TOPSHAM — Topsham voters have three candidates to choose from to fill a pair of three-year seats on the board of selectmen.

David Douglass and Ruth Lyons are vying for reelection, while Yvette Meunier is making her first run for the board. Each candidate was recently asked about their bid for Topsham’s highest municipal office.

David M. Douglass Jr.

David M. Douglass Jr. works in sales and marketing for Reynolds Trade Marketing Services.

Times Record: If elected, what are your priorities as a member of the Board of Selectmen?

David M. Douglass Jr: As always, my top priority is the town’s budget and assuring we propose to spend the people’s money in a way they expect. Additionally, over the next three years, I will be placing my focus on exploring a conversion of the town’s streetlights to LED, exploring the level of interest from the citizens of a multi-generational community center and ensure recommendations from a recent Maine Chiefs of Police Association Review of the Topsham Police Department are implemented.

TR: What are the biggest challenges you believe the town faces in the next three years?

DD: I will preface this answer with it being dependent on any economic and social downturns due to the COVID-19 pandemic through the fall and winter. I continue to believe the town does not face challenges, but we have great opportunities to continue to lead from the front and balance expectations of a growing community while maintaining our small town and independent character.

TR: How would you involve Topsham residents in the decision-making for their town?

DD: It is my opinion Topsham is lucky to have its form of government involve the Town Meeting. Perhaps we have an opportunity to provide an education or review of the workings of Town Meeting and remove some of the mystery residents may perceive if they have not been exposed to this form of government in the past.

Ruth Lyons

Ruth Lyons is retired and formerly worked as Topsham’s town clerk.

Times Record: If elected, what are your priorities as a member of the Board of Selectmen?

Ruth Lyons: My priorities are always what is best for the citizens. Keeping up with needs of the community without overburdening them with taxes.

TR: What are the biggest challenges you believe the town faces in the next three years?

RL: The biggest challenges are maintaining the town’s needs with a reasonable spending budget. It could be difficult to know how COVID will impact the town’s revenue.

TR: How would you involve Topsham residents in the decision-making for their town?

RL: Holding neighborhood meetings, always be available to answer questions, encourage residents to volunteer for committees, and be open to suggestions for new ideas.

Yvette Meunier

Yvette Meunier is the promotional coordinator for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Times Record: If elected, what are your priorities as a member of the Board of Selectmen?

Yvette Meunier: Fostering more openness and support for residents who bring forward their ideas for a better Topsham is my top priority. As the newest board member, I would seek and encourage new ways to assist our residents, businesses, and the government in becoming more economically, socially and environmentally responsible.

TR: What are the biggest challenges you believe the town faces in the next three years?

YM: COVID-19 is not going away, and we need to do everything we can to keep students and teachers safe while providing businesses and families the resources they need to stay solvent during these times. As the income gap continues to expand, we need to keep housing costs down to attract and retain residents of all income levels through creation of more affordable and energy-efficient housing.

TR: How would you involve Topsham residents in the decision-making for their town?

YM: Increased citizen engagement is a must, and the town has many underutilized tools such as the town website, Facebook, YouTube, email lists, mailings, and Channel 3, through which we could engage citizens via polls, surveys, videos, and virtual neighborhood meetings. I would like to see the town create a communications plan to ensure we are adequately and effectively using the proper channels to best engage our citizens.

Topsham’s Nov. 3 general election has been relocated to the new Mt. Ararat High School gymnasium at 68 Eagles Way. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

There are five seats in total on the board.

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