A crowded field for the Gorham Town Council has six candidates for two seats.

Meanwhile, an incumbent School Committee member is the only candidate for that board, which also has two open seats.

In addition to electing public officials, Gorham voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to buy a new fire engine and make repairs to the former Little Falls School.

The field of council candidates includes a sales agent for a Realtor, a farmer, a college student, a business owner and a bank manager.

Shonn Moulton, who previously served one term on the council, is the only candidate with political experience.

Sherrie Benner, 52, a sales agent for Keller Williams, said being on the council has been a longtime goal.

She says the town must review its zoning and permitting rules and promote itself “as a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family” with an eye toward attracting more businesses to broaden the tax base.

Benjamin Hartwell, 32, a farmer and former sergeant in the Army National Guard, said he has “a burning desire” to serve on the council.

“I guess you could say it’s a sense of duty and simply doing what needs to be done to set a better future,” he said.

Hartwell says the town must decide whether it wants “to have agriculture play a (role) in the landscape of Gorham or turn into a bedroom community.”

Isaac Misiuk, 23, is studying political science at the University of Southern Maine. He didn’t respond to emailed questions about why he is running for the council.

Moulton, 36, who works in marketing, says his work experience would lend itself to helping market Gorham, letting the world know the town is “open for business,” he said.

The town can fully address its infrastructure and equipment needs only when its economy grows, said Moulton.

“We can no longer lean on the existing taxpayers, both the residents and businesses, that we currently have,” he said.

Edward Platts, 53, owner of Designer Blinds of Maine, said he would bring decorum, civility and professionalism to the council.

“I do not have an agenda … except that I want what is best for the town and its residents,” he said.

That means making sure they have the services they need, provided at an affordable tax rate, said Platts.

Bruce Roullard, 50, who has a master’s degree in business administration and is a retail sales manager in Bank of America’s mortgage division, wants to create “a comprehensive master plan that provides for long-term economic prosperity.”

As a USM alumnus, Roullard said, he can help “bridge the gap” between the college and the town.

The only person running for the Gorham School Committee, Darryl Wright, has served on that board for the past 16 months.

Wright, 36, is married and has 11- and 7-year-old daughters. He is a vice president for People’s United Bank.

In two referendum questions, Gorham voters will be asked whether to spend $450,000 to buy a new fire engine and $500,000 to make repairs to the former Little Falls School.

Town Manager David Cole said the fire engine would replace the second of two that were taken out of service about a year ago. Residents voted in June to replace one. In place of the decommissioned trucks, which were 26 and 30 years old, the town has been using trucks on loan from Portland and Standish.

Cole said the needed work to maintain the Little Falls School includes repairing the roof, the heating system and the windows. He said the council hasn’t indicated what services or programs the former school would house. It has been home to recreation programs and a senior center, which have been preparing to move to make way for a new public safety building.

In recent months, the council changed course on its plan to address public safety needs. It is now considering a renovation of its public safety building on Main Street.

The council voted in August to ask residents on Nov. 6 whether to spend as much as $4 million on that renovation, but decided in September to put the vote off until June, Cole said.

 

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at:

[email protected]