GRAY — Three candidates are competing for a seat on the Gray Water District Board of Trustees, while all other local races on the June ballot are uncontested.

Mitchell Berkowitz and Zhenya Shevchenko are challenging incumbent Michael Lessard for a five-year term on the board.

Lessard has been doing automated control work for Poland Spring for 30 years and believes his experience makes him a strong candidate for the position.

He said he tends to vote somewhat conservatively when it comes to purchasing because he is “looking at long-term plans.”

One issue Gray is facing, he said, is the cleanliness of water sources: “If something’s outdated, it should be replaced. We are trying everything to protect our water source and find new water sources. The biggest thing I stand for is water quality.”

Berkowitz has decades of experience serving as a town and city manager in Bridgton and Gray and in Colchester, Vermont and Berlin, New Hampshire.

The jobs “allow me to keep in touch with an interest in the water district and how that, and its long-term plans, will fit with the town itself and its comprehensive plan,” he said.

Berkowitz has experience with “budgeting, capital improvement and comprehensive planning experience” but because he does not have any experience with the water district, he said there will be “a learning curve.”

“I’ll find out what’s in place now and work with the other trustee members and see where they want to go,” he said.

Shevchenko is the chief operator of the Wastewater Treatment Facility in Oxford and said he “(knows) the utility from the inside out.”

“I think I have enough experience in running the utility and I know the needs of the utility. The assets really are underground, but they need to be taken care of if you want to have a sustainable supply of water,” he said.

Shevchenko said he will “look 20 to 50 years ahead” to ensure the sustainability of Gray’s water.

“I will be very helpful to make sure that utility will be sustainable and will be servicing citizens of Gray for a long time with good water,” he said.

All other races in Gray are uncontested. Anne Gass is running for a three-year seat on the Town Council. Incumbents Will Burrow and Amy Stone are running for two three-year seats on the SAD15 Board of Directors. Incumbent Dorothy Barton is running for the balance of a three-year term on the Board of Directors to expire June 2021. Shad Hall is running for the balance of a three-year term on the Board to expire June 2020.

The election will be held June 11.

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected]




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