Tuesday, December 10, 2013
RANDOLPH — Three candidates are competing for the seat of a longtime selectman in November’s municipal election, while the other races are all uncontested.
Name: Doug Clark
Occupation: Water treatment plant operator
Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Johnson State College, in Vermont
Why he’s running: Clark said people encouraged him to run and he wants to continue the work of the current Board of Selectmen.
Name: Patricia Putnam
Occupation: Office administrator for a prosthetics and orthotics company
Education: Didn’t respond
Why she’s running: Putnam said she wants to improve the appearance of Water Street, which she said has deteriorated since when she was growing up in the town.
Name: Mark Roberts
Occupation: Mechanical engineer for the state
Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine
Why he’s running: Roberts said he wants to ensure that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth and he thinks his experience at his job, and on the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Gardiner Board of Directors, would be an asset for the town.
The election will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Town Office and include five state referendum questions.
Peter Hanley, 85, has been on the Board of Selectmen on and off since 1976, according to the town website. He said he’s served Randolph for as long as he could.
“I’d like to see some young person in there,” Hanley said. “I’m going on 86 years old, and I think it’s time to get some young blood in there.”
None of the candidates — Doug Clark, Patricia Putnam or Mark Roberts — has served on the board before, and only Roberts has served on a town committee.
In the other local races, two Budget Committee members — Peter Coughlin and Peter Oakes — are running for re-election to the committee, which has five open seats.
No one is running for the Regional School Unit 11 School Board seat previously held by Tyler Trott.
Clark, 56, said he decided to run for selectman after others encouraged him to pursue it. He said he moved to the town from Gardiner in 1999 for the lower tax rate and thinks the taxes are a good deal for the services available to residents.
“I know what it’s like to struggle,” he said. “I know what it’s like to live paycheck-to-paycheck, like a lot of people do today.”
Clark, an operator at the Kennebec Water District Treatment Plant in Vassalboro, said his experience as superintendent of the Gardiner Wastewater Treatment Plant from 1988 to 1999 gave him insight into how municipal government works.
The plant provides wastewater treatment for Gardiner, Farmingdale and Randolph.
Clark said he thinks there is an opportunity to improve the waterfront, possibly with a public park like the city of Gardiner’s Waterfront Park on the other side of the Kennebec River and to encourage more business to open in Randolph.
Putnam, 56, said she’s running because she would like to see improvements to the waterfront and the look of Water Street.
She said she was born and raised in Randolph and returned to the town last year after having lived in New Hampshire for almost 25 years. She’s an office administrator for a prosthetics and orthotics company in Augusta.
“I want the town to go back like it used to be, to be a nice, clean, pleasant, appealing town,” Putnam said.
She said she doesn’t like grass growing through the sidewalks on Water Street and thinks the businesses should tidy up their storefronts.
“When you drive down Water Street, it just doesn’t look appealing to live there,” Putnam said.
She said she doesn’t have prior experience in town politics, but she was a president in the American Legion auxiliary in New Hampshire, and her family members were involved in Randolph town government in the past.
“I am a fast learner and dedicated to the town and devoted to the people I’ve known most of my life,” Putnam said.
Roberts, 44, a mechanical engineer for the state Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, said he’s running because he thinks his experience will be helpful to the town, and he wants to make sure the taxpayers are getting their money’s worth.
He also has been the chairman of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Gardiner Board of Directors for the last seven years and a member of the Planning Board for three years.
“I think my leadership experience and financial experience through my current jobs, as well as my time at the Boys & Girls Club, will be a great asset to the town of Randolph,” Roberts said.
A short-term goal of his is to review the town’s infrastructure plan to prioritize repair work for things such as roads and sidewalks, and ensure the natural gas pipeline construction won’t be ripping up anything important.
“Just kind of the common-sense approach there,” he said.
Roberts, who has a daughter at T.C. Hamlin Elementary School and two sons at the University of Maine, said he thinks it’s important to keep growing the town’s tax base, which will be bolstered by a new hardware store and convenience store planned for the town.
Paul Koenig — 621-5663
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