Two candidates are on the Nov. 2 ballot to fill a vacated seat on the Casco Select Board.

Tuan Nguyen and Eugene Connolly are running to replace Tom Peaslee, who resigned from the board in July, and fill his remaining term until June 2022.

Nguyen, who is 44 and grew up in Casco, said if elected, he will “help bring the town into 2021.”

The town can get better at communication, Nguyen said, and should take advantage of tools like social media to keep residents engaged and up-to-date about what various town departments are doing.

“A lot of people my age don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

Because of that, “taxpayers feel blindsided by projects that the town has to pay for when they don’t see it coming,” he said.

For example, the reopening of Crooked River Elementary School took longer than it should have because the district’s needs weren’t effectively communicated to the public, he said. Nguyen said he would support better communication between the town and school district.

Nguyen also said he would prioritize working on an updated comprehensive plan. Opportunities for Casco to grow should be assessed, he said.

“Casco is missing opportunities to bring in business,” Nguyen said. “If you want to go out to eat, you’re not planning on going somewhere in Casco, or there’s limited options.”

Missing out on business opportunities means missing out on new jobs as well, Nguyen said. A Windham-based biotech company considered opening a site in Casco, he said, but chose to settle in Cumberland instead because of an atmosphere more welcoming to business. 

“We need to plan ahead so that we don’t end up with growth that we don’t want,” Nguyen said.

While promoting growth, Nguyen said the town should be smart about it and “plan ahead so we don’t end up with growth that we don’t want.” He would also prioritize maintaining many of the features that make the town what it is, such as its open space and outdoor recreational opportunities as well as “not being a city or suburb.”

Connolly did not respond to a numerous requests for an interview before the Lakes Region Weekly’s deadline.

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