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Cartier Listed As Agent For Service For New England Car Wash In Waterford

Candidate for 12th District Senate seat characterizes her role as "business owner" in press releases and television advertising.

 

Cindy Cartier is not listed as a business owner with the Connecticut Secretary of State's office. She also is not listed as a business owner in Branford or Waterford, where the Cartier family business, New England Car Wash, has operations.

She is listed as agent for service for New England Car Wash of Waterford, an LLC, according to the Connecticut Secretary of State's Commercial Record Division.

An agent for service according to the Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 33-663, "is the corporation's agent for service of process, notice or demand required or permitted by law to be served on the corporation. Service may be effected by any proper officer or other person lawfully empowered to make service by leaving a true and attested copy of the process, notice or demand with such agent or, in the case of an agent who is a natural person, by leaving it at such agent's usual place of abode in this state."

According to the Secretary of State's Office, Richard Cartier is listed as a member of New England Car Wash of Waterford, LLC, located at 7 Louise Street in Waterford, with a mailing address given as a post office box in North Branford, CT. Cynthia Cartier is listed as the agent as of July 2011.

Cindy Cartier not listed as an owner

The business owner of Richael, Inc., a business located at 379 East Main Street in Branford, CT, the same location as New England Car Wash in Branford, is Cartier's husband, Rich Cartier. Rich Cartier is listed as secretary, president, and director. Cindy Cartier is not listed with the state as a business owner of Richael Inc. in Branford. In the Branford town clerk's office, New England Car Wash of Branford was listed as a trade name in April of 2010 by owner Richard Cartier, and then that trade name was revoked in November 2011.

The Branford assessor's office says the owner of the business at 379 East Main Street in Branford, the location of the car wash, is listed as New England Car Wash, with a post office box in North Branford, CT provided as an address. The owner of the real estate is listed as Richael Properties, LLC. The Waterford assessor's office says the owner of NE Car Wash is listed as New England Car Wash of Waterford, LLC, the entity listed with the Secretary of State's office that has Rich Cartier as the member, and Cindy Cartier as the agent.

Since launching her campaign in February 2012, Cartier has characterized herself, in press releases and in a television ad posted on YouTube, as a business owner.

"As a wife, mother, and small business owner ... "

"Hi, I'm Cindy Cartier and I want to be your state senator," Cindy Cartier says in the ad. "As a wife, mother, and small business owner, I understand the challenges facing working families." She goes on to say that the current approach of government is not working.

When announcing the endorsement of National Federation of Small Businesses in early October, Cartier again characterized herself as a small business owner.

"I am looking forward to addressing supporting small businesses in my district and throughout the State.  As a small business owner, I truly understand the challenges that folks are facing in running their businesses and securing decent paying jobs.  My voice will resonate in Hartford to better represent the citizens of Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford," she said.

"Both spouses pay taxes on the business when they jointly file their personal income tax returns"

Cartier was asked by Patch to further clarify her role in the business. She was asked, when she said she was owner of the business, what she meant by that. She also was asked what specific role she played in running the business.

“This is a silly assertion made by a campaign that is getting more desperate by the hour. New England Car Wash is incorporated the same way hundreds of other small businesses are incorporated across Connecticut. Both spouses pay taxes on the business when they jointly file their personal income tax returns," she said via email.

“For Senator Meyer to assert that I do not own the company my husband and I have work to build and run together since 2008 is ridiculous. It shows a complete lack of understanding of how small businesses work. And it is offensive to the hundreds, if not thousands of women across Connecticut who co-own businesses with their husbands.”

"I think it's a husband and wife thing"

Her opponent, state Sen. Ed Meyer, said he is not taking issue with Cartier's characterization of herself as a business owner, because "I think it's a husband and wife thing. I don't want to put down Cindy for that." He noted that in family businesses, family members often play a variety of roles in the business, regardless of their official designation.

Meyer, in a recent debate at Memorial Town Hall in Madison, did, however, take issue with Cartier's characterization of government as being an impediment to small business, rather than a help. When Cartier launched her campaign in February 2012, she said "it is getting harder and harder for smaller and medium size businesses to survive in this state due to the decisions and ineffectiveness of our State Government.”

"She's blaming government ... when in fact, her small business is ... in existence because of help from the ... government"

Meyer said that he takes issue with that part of Cartier's story.

"She's blaming government for not helping small business when in fact, her small business is, in effect, in existence because of help from both the state and federal government," Meyer said. 

Richael Inc., doing business as a gas station operated by Rich Cartier, after struggling to pay its taxes for many years and having a lien placed on it at one point by Branford for late payment of taxes, received a U.S. Small Business Association loan for $495,000 to build New England Car Wash.

Dispite over local tax records, then a lien

The Cartiers, when asked about the tax lien during and after the Madison debate, said the late taxes were the fault of Branford government officials, who incorrectly thought they had one more bay than they did at their business, and so they challenged the assessment. Cindy Cartier said at one point there was no lien. But Branford officials have said, according to state statute, that the business still had a responsibility to pay at least a portion of the taxes while the dispute was being settled and that there was a lien.

When, during construction of that business, soil contamination was discovered, the Cartiers applied for and were granted an additional $150,000 in Superfund money to help pay for the clean-up of the contamination, Rich Cartier said. Cindy Cartier said delivery of those funds was delayed during a state budget crisis, when funds were swept from specific state accounts into the general fund by then Gov. Jody Rell.

Cartier said following the Madison debate that Meyer voted in favor of the sweeping of the accounts, which caused trouble for her family business. Meyer has said the sweeping of the accounts was done so that taxes would not have to be raised on the general population. Meyer said he did not know that the sweeping of accounts created problems for the Cartier family business, but that it seemed to be the best decision at the time so that taxes would not have to be raised.

Contractor's lien for $240,000

When construction was delayed, and delivery of the Superfund money was delayed, the Cartiers have said they had trouble at one point paying the contractors.

One contractor working on the clean-up filed a lien for about $240,000. That money was later paid, the Cartiers said.

When the Superfund money was eventually delivered, Rich Cartier said, it was used in part to help open the Waterford location, where Cindy Cartier is now agent for service.

Cartier and Meyer have participated in a variety of debates. The next debate in Madison is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 at St. Margaret's Roman Catholic Church on Academy Street.

Samual Cohen October 24, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Ahhh...this reporter clearly doesn't understand business ownership in Ct and this article is just an advertisement for Ed. I am an accountant and from review of this article, it is likely that the Cartiers have their businesses filed though their personal tax returns which would make them joint owners and Cindy is entitled to the ownership of the business on a number of levels. The fact that Ms. Cartier isn't listed as a "owner" under RIchael, Inc. or the other entities doesn't change ownership of the business as they likely have filed an "S" corp which flows through their tax returns. She is for all intents and purposes owner of the business as she runs it with her husband. Many couples typically only have one person listed as owner of the business to separate business and personal assets. It is recommended and advised by accountants to protect the parties personal assets and likely what was done here. What would you expect from a liberal report that is a mouthpiece for Ed.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 24, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Hi. Thanks for your comment. As you can see from the article, Ed Meyer is not taking a position on her ownership of the company. Again, this is what he said: "Her opponent, state Sen. Ed Meyer, said he is not taking issue with Cartier's characterization of herself as a business owner, because "I think it's a husband and wife thing. I don't want to put down Cindy for that." He noted that in family businesses, family members often play a variety of roles in the business, regardless of their official designation. Meyer, in a recent debate at Memorial Town Hall in Madison, did, however, take issue with Cartier's characterization of government as being an impediment to small business, rather than a help." The article is an effort to clarify Cindy Cartier's relationship with the company, as one of her main assertions during the campaign is that she is a business owner. My question was ... what specific role did she play in running the business, since she is not listed as a business owner with the state or municipalities. She did just respond to my request for clarification, which I will add to the story. Like you, she is saying she pays taxes on the business.
Pert Thomas October 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM
This is a new low for the Patch which is really saying something. Trying to hold Ms. Cartier's campaign rhetoric accountable to the intricacies of CT tax law is absurd and illustrates the Patch's total lack of integrity. Based on my dealings with the Patch this "article" is probably payback for Ms. Cartier not buying ads on the Patch. BTW, could you have your Massachusetts based sales shark quit calling me about buying ads, all I had was a question 8 months ago and I still am being solicited.
CAC October 25, 2012 at 01:29 AM
What a disgrace. Ms. Nerney, you should put a disclaimer on your piece and Ed needs to report your in-kind contribution to his campaign. First, the secretary of state does NOT supply evidence of corporate ownership, only corporate officers. Corporate officers are not owners. Shareholders are owners of companies, which are not filed with the Secretary of State. You claim to write this to clarify this issue, yet you only confuse it more by citing records that have no relevance to ownership. You merely seem to give Ed an opportunity to try to reform his position. Ed cannot fix the damage he did to himself the night of the debate no matter how hard you try to help him. Nice try.
Fred October 25, 2012 at 02:03 AM
OK, " ...one of her main assertions during the campaign is that she is a small business owner." Of what concievable relevance is the "specific role" she plays in running the business? Suppose she plays no role whatsoever in operating the business? Would that demonstrate that she is not a small business owner?
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Meyer's position is consistent with the one he staked out during the debate, and that is that he is saying that he takes issue with Cartier's assertion that government doesn't do enough to help small and medium sized businesses. He's saying her business, the one that Cartier claims ownership of by merit of helping to build it and run it and by paying taxes on it, is a prime example of a business that has benefited by tapping into help provided by the government.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 02:39 AM
As someone who was impressed by Cartier's claim of being a mom, wife, and business owner, yes ... I'm very interested to know what Cartier's role was in helping to build and run the business. Was it giving her husband moral support? Was it helping to hire? Was it helping him with legal issues, as her role as agent might suggest? Was it doing the books, as spouses sometimes do for their wife or husband who can then focus on running the business? I've asked and I'm still not sure what the answer is. Perhaps it's unfortunate that this question came up in the context of a contentious debate. But this is not an attempt to play gotcha ... it's a sincere question ... now that she's established her basis for claiming ownership of the company (paying taxes), how did Cartier help build and run this business in a way that will help her represent the interests of small businesses if she's elected? And how does she respond to Meyer's assertion that her business is a prime example of one that benefited from government largesse, not once but twice as it struggled to pay its taxes and a contractor?
CAC October 25, 2012 at 02:55 AM
To feed into the notion that Cindy doesn't own a business because Ed asserts it and the Secretary of State doesn't have her name is nonsense. The Secretary of State does not require all owners to be listed. It is not dispositive of the issue. Ownership is established by looking at corporate documents and tax returns. You are merely perpetuating the rumor that Ed created and playing into his campaign. Ed doesn't have a record to run on so he has to throw stones. It's unfortunate that this news organization took the bait. I truly reflects poorly on the patch. As for Cindy's receiving state help, here's the irony: those very gas stations paid taxes to create that superfund. It's the industry's money to begin with, yet Senator Meyer voted to sweep those funds to cover the budget deficits in 2008, 2009 and 2010, thus the state left companies like Cindy's to fend for themselves. If you want a story, you should write about how Ed's voting has crushed business.
CAC October 25, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Ed doesn't have to take a position on her ownership anymore because you are doing it now. Don't you get it? He planted the seed and you went for it. You're doing his bidding now. Classic slime-ball move.
CAC October 25, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Pem, please stop writing. you're showing your stupidity. An agent for service merely receives summons and complaints on behalf of a corporate entity. If you really wanted to know what Cindy does for her business, just ask her, but to put it in the context of Ed's mudslinging immediately puts her on the defensive, which is a losing proposition. Why don't you ask Ed if he has beaten his wife lately? There is no difference. Don't act like you want to be probing reporter into a success story when you begin your probe in a pile of horse manure.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 03:25 AM
A company that received more than half a million dollars in loans and grants from the state and federal government was left to fend for itself? That might be an overstatement. Would it have been better for the state to raise taxes rather than sweep those accounts? Still, I understand it was a hardship for companies that counted on those funds not to receive it in a timely manner. And, the money eventually was released and was used by the Cartiers to expand their business. As for Cindy Cartier's ownership position, she answered that and she says her ownership is by merit of paying taxes on the company (if I read her comment correctly), rather than having a ownership position such as member, president, treasurer, or secretary.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 03:31 AM
I agree that Meyer's voting record is relevant and I reported in great detail what he said about it, and what Cartier said about it during the last debate. I reported every question posed by the moderator and the answers provided by the candidates. (http://madison-ct.patch.com/articles/mpoa-debate-prompts-dialogue-about-issues-of-importance-to-local-voters) Interestingly enough, the article about the last debate that received the most readership and commenting was not that one. It was the one about Meyer and Cartier debating about her ownership of the company, the tax lien, the support her company received from the government and whether that was at odds with her assertion that government doesn't do enough to help business. (http://madison-ct.patch.com/articles/docile-debate-turns-raucus-as-candidates-trade-allegations-barbs) That suggests the issue is of some interest and importance to at least some voters, hence my interest in trying to clarify something that wasn't clear to me walking out of the last debate, and something I was not able to clarify in the earlier story, which was Cartier's specific role with the companies we were discussing.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 03:36 AM
@ CAC: You said: "An agent for service merely receives summons and complaints on behalf of a corporate entity. If you really wanted to know what Cindy does for her business, just ask her ... " I did.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM
OK. Comments going back on moderation. Unsubstantiated attacks from anonymous sources making salacious claims are not welcome. If you have a specific unsubstantiated claim about one of the candidates that you think reflects on his or her ability to serve as state senator, you are welcome to send it to me via email at pem.mcnerney@patch.com and I will check it out, if you can provide me with enough information to indicate there is some sort of substance to the claim.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 12:43 PM
From CAC: CAC 6:16 am on Thursday, October 25, 2012 Cindy is merely trying to demonstrate her ownership by telling you that they file joint taxes. I know the family. They are a tight knit hard working family who all pitch in at the gas station to help develop and operate it. Ed's attacks were very baseless and predatory and should not have served as a springboard for news. What's next? Are the Democrats going to make her prove that those two children living in her house are hers?
Fred October 25, 2012 at 02:27 PM
You are mixing apples and oranges -- “president, treasurer, or secretary” is not an "ownership position” in a company. A company's owners often play no role in its management, and a company’s officers often have no equity stake in the company.
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Good point. And that's one reason why I was asking. After I left the debate the other night, I was not clear on what exactly Cartier's relationship was to the company. If she's not an owner and doesn't help to run the company, Meyer's questions and assertions are still interesting, but less relevant to her campaign, perhaps.
CAC October 25, 2012 at 07:33 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/17/nyregion/jim-surdoval-politician-dealmaker-convicted-felon.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm Another old friend agreed. ''Have you looked into the number of men that boy was involved with?'' asked J. Edward Meyer, who retired in April after 23 years on the New York State Board of Regents. ''Talking to Jim's lawyer, the young man was the heavy in this situation.'' Mr. Meyer, a onetime State Assemblyman, has known Mr. Surdoval for almost 25 years. When Mr. Surdoval was 18, he helped with Mr. Meyer's unsuccessful campaign for Congress. (''He made suggestions about the people I should meet, the events I should attend and the demographics of the city,'' Mr. Meyer said.) Now in private practice as a lawyer, Mr. Meyer said he was not surprised Mr. Surdoval's career had not been thwarted by the charges against him. ''Regardless of his sexual problems, he's a person who brings to the table some substantial issues,'' Mr. Meyer said. http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/j.+edward+meyer+anti-abortion/
Fred October 25, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I don't understand the possible relevance what Sen. Meyers is saying. Ms. Cartier, a small business owner, asserts that Connecticut has an inhospitable climate for business. As I understand it, after Ms. Cartier's company bought a certain parcel, toxicity was discovered in the soil, the State directed the company to clean up the site and gave the company a grant to do so. There is no indication that Ms. Cartier or anyone else at the company knew about the toxicity before purchasing the property, and certainly no indication that the company had any role in creating the condition. How does this undermine Ms. Cartier's claim that Connecticut is inhospitable to business? How is this possibly relevant to Ms. Cartier's candidacy?
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 09:55 PM
In a story published today in the Branford Seven, Cartier provides additional information about her role in the family business: "For tax and legal reasons, the business run by Cartier and her husband is in his name alone, and their personal home is in her name alone. Cartier stated she handles the books and physically works at the locations on a regular basis. This is incredibly common, as having the business and home is separate names protects the home from business debt and legal actions. Cartier stated that she and her husband “file a joint tax return and pay taxes together on the business. But, more importantly, we have stood shoulder to shoulder for five years helping to build and run the business together. We are legally incorporated as an LLC under my husband’s name, just as hundreds if not thousands of other family-owned small businesses are. I call myself a small business owner because I am.” "
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Here is the link to that story: http://www.branfordseven.com/news/state/article_1edc204c-1ec8-11e2-8abc-001a4bcf6878.html
Bunker October 25, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I wonder if the New York Times is substantiated enough for this reporter?
Ellen October 26, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Pem inserts herself into the discussion again. Yet, this time, she fancies herself a "gotcha" reporter. You are very transparent, and very irritating. And I mean it in the most disagreeable way
Pem McNerney (Editor) October 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM
And I would like to kindly suggest that you go back and read what I wrote. Because you didn't get it right the first time.
Bunker October 26, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Have you contacted the Senator about the New York Times article? I'm interested to know if he still blames the victim of a convicted child rapist?

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