On Tuesday, June 8, voters will consider five candidates vying for two open seats on the Gouldsboro Board of Selectmen. Selectman Cheri Robinson is not seeking re-election while incumbent Chris Urquhart is running for another three-year term. Also running for selectman are Deborah Bisson, Robert Harmon, Danny Mitchell Jr. and Johnathan Renwick. Susan Dickson-Smith of West Gouldsboro and Sara Liscomb of Gouldsboro are running for a three-year seat, vacated by Alison Johnson, on the Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) Board. Jay Higgins of Corea is running unopposed for another three-year term on the Planning Board.
Deborah Bisson, Prospect Harbor
Skills and experience: Works as an administrative assistant at the Ella Lewis School in Steuben. Previously worked at Schoodic Institute, where she helped create the organization’s human resource department. Has been a real estate agent and holds degrees and has worked in business administration, human resource management, budgeting, finance and fundraising. Heads the town’s Comprehensive Plan Update Committee and serves on the Budget Committee and Planning Board.
Reason for running: Sees a need for greater vision to sustain the town in the future. Aims to seek new revenue sources to keep taxes low. “We need board members who go the extra mile to become well informed and think about how decisions will affect the town before voting.”
Keep the town’s police force? Yes, but voters need to know all options and facts before making an informed decision.
Robert Harmon, Corea
Skills and experience: Robert and his wife, Donna, own Schoodic Curbside Recycling. He runs the town’s curbside pickup and she operates the transfer station. For 20 years, he worked at Bath Iron Works, managing the shipyard’s computer service and repair department. That job entailed overseeing personnel and maintenance of 20,000 electronic devices. He also operated his own construction/excavation business for decades.
Reason for running: His chief concern is rising taxes and questions whether the town needs such a large workforce that costs $11,000 to $12,000 per week. The frequent turnover of town managers, police chiefs and other personnel is another concern.
Keep the town’s police force? Yes. But he favors reducing the Police Department’s size.
Danny Mitchell Jr., South Gouldsboro
Skills and experience: Has been Winter Harbor police chief since 2016, attended the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and holds degrees in information technology and public safety administration. At The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, he worked as a supervisor, managing a full-time security staff and overseeing security at the Lab’s Sacramento, Calif., facility. Has worked in law enforcement in Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor for 30 years.
Reason for running: Has a genuine interest in helping the town with a common-sense approach to leadership and personnel management.
Keep the town’s police force? Yes. He supports the Gouldsboro Police Department and selectmen’s search for a new police chief. However, he recommends reducing the police force to two officers and conducting background checks on applicants for the police chief’s job.
Johnathan Renwick, Wonsqueak Harbor
Skills and experience: Works as a lobster fisherman and a marine worm harvester. In recent years, he has advocated for worm harvesters, researching and speaking out on various bills before the Maine Legislature through the Maine Marine Worm Harvesters Association. He has served as a head coach and assistant coach in soccer and baseball for local schoolchildren. Has also worked with Boy Scouts and youth church groups. Proficient at public speaking and advocacy work.
Reason for running: Wishes to contribute his skills thoroughly studying issues and potential action and their intended consequences but also “unintended consequences” for the town.
Keep the town’s police force? Highly regards both the local police force and sheriff’s office. He would need to know the specific costs and services provided before choosing between the two. “At this time, it is enough for me to say I support the police everywhere. They have a tough but necessary job.”
Chris Urquhart, Corea
Skills and experience: Works as a lobster fisherman. Has served as selectman for three years and previously served as an alternate on the Planning Board.
Reason for running: “I like to think I can compromise if and when I need to.”
Keep the town’s police force? Yes. He believes townspeople want local police coverage. “If the town wants one [police force], then I am OK with their decision. We are there to do what the voters want. Within budget restrictions.”