The town of Standish has 12 open municipal positions this election season, although only one position is contested. Voters in Standish will elect their municipal officers by secret ballot on June 14.

Greg Sirpis and Bill Orr are running for a single, at-large, three-year term on the Town Council, a seat held by Lester Ordway, who is not running for re-election. The Lakes Region Weekly asked both candidates about their backgrounds and their interest in running for town council.

Orr, a 20-year resident of Standish, said he is running because he thinkis “there is a lot of misdirection from existing councilors, and I want to keep trying to break that problem.”

Orr, now retired, was the vice president of operations at Frost King, a New Jersey-based weather stripping manufacturing company, a job he said gave him management experience that will guide his decisions on the town council.

Orr said he has kept up with Town Council affairs and “attended a lot of meetings.”

Orr ran for an at-large council seat last summer, but lost by 15 votes to Kimberly Pomerleau.

One of his major concerns, Orr said, “is the constant expansion of debt in town.” The town has had “constant borrowing going on for years, and it never gets paid down.”

Orr said he would not endorse spending on capital projects similar to those on the June 14 ballot.

He also wants to address the process by which the town approves changes to ordinances.

Sirpis said he is running for council because he wants the town to balance business development and community.

“I hate to use the analogy of North Windham,” he said, “but a lot of folks don’t want their town to become like a North Windham.”

As a former president of the Portland Elks Lodge, Sirpis said he has served in a number of leadership roles and managed large budgets. Sirpis is the retail marketing manager for Cabela’s sporting goods store, and has served on the town’s Appeals Board for about two years, he said.

Sirpis said he is also concerned about keeping costs low for seniors, and the rising costs of education.

“Education is one of the more important things a community faces, but you have to make some decisions about what is a necessity and what will give you the most return on investment.”

Sirpis said he will provide “a fresh new approach to how to be a town councilor.”

Michael Delcourt is running uncontested for the Area 3 Town Council seat held by Council Chairwoman Lynn Olson, who has reached the end of her term limit. Steven Nesbitt, who was appointed to the at-large seat on the council until 2016, will run uncontested for another one-year term on the council.

Carol Billington is running uncontested for re-election to the Planning Board’s Area 4 seat, and Cynthia Beckwith is running for a one-year Area 3 seat.

Alan Dube, Paul Mosley and Philip Pomerleau are running for three positions on the School Administrative District 6 board.

There are no candidates running for three open seats on the Budget Committee, nor for a single vacant Planning Board seat. According to Town Clerk Mary Chapman, the council will make appointments for the vacant seats that would last the next election.

Standish to vote on $1.6M bond, $48.1M school budget

On Tuesday, June 14, voters in Standish will cast their ballot on a $1.6 million bond referendum and a $48.1 million school budget referendum.

At the town meeting on Saturday, June 18, residents will have the opportunity to vote on the municipality’s proposed $8.45 million budget.

The budget represents a $234,752 increase, or 2.8 percent, from this fiscal year. The increase is partly attributed to expenditures on a new police cruiser and a number of capital improvement projects.

The property tax rate, if the budget is approved, would increase by 6 cents, to $12.85 total. There is a 5 cent increase due to municipal spending, and a 1 cent increase from county spending.

The $1.6 million bond referendum would fund three major capital improvement projects. The town has approximately $4.6 million in outstanding bonds.

Question 1 on the ballot asks about spending $428,000 ($472,430 including estimated interest over 10 years) on equipment for the fire department, including a new fire engine, turnout gear and dry hydrants.

Fire Chief Rob Caron said the new fire truck, if approved, will replace a 30-year fire engine. The new truck would have a 2,000-gallon tank, Caron said, double the water capacity of the town’s 30-year-old engine. The new turnout gear – coats, pants, boots and helmets for the firefighters – will replace gear purchased in 2006. Caron said firefighter gear has “a 10-year shelf-life.”

The fire department is also looking to purchase dry hydrants, which are placed in ponds and streams. Caron said the hydrants are needed because “more people are moving away from our water supplies, so we are shuttling more water around.” The hydrants would be placed at River Road, Josie’s Brook at Saco Road, and two other locations around town.

Question 2 seeks 289,000 ($319,000 including estimated interest) for improvements to Standish Memorial Park off of Route 25.  Johnson Field ballfields improvements and tennis court resurfacing are also included.

According to Parks and Recreation Director Jen DeRice, the town is looking to build a second access point to the park off of Diamond Lane, using land approved for purchase by the voters last year. Funds approved by the bond would go toward constructing additional parking and introducing a new baseball diamond and multi-purpose fields at the site.

The multi-purpose fields would house soccer in the fall, but will be open to other sports, as well, DeRice said.

At Johnson Field, the parks department is looking to convert the baseball field to two Little League fields. The Babe Ruth league, which previously used the field, has not played for the past few years, “and Little League is growing and their field use is up without enough locations to play,” DeRice said.

The tennis courts at Johnson Field would be resurfaced with a 1-inch paved overlay, according to DeRice. The department also is looking to paint lines on the tennis courts for pickleball, a newly popular sport played on a slightly smaller court using wooden paddles, DeRice said.

Finally, Question 3 seeks $738,395 ($815,046 including estimated interest) for resurfacing at the transfer station and road improvements on a number of roads in town, including Bonny Eagle Road and Chadbourne Road.

The parking lot at the transfer station hasn’t been paved in more than two decades, according to Town Manager Gordy Billington.

The Town Office in Standish on Northeast Road.

A closer look

Voting on Tuesday, June 14, takes place at the Standish Municpal Center from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

The Annual Town Meeting to vote on the municipal budget takes place Saturday, June 18 at 9 a.m.


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