In the running: Five candidates vie for Gouldsboro Select Board



In Gouldsboro, longtime Selectman Ernie West is stepping down and Selectman Wally Moore is running again. Vying for those two three-year seats are: Moore, Peter McKenzie, Paul Shoemaker, Chris Uruqhart and Jackie Weaver. On the Planning Board, incumbents Deborah Bisson, Jeff Grant and Ray Jones are again running unopposed, respectively, for a one-year and two three-year terms. Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Recreation Center at 679 Pond Road (Route 195) in Gouldsboro. The annual Town Meeting will follow at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the Peninsula School in Prospect Harbor.

Walter “Wally” Moore

WALLY MOORE

Hometown: West Gouldsboro

Occupation: construction, paving

Major concerns: town infrastructure, attracting employers to town, cost of living, affordable housing and daycare for working people.

American Aquafarms project: Supports the Planning Board’s work to strengthen town regulations to better control large-scale industry’s impact on town resources. “We need that to protect ourselves,” he says. However, he believes if American Aquafarms was prepared to spend $3.640 million to buy the former Maine Fair Trade Lobster property, “they should be able to do something there. I just want to see that property working again.”

New business idea: Rock-crushing facility to supply gravel and stone to contractors. He notes the town’s rocky terrain and abundance of ledge.

Public shorefront access: “I think there should be more accessibility for people to get to the shore.”

Municipal workforce: He says the town is adequately staffed and town employees “are doing a good job.”

 

Chris C. Urquhart

CHRIS URQUART

Hometown: Gouldsboro village of Corea

Occupation: Fourth-generation lobsterman

Major concerns: Ensuring local working people have an advocate, a voice in town affairs. He says it seems some move here “to get away from where they were and make here into what they had.” The town’s waning year-round population is another issue. He says, “You once could go through Corea in the winter and there would be lights on at 5 or 6 p.m.” Nowadays, he says the village is largely dark at dusk. Favors chipping away at municipal road-repaving. “It’s better to do a quarter of a mile than wait two years for prices to go down. If it is on a rotational basis, it seems the roads wouldn’t get so bad.”

American Aquafarms project: He remains undecided about the Norwegian company’s previous plan to process 66 million pounds of fish at its newly acquired Prospect Harbor facility. He is open to and sees aquaculture as an alternative occupation or sideline for local lobstermen grappling with current and more right whale-related regulations expected in coming years.

Municipal workforce: He thinks town employees are doing a good job and has not heard any complaints.

 

Jackie E. Weaver

JACKIE WEAVER

Hometown: Gouldsboro village of Birch Harbor

Occupation: Retired journalist. The Ellsworth American’s Schoodic area reporter for nine years. “All those nine years, I was listening to issues at the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board. I learned a lot from the debate and decision-making, so the process and concerns are very familiar to me.”

Major concerns: Addressing the elderly and local youth’s needs and protecting the area’s fishing heritage and natural resources. That’s why she co-founded Friends of Schoodic Peninsula and is on the Frenchman Bay United board.

American Aquafarms project: Opposing the industrial-scale salmon farm and processing plant operation has educated her about wastewater discharge, water usage, fossil-fuel consumption and other issues and better equipped her to consider future development at the former Maine Fair Trade Lobster facility or elsewhere in town. A boat repair and storage yard, marina for both commercial fishing vessels and pleasure craft and marine trades-training program are among the suitable ideas she has heard for the formant Prospect Harbor facility. She says such activities would help further the town’s largely marine-related economy.

Municipal workforce: “I have always thought Gouldsboro was a well-run town,” she says. Voters’ actions included. “I believe in the eclectic wisdom of people at town meeting. Whenever everybody gets together, I think they make good decisions.” She does think the Police Department’s one part-time police officer should be made full-time to make the town sufficiently staffed.

 

Peter McKenzie

Hometown: Birch Harbor village

Personal statement from May 2022 issue of Gouldsboro Newsletter:

“I am a lifelong resident of the town of Gouldsboro. I, with the support of the community, would appreciate the opportunity to be part of moving Gouldsboro forward. I also am against the American Aquafarms proposal for Frenchman’s Bay.”

 

Paul Shoemaker

PAUL SHOEMAKER

Hometown: Gouldsboro

Occupation: Commercial real estate investor. Having served previously on the Oregon city of Medford’s Planning Commission, he is knowledgeable about land use planning and development and related regulations. Favors diversifying the local economy, lessening extraction of natural resources such as logging and fishing and seeking year-round employers that offer an alternative to seasonal, tourism-related work.

American Aquafarms: He opposes the industrial-scale farm because the unknown, long-term environmental impact on Frenchman Bay. He says the operation poses too great a threat of harming Frenchman Bay and the livelihood of fishermen who have worked those waters for generations. He also is concerned about spoiling the inlet’s scenic beauty that draws millions of visitors to the area and Acadia National Park.

Reason for running: Is concerned few younger people are participating in town affairs and stepping up to succeed long-serving town officials. “We live in a political system where we are afforded the privilege of serving,” he noted. “That privilege, should not be taken for granted.” He sees the mounting cost of education as another major issue that the Select Board must grapple with.

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