2007 March 9
Perry voters will go to the polls on Monday, March 26, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. to elect municipal officials for several positions. The election includes a two-way race for selectman, two seats for the school committee and three seats for the planning board.
Two residents, H. Richard Adams and Austin Frost, are running for one three-year term on the board of selectmen. The candidates were asked to respond to the same list of questions.
Dick Adams, who is running for re-election, has served as a Perry selectman over the past three years. Adams had served as a selectman in the past and also as a school committee member for almost 30 years. He served 40 years on the Perry Volunteer Fire Department and was a long-time planning board member. He also served on the Eastport Health Center board of directors as a member and as president. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He is married to Cynthia Adams and has two children.
Why are you running for selectman? "I want to see this through, all the items and issues that we've been working on. We've been looking into sharing an administrator for Perry, Pembroke and Charlotte. With all the state regulations, we need one. The paperwork has become overwhelming, and it's also a move that will be more accommodating for people to go to a central office, to register your car, pay a bill and would make it a lot easier."
Are you for or against the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG liquefied natural gas terminal and facilities for Split Rock and Perry? "Yes, I am for it. It would help our economy greatly. We don't have much here for jobs, and I think it would lower our tax base."
Are you for or against the proposed financial framework agreement between Quoddy Bay LNG and the Town of Perry? "Yes. I think that it's the best that we could get. In Massachusetts, one town received $23 million over a period of time that also compensated fishermen, but the state controls all that. This is a one time deal that over a 25-year period will be a lot for us, to include the $1 million offer for the school. It amounts to about $130 or $140 million altogether."
Should the selectmen be more open to the concerns of citizens? "We are very open to citizens at every meeting. The selectmen have attended every meeting, we have never missed a meeting, and we have included public participation during meetings."
What other issues should the selectmen be concerned about over the next three years? "Schools. I am not in total agreement with Governor Baldacci's LSRS [Local Schools, Regional Support] plan. I do believe that consolidation may come in time, but I do not believe in cutting down totally local control in our school districts. I was in favor of consolidation with Robbinston and Perry [elementary schools] at one time, but it never happened."
"The Town of Perry has finally gone computerized. This saves on time and paperwork for citizens and selectmen. Also, now people can go on the town's website to get information on tax maps and property locations. We still have a ways to go with this. We have been talking with Judy East of the Washington Council of Governments about a comprehensive plan for Perry and Pembroke, and the county is thinking about going digital with these tax maps, so in the future Perry residents can look forward to this new system that is in the works."
Also running for selectman is Austin Frost. Frost has served on the Building Committee and the Equipment Committee in the Town of Perry. He is married to Geneva Duncan-Frost and has four children.
Why are you running for selectman? "I was requested to by Perry citizens. I accepted because I want to keep things more local."
Are you for or against the proposed Quoddy Bay LNG liquefied natural gas terminal and facilities for Split Rock and Perry? "Against it, because of where they want to place it. I am not against the industry itself; I just don't think that is the right place for it. Also, I want people to know that I am not running for selectman to stop it. I believe in listening to equal views about it. My feeling is if it goes through with the permits in place, it goes through. I would prefer to see it down state, though."
Are you for or against the proposed financial framework agreement between Quoddy Bay LNG and the Town of Perry? "I would support it if nothing else changes in town. We are going to have a lot of people here if it goes through. This agreement is not carved in stone, and I think the people in town should decide on it, and hopefully they will make the right decision."
Should the selectmen be more open to the concerns of citizens? "Absolutely. This arguing that's been going on is not productive. It's not doing the town any good."
What other issues should selectmen be concerned about over the next three years? "Highways are a big issue. Some of the programs are good, but we have to think about maintaining our roads. We can't put hot-top on mud. We need to figure out what our plan would be, our gravel, and have it taken care of."
Candidates for other positions up for election in Perry are the following.
Four candidates are running for two three-year terms on the school committee: incumbent Eileen Curry, incumbent Sarah Hood, Ann Skriletz and Ivy Newcomb Turner.
Seven candidates are vying for three seats on the planning board, all for three-year terms: Howard Calder, Robert Costa, Gerald Morrison, Linda Newcomb, Karen Raye, Graydon Ritchie Jr. and Brian Theriault.
Running unopposed for one-year terms as town clerk and tax collector is Janice Scanlon.
Unopposed for a one-year term as town treasurer is Barbara Hicks.
© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.