clerks Association, and in my local role as a municipal manager and city and town clerk, I was called upon to perform this role on many occasions.

3. This office is one solely guided by law and requiring sensitive, compassionate, knowledgeable, and highly trained staff. It will be a priority of mine to retain highly competent staff who will continue the respectful service of excellence our residents deserve and have come to expect.

Why are you seeking elected office?

The importance of the role of the register of probate in maintaining some of our most vital and personal records cannot be understated. It is critical to the legacy and history of our families that this position of “keeper of the records” is held by an incumbent with first hand experience in record management. I have spent 20 plus years managing vital records, such as births, deaths and marriages, at the local level. My experience with recording, retention and preservation of these records will ensure their respectful perpetuity. I look forward to bringing my professional experience to the position of Register of Probate.

If you could change one thing about the probate office, what would it be and how would you do it?

Rather than a change, I will work quickly to review the mechanics of the existing scanning project and develop an expedient schedule of completion and continuity.

Name: Jim Hughes
Age: 72
Address: Spar Cove Road, Freeport
Phone: 865-9096
Email: jimoutside@aol.com
Occupation: Professional engineer

and temperature controls contractor/
owner and president of Hughes
Engineering and Controls

Family: Married with one adult child

Education completed: Bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University

Political experience: None

Organizations and activities: Naval officer and division head on the U.S.S. Harwood; Maine and New Hampshire branch manager for Landis & Gyr Powers (now Siemens); Member of HUD’s Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Bank; past president of Maine Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers; member and past treasurer of the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club; ski instructor at Sugarloaf and Saddleback; ski patrol at Sugarloaf and Saddleback

Top three issues:

1. Change the Maine Constitution to allow counties the option of either electing or appointing the register of probate. How the registrar of probate is selected should be left up to the county commissioners.

2. Change the Cumberland County registrar of probate from an elected position to an appointed one that is hired by, works for and is accountable to the county manager. The registrar is now only accountable to the people every four years at election time. The position is too low profile to be elected.

3. Add stability to the probate office. Every four years, the employees of the probate office have to be concerned about where a new registrar falls on the spectrum from hands-off manager to micro-manager. Also, the registrar should not have to spend time and money every four years to run a campaign.

Why are you seeking elected office?

All my life, when I have found something that was not right, I always worked to fix what I could. I was a Boy Scout and in some ways, I still am. I pick up litter, stop for broken down cars and in general try to leave things better than what I found them. I became aware of how the registrar of probate was selected when my wife started working at the probate court. In good conscience, I can not leave it the way it is. I want to eliminate the possibility of the registrar’s position being used as a political plum and make sure it is always accountable to the county manager as it should be.

If you could change one thing about the probate office, what would it be and how would you do it?

I will work to change how the registrar of probate is selected and make the registrar accountable to the county manager. While doing this I will take a cut in pay to save the county money and will have the deputy registrar of probate continue running the office.

First, I will work with our legislators in Augusta to change the Maine Constitution so that the registrar of probate does not have to be elected. It is not a partisan issue and I do not expect much opposition. Changing the Constitution is not easy, nor should it be, but it will never be changed if we don’t try.

Second, once the Maine Constitution is changed, I will work with the Cumberland County commissioners and county manager to have the Cumberland County register of probate become an appointed position. I expect little or no opposition as the commissioners have already changed the register of deeds and the county treasurer positions from elected to appointed. The only reason registrar of probate has not been changed is because of wording in the Maine Constitution.

Third, once that is complete, I will resign my position so the county manager can then select the registrar of probate.

The 13th annual Run for Cash Memorial 5K and Family Race to benefit Veterans Count Maine is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. June, 24 at Old Orchard Beach High School.

Each year, hundreds of runners, walkers and families come together for the Run for Cash, remembering Army Capt. Christopher Scott Cash. This year, race organizers have announced the annual scholarship fund will benefit Veterans Count Maine to support Maine military families.

Runners and families can register for a 5K race or 3-mile walk at runforcash.org. Cash was a New England native who discovered a love for running while growing up in Old Orchard Beach. Cash joined the Army and after basic training, requested admission to jump school at Fort Benning and was accepted. After graduating from jump school and receiving his wings, Cash requested admission to U.S .Army Ranger School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was once again accepted. Upon completion of ranger training and receiving his “Ranger Tab,” Cash was assigned to the 82d Airborne Division, initially as a machine gunner, but over time assumed more responsibilities as he moved up through the ranks as a non-commissioned officer. After earning a bachelor’s degree in North Carolina, Cash married and had two sons before he was deployed to Iraq.

At the time of his deployment to Iraq, Cash was commanding officer of his company. Cash was killed along with Sp-4 Daniel A. Dessins Jr. on June 24, 2004 in Baqubah, Iraq in a gun battle against approximately 150 insurgents. Shortly after Cash’s death, in August 2004, Cash’s mother and stepfather planned the first Run for Cash event, which continues today in his memory.

For the past 12 years, Cash’s family has organized the race in his memory. The Cash family has announced that beginning in 2018, Veterans Count and Easter Seals Maine will take over planning and coordination of the race, keeping Cash’s memory alive and fundraising for his fellow veterans.

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