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Incumbent, challenger run in 14th Norfolk District primary

Posted by Laura Franzini  August 27, 2012 11:06 AM

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14th Norfolk District (Wellesley, Weston and parts of Wayland)

Alice Hanlon Peisch
Age: 57
Location: Wellesley
Job: Incumbent representative; attorney

Jerome B. Carr
Age: 73
Location: Wellesley
Job: President of Carr Research Lab

Compiled by Globe correspondent Laura Franzini.

In the 14th Norfolk District, which includes Wellesley, Weston and portions of Wayland, incumbent Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch will face challenger Jerome B. Carr in the Democratic primary. There is no Republican candidate on the primary ballot.

Peisch points to her record of community service dating back more than 20 years as a member of the Wellesley Advisory Committee and the School Committee, town clerk and a state representative since 2002 as the experience that should convince voters to return her to Beacon Hill.

“I have a really good understanding of what is important to this community,” she said.

Peisch sees providing every student with a quality education as “the single most important thing we can do as a state and as a nation.”

“Having an educated workforce is the key to economic development,” she said.

As House chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Peisch said she is in a position to help shape state education policy, keeping in mind that what is good for one district may not work in another.

Although this state was not as hurt as some other places in the economic downturn, Peisch said the Massachusetts economy “is still not where we’d like it to be,” and economic development is still foremost in the minds of many voters.

So along with education, Peisch believes funding public transportation and infrastructure is another challenge facing the state, and another important factor in boosting the economy.

“If you can’t get to work on time, it’s hard to be productive,” she said.

Peisch said funding for public transportation and for bridge and road repairs has been done at the State House with “stopgap pieces of legislation.”

Instead, she believes legislators need to look at the long view and come up with a dedicated revenue source so the state can move forward with a plan for funding and a plan for future improvements.

Peisch said she is optimistic a funding source can be found and that the Legislature can come to an agreement, whether it be a gas tax or other option.

“I don’t want to marry myself to a particular solution,” she said, but will support any plan that provides a dedicated source of funding that can be agreed upon by lawmakers.

Carr, a wetland scientist, certified professional hydrologist, and president of Carr Research Laboratory Inc. in Wellesley, said he is running on one issue: replacing the Wetland Protection Act with legislation he authored called the Wetland Stewardship Act.

“The problem with the existing law is it’s a protection act only,” Carr said.

This means in Massachusetts, it’s illegal to “enhance any wetland, add a pond inside a wetland or use any new science to more accurately map the limits of a wetland,” Carr wrote in material about his proposed legislation.

Legislators have to “stop saying don’t, don’t, don’t,” he said. “It’s easy to give back better wetlands.”

State law should stop “the blind protection of wetlands,” and “start allowing projects that could enhance wetland functions and values,” Carr wrote in a letter to the editor published in the Boston Globe in 2011.

He said his proposal could allow construction on land that would not be buildable under current law, which would have a ripple effect throughout the state.

“This could be key to rebooting the economy,” he said.

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