PARIS — Four candidates for the Board of Selectmen addressed residents at a public forum at the town office Friday night.
John Goodwin, Charles “Tom” Hurd, Robert Kirchherr and Ryan Lorrain took turns answering questions about how the town is run and how it should proceed in the future.
Barbara Payne moderated the forum. She asked the men to describe why they were running for the board, then allowed questions from residents.
Goodwin, who is the trail master for the X-tra Mile ATV Club, said he was running because of his experience with the ATV club being granted access to Parsons Road and then having access rescinded after expensive and labor-intensive upgrades.
Goodwin said he “felt that there could be a faster, fairer way of handling things.”
He said he is retired and has run several businesses. “I found some extra time and decided this was a good thing to try to do.”
Hurd owns three local businesses and was on the town Budget Committee for about three years. “During that time, I became convinced that the better place for me would be on the select board,” he said.
He said he had nothing against the Budget Committee, but the Board of Selectmen “has more of a say on what happens.”
Kirchherr is a retired teacher who has been on the Planning Board for four years, and chairman for three. “I’ve learned a lot about how the town government works,” he said.
He said after years of developing ordinances and working with the Board of Selectmen “that experience showed me there was an opportunity for me to share that expertise and become part of the selectmen.”
Lorrain, the youngest of the four and a former candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, has joined the Planning Board, the Policy and Procedure Committee, the Budget Committee and the new Land Use Study Committee in recent months.
“Being a part of that has made me want to become more involved in the community,” Lorrain said. He is the sergeant-at-arms at the State House.
When asked to comment on the budget process, some candidates suggested changes and pointed out problems.
“I think there is some waste in the town that can be cut out,” Goodwin said.
Hurd drew on his time on the Budget Committee and said he’d like to see the committee have more authority. “It’s easily pre-empted by the selectmen,” Hurd said.
Kirchherr said there was a problem in communication between the budget committee and selectmen. “I think there has to be a more effective way to get information from the selectmen to the Budget Committee” and vice versa, he said.
Lorrain, who was also on the Budget Committee, said the committee and selectmen worked well together. He said the process “provides a different perspective on some of the issues.”
Candidates also discussed zoning, the role of the town manager and combining services with neighboring towns.
The forum was organized by residents, including Payne and Kathy Richardson. Janet Jamison filmed the forum, which will be broadcast on Norway-Paris Community TV.
Town elections are set for Tuesday, June 14, to fill the positions now held by Chairman Raymond Glover and Lloyd “Skip” Herrick, who are not seeking re-election.