Campaigning for a three-year term on the town council, Phil Csoros said citizens are concerned about property taxes, taxpayer bill of rights and town spending.

Csoros, 40, said the people want fiscal conservative leadership. He said he would take wise decision-making, good judgment and discernment to a seat on the council.

He is one of four candidates for two council seats. His opponents are Brenda Caldwell, Dave Homa and Shonn Moulton.

Property taxes are too high in Gorham, he said, hitting hard farmers who own large land tracts but don’t demand services.

Farmers also fear, he said, that the council, which passed a transfer-of-development-rights measure with denser housing along sewer lines, might consider increasing lot sizes in the rural areas. He said that would “drive down” the value of rural land.

But Csoros favored keeping the existing rural lot size. “It’s their retirement plan,” he said about the farmers’ land.

Csoros, a pilot for American Airlines, is a proponent of bringing in new business, relieving the tax burden for homeowners. He wants to make Maine a business-friendly state, starting at the local level. He is a member of the Gorham Economic Development Corp., which has been instrumental in attracting new businesses to Gorham.

He said Gorham has given tax breaks to companies. He pointed to Nappi Distributors, which is bringing jobs to Gorham and registering its trucks in town.

The council should evaluate each request for a tax break on a case-by-case basis to evaluate what the town would get in return, he said, and whether the business would be likely to stay in town.

He said the town would benefit from the proposed asphalt plant. “Build the asphalt plant and build it soon,” he said.

The plant would provide jobs and the town, state and other customers would benefit from the increased local competition. He doesn’t believe the asphalt plant would be harmful. “This has minimal environmental impact,” Csoros said.

Csoros isn’t convinced that the Taxpayer Bill of Rights referendum question is the right answer to control spending increases. “TABOR is inflexible,” he said.

If the measure passed, a local referendum that would cost $5,000 would be required for the town if it needed spending approval. He said TABOR has the potential of allowing a small minority of voters to steer the town.

He said the solution is electing fiscally conservative candidates. “I want people to elect councilors they can trust,” he said. “Trusting them with the budget.”

If TABOR passes, he said it has the potential to halt the southern bypass. Csoros said the bypass wouldn’t eliminate all traffic woes. He called the southern bypass a “half measure.”

He said the solution should have been a regional one because Gorham’s traffic problems don’t originate in town. “We need a loop around this town,” he said.

Csoros has a bachelor of science degree in aircraft engineering technology and a master’s in international relations. He is a student at Walden University, pursuing a dual master’s in business administration and public administration.

He and his wife Tammy have four children, Mark, 7; twins Constance and Elaine, 4; and James, 1. They live on Black Brook Road.

Cutline (Phil Csoros)

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