PLACE OF RESIDENCY: Topsham

PARTY AFFILIATION: Unenrolled

PREVIOUS ELECTED EXPERIENCE: Topsham Selectman 2013-present

Why are you running for the board of selectmen?

The simple answer is because I’ve been asked to run again, the longer answer is I feel I have unfinished business. This past year alone we have negotiated new union contracts that save the town tens of thousands of dollars per year along with savings to our town employees in their health care premiums. The town manager along with board input has put together a capital improvement plan that projects out for many years our needs and costs and is very proactive in it’s approach and not reactive which more or less has been the plan in past years. This allows us to see when we will need to purchase police cruisers, ambulances, fire trucks, plows etc and provide the services people expect. While this in itself is nothing extraordinary, it brings a much needed stability to the process and allows us to plan better fiscally. A lot of work went into these areas and I would like to see them through. But, these are only two areas of many that a lot of excellent work has been performed. Also, the town is in excellent shape fiscally, which allows us to borrow at lower rates. Finally, the town is evaluating some projects that would incur an upfront cost but could yield significant savings in future years if implemented. Again, I would like to be part of that process.

What is the biggest challenge facing Topsham in the next three years and how should the town address it?

Topsham is growing and we need to make sure we grow in a controlled sustainable way. The Topsham Fair Mall is attracting new business despite the departures of some companies(which were strictly business decisions). Growth puts pressure on services which will eventually have to expand. The town needs to balance the cost of increased services along while keeping taxpayer in mind. What also plays into this is state revenue sharing. It was a blessing and a curse as it allowed towns to to make capital purchases in the past but hid the true cost. Topsham went from over $1,000,000 to about $400,000 and the threat of that going away is very real every year. We now have to raise the money through taxation which obviously affects the tax rate. 

In your opinion, what makes Topsham a good place to live and how would you work to improve that?

Topsham’s location is perfect for those who are looking for a bedroom community. We have the expanding mall area, excellent schools with a new high school in the planning stages, an excellent and dedicated town staff. We are fortunate to have dedicated volunteers on the many town committees that help preserve and shape the character of the town. We have expanding recreation efforts as seen in the new bike path being completed along the Rt.196 bypass and a new walking trail that is being built in the downtown village area.We have an excellent recreation department. While some would consider these to be frivolous, these are some of the things people, particularly families, look at when they are looking for a new place to call home. My goal for the next 3 years would to continue to look at ways that make Topsham an attractive place for families to call home and businesses to move to.



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