Five of six candidates for three openings on the Bucksport Town Council participated in a forum at the Bucksport High School library Oct. 23. They include Paul Bissonnette, Dan Harlan, David Kee, James Morrison and Dan Ormsby. Candidate Glenn Findlay could not attend. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

Council candidates gather in Bucksport

BUCKSPORT — Voters have six candidates to choose from for three vacancies on the Bucksport Town Council.

Voting is Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Jewett School. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The terms of Paul Rabs, Paul Gauvin and David Kee are expiring, but Kee is the only incumbent seeking re-election.

Also in the running are Paul Bissonnette, Dan Harlan, Dan Ormsby, James Morrison and Glenn Findlay.

Five of the six candidates (Findlay was unable to attend) gathered for a forum hosted by The Bucksport Enterprise at the Bucksport High School library on Oct. 23.

Elm Street Congregational Church Pastor Stephen York of Verona Island moderated the forum.

The candidates gave brief introductions.

Kee is seeking a fourth term on the council.

“It’s been one of the greatest pleasures of my life and certainly my public life,” Kee said.

Kee would like to continue Bucksport’s current success.

“We have a great town manager,” Kee said, referring to Susan Lessard.

He also noted Bucksport’s mill rate of 16.3.

“That’s lower than Belfast or Ellsworth,” he said. “We had a rainy day fund of $8 million after the [Verso paper] mill closed. We still have $6.6 million of that remaining after four years.”

Bissonette said he has lived in Bucksport for 20 years and is a University of Maine graduate.

Bissonnette has served the town for over 10 years in various capacities, including on its board of appeals and school board in addition to the Regional School Unit 25 (RSU 25) Board.

Bissonnette said he has been active in Little League and Boy Scouts as well.

“I have a reputation for getting people to work together,” Bissonnette said. “I was captain of my high school baseball team, but I certainly wasn’t the best player.”

Former Bucksport Police Officer Dan Harlan has lived in the town for over 20 years. He has an associate degree in criminal justice from Beal College and is a Hancock County deputy sheriff.

Harlan said he wants to give back to Bucksport for all the support it provided his family with his youngest son, Dalton, who was born with special needs.

Harlan said his wife, Crystal, has owned a business on Main Street so he understands the challenges Main Street faces.

“I want to help our Main Street,” Harlan said. “I want to help our marina. I want to help our mill site. I appreciate your vote and I will bring common-sense decision-making and be an asset to the community.”

Dan Ormsby, who is dean of students for Regional School Unit 20 (RSU 20) in Searsport, said he has a bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and a master’s degree in education.

“This position is fast-paced,” Ormsby said of his job in Searsport. “There’s a lot that goes with it. What I do there correlates to what I’ll have to do on the Town Council.”

“I’ll be a driven force for economic development activities,” Ormsby said. “I’ll work as a team with the other members.

“I want to be able to give back to the town that’s given so much to me.”

Morrison is a former Planning Board member.

He has an issue with the frequency of ordinance changes in Bucksport and thinks there should be “fresh faces” on the council.

“I’ve watched the council very closely,” Morrison said. “I’m opposed to the way they treat the codes for the most part. It seems to be that if it doesn’t fit the present council, they change it.

“I think it’s important that’s what rules us — not the council — the codes.”

Findlay said he could not attend the forum due to prior commitments.

Findlay, who has previously served as town councilor, said he was running to give the council “support and to keep the town going in the same direction.”

Findlay is retired from the paper mill. He had been an industrial power engineer.

The Bucksport native also has served on the Planning Board and in the Fire Department.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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