Race for Selectman: Casco Candidates

CASCO — When Casco voters head to the polls this Tuesday, June 7, they will choose between four candidates seeking to be selectmen.

Two incumbents — Paul Edes and Carroll Morton — will be challenged by Tracy Kimball and Mike London for two, three-year seats.

The polls at the Casco Community Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The annual town meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the Casco Fire Station.

The News contacted the candidates last week, and they offered the following biographical information and answers to questions posed. Their responses are presented in alphabetical order:

Candidate: Paul Edes

Biography: I was born in 1947 at the Merrill Nursing Home in South Casco. I attended Casco schools and graduated from Casco High School in 1965. My work experience includes being a bookkeeper for CITGO in Braintree, Mass., as well as extensive work in the field of commercial construction, working in Quality Control for Crosby Laughlin, laborer-equipment operator for Brown Construction, equipment operator/jobsite coordinator for Maine Masonry Inc., and American Tool Company. I am now retired from Bisson Transportation.

At home here in Casco, I have worked with the Webbs Mills Community Group; I am a building trustee for the Village Church; and I am a member of the Raymond-Casco Historical Society.

My family includes my mother, Corinne Edes; my daughter and two grandsons.

I have traveled and vacationed from the Caribbean to Alaska. From 1967 through 2001, I enjoyed membership in several motorcycle groups and with them toured from Labrador to Key West and the Rockies

My family has deep roots in the Town of Casco historically, as well as in service to the town; my father was tax collector in the ’50s, and my mother worked as town clerk in the ’60s. I have served on the Budget Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Transfer-Bulky Waste Council. I was elected to finish the term of Selectman George Hanscon when he became ill, and have since then been re-elected to two more terms on the Board of Selectmen. As a selectman, I have made it a priority to attend various town committee meetings on a regular basis in order to be familiar with the work of these committees.

Q. Why did you decide to seek office, and what strengths would you bring to the position?

A. In my second full term, the town has come under a lot of criticism from certain elements. I believe the people trust me to make good decisions to bring the town back together and serve their needs.

Q. What do you see are the key issues facing the town, and how do you propose to address them?

A. I think that major issues now facing the Town of Casco include the location of the town office, the infrastructure of the town, and use of town-owned land. I would like to see the Memorial School renovated and used for the town office, and I am open to suggestions and ideas from the people of the town. Casco has many roads and bridges that need upgrades and improvements, not only for continued safe travel, but to preserve property. I would like to work with the Open Space Commission to develop ways to use our town-owned lands. I also feel it is important for Casco to continue work on regionalization, to develop more ways to work with and cooperate with our neighbor towns.

Candidate: Tracy Kimball

Biography: I have lived in Casco for 15 years. I am married and have 3 children, ages 4, 7 and 19 years old. I work at Unum Group as a Research Specialist supporting the benefits operation with researching and obtaining claimant information from external sources such as national databases, vendors, law enforcement agencies, the Internet and more. I have been with Unum since 2002. A more detailed work experience profile is available at www.kimball4casco.com.

I have two college degrees, one in Business Administration and another in Computer Science. I am also a Maine state-licensed Intermediate EMT. I worked with Casco Rescue for almost nine years. When my oldest son was younger, I enjoyed helping coach soccer and baseball teams. I am also a co-leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. During my time in Casco, I have volunteered on committees such as the Public Safety Committee and, most recently, the holiday toy donation program.

Q. Why did you decide to seek office, and what strengths would you bring to the position?

A. I think Casco is a wonderful community, full of caring people. I am running for a position on the Board of Selectmen because I believe we all have a responsibility to participate in the success of our community, and I want to be on the forefront of bridging community need to community action. I bring this position a fresh perspective, solid organizational skills and well-rounded work experience with a proactive, resolution-based philosophy that can meet the needs of a diverse environment. Most of all, I believe I bring a passion for my community and want Casco to be proud to have me represent them at this level.

Q. What do you see are the key issues facing the town, and how do you propose to address them? I believe a high-priority facing Casco’s Board of Selectmen today is putting town government back in line to operate at a level that works toward community growth. I work hard for my money.  As a taxpayer, I want to trust that my tax dollars are being spent addressing issues that make my community better and not spent regurgitating issues that don’t belong in this forum. I am overwhelmed with the support I have received during this campaign by those ready to move forward and get back to business.

In today’s economic climate, finding a way to promote local business growth and opportunity is challenging, at best. However, I believe that it is possible to bring Casco the growth that we need to keep up in today’s economy without losing the community values that make Casco so special.  We are a town rich in natural resources and attractions.  By working together with other government leadership venues, we can leverage protecting those resources while capitalizing on revenue opportunity.

For those that know me, read the local papers, or have been involved with board activity, it’s no secret that getting the town office project moving has been high on my list of challenges to the board. I think the distractions that the board has been faced with these last months have made it difficult to manage the decision-making process that this project mandates.  It’s time to get this project off the staging block and into development. I believe it’s time to clean up Casco’s to-do list, make decisions and move on.

Q. With the school tax making up a large percentage of the budget, is it time for towns to band together to fight the state to change the existing funding formula?

A. The school budget has become a difficult issue to find a seemingly reasonable resolution for. The recently rejected budget appears to show that those involved in the system and watching the budget feel that more needs to be done to make this right. I am always in favor of cooperative effort in any forum, and in this case, if that means communities should band together to approach the state to pursue changes in the state funding formula – I would encourage such a mission.

Q. If you could make one change in town government, what would it be?

A. If I could change one thing about town government, I would like to see it easier, simpler and more expeditious to move projects and decisions through the bureaucratic pipeline.  The tedious nature in which issues are addressed can be frustrating.  Though it is understandable that some items warrant thorough review and consideration, not every decision is so difficult that it requires extended hours, resources, or taxpayer dollars, to redundantly revisit conversations and avoid commitment to progress.

Candidate: Mike London

Biography: I am a retired military vet. I am 100% disabled and from the VA. I have four lovely grandchildren — one graduated from Lake Region High School, one is presently a freshmen at Lake Region High School, one is currently at Songo Locks Elementary and one is a cute little devil. I have a son and daughter in-law that live in Casco, and a daughter that lives in Bridgton.

Q. Why did you decide to seek office, and what strengths would you bring to the position?

A. After attending town meeting and seeing that the selectmen are paying no attention to the people. I would pay more attention to the people of the town and not a select few.

Q. What do you see are the key issues facing the town, and how do you propose to address them?

A. The first issue is we have 37 properties belonging to the town and it is time that we sell those to help with the town budget. The second issue we need to decide where to have the town office, whether it is going be at the Memorial School or at the old bank before we spend $120,000 for a new roof on the school. The third and last issue is we have to work with the townspeople about continuing to plow town roads. They pay the taxes, and they should get some service.

Q. With the school tax making up a large percentage of the budget, is it time for towns to band together to fight the state to change the existing funding formula?

A. All four towns should have an organization to talk about the school budget and not just leaving it to the school board.

Q. If you could make one change in town government, what would it be?

A. What I would like to see is the selectmen stop bickering back and forth and let the town manager do his job and stop trying to do it for him.

Candidate: Carroll Morton

Biography: Member of the Casco Board of Selectmen; member of the American Legion Post 215 in Casco; 75 years of age, married to wife Irene; father of six adult children and is a “proud grandfather.”

Q. Why did you decide to seek office, and what strengths would you bring to the position?

A. I would not like to quit. With three years of experience as a selectman, I have knowledge of town affairs.

Q. What do you see are the key issues facing the town, and how do you propose to address them?

A. More openness.

Q. With the school tax making up a large percentage of the budget, is it time for towns to band together to fight the state to change the existing funding formula?

A. Yes, it’s time.

Q. If you could make one change in town government, what would it be?

A. Better communication between the town office and the board of selectmen.

Please follow and like us: