DIXFIELD – Four residents are running for two open seats on the Board of Selectmen.
They are: Scott Belskis, 47, of Canton Point Road; Selectman Norine Clarke, 71, of Blayne Street; Hart Daley, 47, of Hidden Meadow Road; and Janice Merrill, 65, of Merrill Road.
Selectman Stephen Donahue is not seeking re-election.
Belskis, owner of an automobile business, decided to run partially because of a pending wind turbine project. He believes insufficient information has been made available by the current board and town manager about the various impacts such a project could have on the town.
“It hasn’t been explained. I keep hearing the same thing over and over again,” he said.
He is also concerned that without a town ordinance or moratorium on wind development, Patriot Renewables LLC can proceed with the project using only state guidelines. Belskis also believes that the current board has not conducted enough research on wind power and other issues that face the town.
He is also concerned with what he perceives as continual tax increases, and much waste that could be cut from a municipal budget.
Clarke, a longtime owner of Log Cabin Craftworks, served on the Finance Committee for more than 30 years before being elected to the board five years ago. She is seeking her second, three-year term. She has also devoted years to the Dixfield Economic Development Council, the Outdoor Market Committee and a variety of other community-related events and organizations.
She said she is pleased with how well the current board has worked together for the benefit of the town. Improvements in town, she said, include the current bridge construction and a successfully operating water system. Plans are to improve the sewer system, and to oversee the construction of a sidewalk project that will connect the high school with the middle school.
She said the board has worked hard to get at all the facts related to the possible construction of a wind farm.
Clarke said getting involved in the community is important.
“Everyone can do something and if everyone does something, it’s a better place for everyone,” she said.
Daley, a captain with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, said he can bring more transparency to the Town Office.
“A lot of people aren’t made aware of the issues,” he said. As an example, he said tentative, long-range plans are in the works for consolidating Dirigo and Mountain Valley high schools. He wants to see the public more involved in that issue.
He also believes the ongoing wind turbine project has not been made clear to residents.
“A lot of people didn’t even know it was contemplated,” he said, adding that a wind ordinance committee should have been formed rather than selectmen writing an ordinance.
Daley said he has experience that could be applied to serving as a selectman, including knowledge of budgets and payrolls, equipment bids and writing grants.
As a graduate of Dirigo High School who has raised his family in Dixfield, Daley said he wants to be a voice for the people of the town.
Merrill, a retired account representative, and Dixfield High School graduate, said she believes the town needs new blood. She also believes the town needs more representation from people living outside of the village.
She said the town faces many issues, including the possibility of the construction of a wind farm.
“When I look out my window, I’ll see them,” she said. “They are ugly.”
She said her experience working with the public in her job has served as good training to be a selectman.
“I’m honest, I’m trustworthy. If I give my word, I will keep it,” she said.
Elections take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at the American Legion Hall.
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