After a term as county commissioner for District 3, Caldwell Jackson of Oxford said he’s proud of what he has accomplished. He’s seeking another term in Tuesday’s elections.
Jackson said he went right to work streamlining operations when he joined the commission. County departments such as the District Attorney’s Office, the Emergency Management Agency and the Registry of Deeds weren’t communicating well.
The county began holding department head meetings. Not only did it keep everyone on the same page, he said, but they found ways to save money. “After two or three of the meetings, we found out that EMA had a copier they were getting rid of and the District Court needed it,” he said.
“It was a cost savings to the county.”
Like his opponent, Democrat Robert Kirchherr of Paris, Jackson supports the Oxford Hills casino referendum. A large Yes on 1 sign hangs inside his small farmstand on Route 26.
Before his farm and farmstand, Jackson employed about 15 people building wood furniture that he shipped all over the world.
That business went under, but he found a new business in farming. He said the proposed casino is new business for the Oxford Hills region. “They keep saying, ‘There are better alternatives. We haven’t seen any alternatives. We’ve seen American Homes shut down. We’ve seen Oxford Homes shut down.”
He said he spoke to Sheriff Wayne Gallant about his concerns on crime, but the sheriff anticipated needing only one more employee if the casino passed.
According to Jackson, the difference between himself and Kirchherr isn’t one of Democrat versus Republican, but one of experience. Kirchherr is a member of the Paris Planning Board and Jackson was a selectman for more than a decade before his four years on the commission.
He said his experience running small businesses in Oxford County gives him an understanding of the business climate. “I’ve always been a small business man,” he said. “I know what it is to make a payroll.”