BUCKSPORT — The year 2010 promises to be one of change for town government with the expected retirement of Town Manager Roger Raymond and the departure of three veteran council members.
Mayor Lisa Whitney and fellow councilors Joel Wardwell and Robert Carmichael Sr. have decided not to run for re-election in November. Four newcomers to municipal office will run for the three available seats on the seven-member council.
Those elected will take office in January.
The candidates were asked about the challenges facing Bucksport and what they would due to address them if elected.
Job: Equipment operator at Wardwell Construction & Trucking
If Elected: “I’m sure one of the challenges that is coming up is finding a new town manager,” Carter said. As to other issues facing future council members, he added, “I’ll take them as they come.”
Job: Substance abuse interventionist. Retired lawyer and a founding partner of the law firm Fellows, Kee, Tymoczko & Pierson. Kee was twice elected Hancock County attorney and formerly represented the town of Bucksport.
If Elected: Fiscal stability is foremost in Kee’s mind as he makes his council bid. “There are obviously the economic challenges because of the possible elimination of the excise tax and TABOR II,” he said. He added that appointing a new town manager and negotiating his/her contract would be a significant task. He would also like the council to discuss further the possibility of creating a Fire Department substation to service rural parts of town.
Job: Instructional designer at Verso Paper
If Elected: “Probably the most important thing we would have to look at as a council is selecting a new town manager,” said Leeman. He said he would also like to develop more retail shopping in town and attract high-tech industry. Leeman, who is vice president of the Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society, would also like to see finishing touches made at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center.
Byron S. Vinton III
Job: Retired Bucksport Public Safety dispatch supervisor.
If Elected: Vinton said Bucksport needs to continue its history of being fiscally prudent and that councilors should work closely with Regional School Unit 25 on the school budget when possible. Since consolidation, the council no longer has authority over the school budget. Vinton said selecting a new town manager and exploring energy alternatives would be other important council tasks.
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