Eight running for selectman in Sabattus

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SABATTUS — It’s a crowded ballot next month for selectmen with three open seats and eight candidates.

Competing for the one-year term: Jeffrey Baril and Randy Gayton.

Competing for the two-year term: Paul Loesberg, Andre Marquis and Mark Pare.

Competing for the three-year term: Michelle Ames, Norman Estes and Les Gibson.

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Below, seven of the candidates respond to questions. Some responses were edited for space.

This story was updated at 9:48 a.m. Wednesday.

Michelle Ames

Address: 22 Pinard Drive

Current occupation: Sales and finance manager, Sabattus Auto & Truck Sales

Prior public office experience: School board (served a one-year term), Planning Board chairwoman, Selectman (three-year term), Budget Committee.

Please share a little about yourself: I grew up in Sabattus and continue to live and work in Sabattus. I spent 15 years owning and operating a family business and continue to work with my partner, Chris, and our son in real estate and property management part time. I enjoy reading, gardening and spending time with my family, including my two dogs, Lucy and Annie.

Why vote for you? I want to be a part of building a strong future for Sabattus, my hometown. I was elected to a three-year term for selectman after serving on the Planning Board and Budget Committee, and together with my amazing board members accomplished a lot of good things for Sabattus. Now that I have changed jobs I am eager to get back to work for Sabattus. My goals are to keep taxes low and still provide the essential benefits to its taxpayers and citizens. 

Your top three issues, if elected: Taxes, revenue-sharing and development opportunities.

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? Sabattus in 10 years should have more development. My focus will be looking into zoning opportunities, increased public water/sewer and the power needed to support a few new larger businesses. We need to plan ahead and not just take the first opportunity we see. I look at towns like Poland and Turner and think, we need to attract a few more tax-paying businesses so we can decrease the burden to our homeowners.

Jeffrey Baril

Address: 6 Nancy Lane

Current occupation: I worked for the Lewiston Police Department for 25 years, retiring August 2014. I now work as a code enforcement officer for the city of Lewiston.

Prior public office experience: I was a selectman for the town of Sabattus in 2009. I was chairman of the Comprehensive Planning Committee and presently the chairman of the Ordinance Review Committee for the town of Sabattus.

Please share a little about yourself: I am divorced with three grown children and five grandchildren.

Why vote for you? I ask for your vote to keep the town moving forward.

Your top three issues, if elected: 1. Keep property taxes affordable, 2. Support reasonable educational efforts, 3. Promote a limited commercial zoning ordinance.

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? As we all struggle with property taxes, it is important for the residents of the town to follow the Comprehensive Plan and open areas for commercial development. I believe the town is posed to grow in the future with great residential neighborhoods and smart, well-placed commercial development.

Norman Estes

Address: 119 Main St.

Current occupation: I work full time as a maintenance supervisor for elderly and disabled housing in the greater Lewiston and Auburn area.

Prior public office experience: I have been a Sabattus resident for 24 years and have served as a member on the town Budget Committee for three years. I have also participated on the Charter Commission. 

Please share a little about yourself: During my son’s childhood I served as a sports coach and Cub Scout leader. For the past 20 years I have served the Dominican Sisters of Sabattus in various capacities as a maintenance technician, assisting with their fundraisers such as the Bates Clean Sweep project and the local food bank and other programs that serve Sabattus families in need.

Why vote for you? I am a long-term property owner in Sabattus, having raised my son here. I take pride in serving the Sabattus community and look forward to being a voice of reason for the people. I can confidently say that my planning and financial leadership skills will enable me to serve our town effectively.

Your top three issues, if elected: Stabilize or minimize the continuous increase of property taxes. I would lobby for an increase of support for elderly assistance. I would also strive to see current town ordinances put into specific formats reflecting the majority of Sabattus residents, such as the current and somewhat vague fireworks ordinance, among others.

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? I would like Sabattus to retain the quaint country setting we are used to. I would also encourage growth in the town with new businesses that complement the Sabattus way of living. So we can preserve our Sabattus sense of community for our children and grandchildren.

Randy Gayton

Address: 131 Middle Road

Current occupation: Retired, working part-time for O’Reilly.

Prior public office experience: Budget Committee

Please share a little about yourself: I’m 50 years old. I’ve lived in town my whole life. I’ve been in town politics most of my life.

Why vote for you? I’d be honest with the townspeople. I’d make people accountable.

Your top three issues, if elected: 1) Keeping taxes down. 2) Not spending money foolishly. 3) Making departments accountable for their time.

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? In a lot better spot than it is today. I’d like to see us with a lot more money in our accounts and doing a lot better at not spending money foolishly.

Les Gibson

Address: 177 Marsh Road

Current occupation: Electrical test and activation supervisor at Bath Iron Works.

Prior public office experience: Current co-chairman of the Sabattus Municipal Budget Committee.

Please share a little about yourself: 21-year active-duty veteran of the U.S. Navy. Employed since 1994 at Bath Iron Works. Married to wife, Mary, and father of four children. My youngest son, Jon, and daughter Katelyn are currently serving on military active duty. I attend East Auburn Baptist Church where I am a member of the choir and Drama Team.

Why vote for you? Working with the other committee members, our town manager and Board of Selectman, I am proud of the municipal budgets that were crafted, which fully funded all town departments with little to no impact on property taxes. I will continue to use common-sense approaches to address the issues before our community as your selectman.

Your top three issues, if elected: First, hold the line on future tax increases. We can’t continue to expect our citizens to pay higher taxes year after year due to unconstrained school budgets. Second, explore new and innovative ways to invest in our town’s infrastructure, thereby making Sabattus more attractive to potential new residents and business. Third, accountability and accessibility. I believe those who serve their community should be held accountable for the actions and decisions that affect our residents.

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? I envision a Sabattus that is thriving, with an affordable tax mill rate, a common-sense town government that uses the hard-earned tax dollars of our residents wisely and efficiently. I envision more local business which will provide jobs and expand our town’s revenue base, which will help lower our mill rate, making our community more attractive to families making Sabattus their home.

Paul Loesberg

Address: 17 Railroad Drive

Current occupation: Part-time driver for Western Maine Transportation.

Prior public office experience: Sabattus selectman for three years (2007-10), Planning Board

Please share a little about yourself: I’m a veteran of the U.S. Navy. I went to work for the Lewiston Police Department for six years. Then I went to UPS. I retired from UPS after 30 years. My wife is a homemaker. I have one child who lives in North Carolina, one granddaughter and one great-grandson and great-granddaughter.

Why vote for you? I’ve done this before and I’d like to keep control of taxes, bring our taxes down. I want to help people in the town of Sabattus, help them with problems.

Your top three issues, if elected: Taxes, increase police patrolling and a better tax base. 

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? I’d like to get more business in town, like we have a Family Dollar opening soon. I’d like to have more business. Right now, people travel to our town to live, but I’d like to have more tax base … especially on Route 126. 

Andre Marquis

Address: 31 Old County Road

Current occupation: Rehab equipment specialist.

Prior public office experience: Current selectman, served previous three-year term as selectman.

Please share a little about yourself: I was born and raised in Sabattus, recently purchased my family home where I live with my wife, Danielle, and 4-year-old daughter, Reese. I am a current member of the Sabattus Fire Department and recently took (a) position as American Legion Post 135 Sons of the American Legion commander.

Why vote for you? I promise to make decisions based on the best interest of the town as a whole.

Your top three issues, if elected: Taxes, I will work my hardest with the board, town manager, department heads and members of the Budget Committee to come up with a responsible budget that is good for everyone. Bringing business into this town, along with keeping our small-community appeal.

Mark H. Pare Sr.

Address: 165 Littlefield Road

Current occupation: Bath Iron Works since 1986.

Please share a little about yourself: When my boys, Mark Jr. and Christopher, were in grade school I coached Little League. Second, my wife and I have eight grandchildren and one on the way. As for myself, I enjoy hunting, fishing and riding my motorcycle.

Why vote for you? Because the people of Sabattus need a voice; someone who has lived here for 36 years.

Your top three issues, if elected: 1. Ways to lower property taxes. 2. Ways to control the budget growth. 3. What happened to the town’s budget? Where did the money go the last six years?

Where do you want to see Sabattus in 10 years? That the things that I have mentioned above will be solved. People and business will move into Sabattus because property taxes are low. The school budget will be under control or we will have our own high school and the roads will look better in all areas. 

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