Durham residents to vote for selectmen

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DURHAM — A total of seven residents, including two who have announced they are running as write-ins, will vie for two three-year openings on the Board of Selectmen at Friday’s municipal election.

Listed on the ballot are Deborah Larrabee, Troy Planche, Daryl Pratt, Jeffery Wakeman and Gregory Wilson.

Incumbent Norman Newell, who did not file for re-election and Michelle “Mickie” Thibeault, a newcomer to local politics, have announced they are write-in candidates for seats on the board.

Incumbent Budget Committee member William Morrill is seeking re-election, while two other openings will be filled by write-in votes. All are three-year terms.

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There are no candidates for one three-year seat on the RSU 5 board of directors, which will also be filled in by write-in votes.

Longtime incumbent tax collector/treasurer Pauline Paradis is running unopposed for her 23rd year in those dual positions.

Selectman candidates

Deborah Larrabee, 55, of Hallowell Road, is a Durham native. She and her husband Cliff, have two grown children. A graduate of Edward Little High School, she has been active in community affairs, including Durham Fire and Rescue EMA director, and has been an elected member of the Budget Committee since 1992. She also volunteers for several social service agencies, including the Red Cross and Lisbon Area Christian Outreach. Currently, she works part time at Aging Excellence. She promises to open the doors of communication between citizens and town departments, running the town as a business and keeping taxes affordable.

Troy Planche, 45, of Rabbit Road, and his wife Cindy have two children and have lived here for five years. He owns Androscoggin Glass and Aluminum Co. with offices in Auburn and Hooksett, N.H. He is a high school graduate with some college education. He is making his first try for elective office: “I have seen politics, and I don’t like what I see,” he said. As a business owner who has been in management and human resources, he sees the need for the town to be run like a business — such as no purchases without seeking at least three bids. “The time has come for transparency and fiscal responsibility in the town.”

Daryle Pratt of Reed Road is retired. He previously served partial terms on the Board of Selectmen and as road commissioner, both of which he resigned from. In his previous campaigns Pratt stressed his desire to reduce spending and taxes and said he would like to bring in new business to broaden the tax base. He left school after the eighth grade and is a 4½ year veteran of the U.S. Army. He previously owned and operated Pratts Garage and Body Shop in Freeport with nine employees and sold cars. He has also worked for three area construction firms as a mechanic and oversaw maintenance.

Jeffery Wakeman, 36, a Durham native, lives with his wife, Jennifer, on Newell Brook Road. Graduated from Brunswick High School and earned his bachelor’s degree at USM. He has worked at Fairchild Semiconductor for more than 10 years, where he has been a software systems engineer for the last 1½ years. This is his first try for public office. “I love Durham, and I would like to serve the town.” He said he has no particular goals at this time, “just a desire to serve the community.”

Gregory Wilson, 37, a native of Maryland, has lived with his wife, Michelle, and their two children on Brickyard Hill Road for five years. Education includes high school and college credits in the health and safety area. He is safety manager at Harbor Technologies in Brunswick, where he has worked for five years. He is a member of the VFW, having been medically retired after 12 years in the U.S. Navy. He said it is time for “some new younger blood and a different point of view on the board.” If elected, he said he hopes to “make a positive impact.” This is his first try for elective office.

Write-in candidates

Incumbent Norman Newell, 61, of Stackpole Road has five grown children with his wife, Deborah. He said he missed the filing deadline to get on the ballet, but wants to continue on the board. “Durham is my town; it means a lot to me.” He is concerned about public works and finishing what he was elected to do. He was educated in Durham and Freeport schools and UMF. A Durham native, he is a disabled Vietnam veteran who served seven years in the U.S. Army. He has held offices in several veteran organizations and is a member of the Masons and Lions clubs.

Michelle “Mickie” Thibeault, 40, lives on Shiloh Road with her husband, Dan, and their three children. She and Dan have owned and operated Durham Oil Co. for 10 years. A Durham native, she graduated from Brunswick and a New Hampshire college. If elected, “I don’t want to make any false promises, just do the best of my ability for the town.”

Budget Committee

Incumbent William Morrill, 52, and his wife, Beth, live on Newell Brook Road. He is seeking his second term. He works part-time at Home Depot and is a part-time lobsterman. He spent 22 years in law enforcement. He has been a member of the Eureka Building Committee and the volunteer work group. He said he is running for re-election because, “I like to know where my money goes.”

Allan Purinton, 59, lives with his wife, Debbie, on Day Road. An incumbent, who is completing his 27th year on the Budget Committee, secretary from 1983 through 1994 and chairman since 1995, he decided to seek re-election after the filing deadline. A graduate of Lisbon schools and Andover College, he is director of health information at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway.

Town meeting will be called to order at 7:45 a.m April 2 at the elementary school gym to elect a moderator. The meeting will then adjourn to the polls for voting by secret ballot.

Town meeting will convene to consider business articles 3 to 48 at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 3, at the school gym.

For absentee ballets or any other election questions, call Shannon Plourde 353-2561, ext 11.

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