NEW GLOUCESTER — Peter Bragdon and Paul Larrivee are running for one three-year seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Incumbent Joe Davis did not seek reelection. The election is July 14.

Bragdon, chairman of the Budget Committee, said that the budget is the town’s biggest challenge right now.

After a lengthy process that included several weeks of back and forth between the board and the town manager, the Selectboard last week approved an $8 million town budget for the next fiscal year.

The town also needs a more robust long-term plan, especially with the upcoming revaluation and capital improvements, such as the planned Stevens Brook project on the Chandler family land.

“We seem to be functioning year-to-year instead of having a plan and an end goal,” Bragdon said.

“The town is at a crossroads as to where they are going with services. We are at a point of, do we stay small or continue to move forward and provide more services?” he said.

As a Selectboard member, Bragdon said he would focus on making sure residents feel more involved in Selectboard decisions. When residents feel as if their voices are not adequately heard, it “causes tensions between the citizens and the board that doesn’t really need to happen,” he said.

New Gloucester should vote for him, Bragdon said, because “I believe I have proven myself … I believe I can find the middle ground, listen to people and bring a fair resolution to the table.”

Larrivee grew up in Gray, graduated from Gray-New Gloucester High School, studied Forestry at University of Maine at Orono and has lived in New Gloucester for 18 years now.

He said that even though this is his first time running for an elected position he has been involved in the town in many other capacities – from coaching baseball to serving as a Boy Scout leader.

The “budget crisis, especially related to COVID-19 and taxes,” is at the top of his priority list, he said.

In the long term, however, he wants to focus on land use issues as New Gloucester continues to grow.

“I’m a forester. I think we can have a balance of development and conservation of the land in the town. I think the town of New Gloucester has done a fabulous job with that … so continuing that balance throughout the community is going to be key to the future (of the town).”

Larrivee said that people should vote for him because “I do my homework,” and would bring a “fresh perspective” to the Board.

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