Seven seeking two Rumford select board seats

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RUMFORD — Seven people are seeking two seats on the Board of Selectmen in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 184 Congress St.

Two people are running for a three-year position: incumbent Michael Peter Chase and former Selectman Frank DiConzo.

Five people are seeking to complete the remaining two years of a term vacated by James Theriault, who was appointed sheriff of Oxford County earlier this year. They are Steve Dyment, Shaunna Lamontagne, John Pepin Sr., William Porter and Jonathan Starr.

Chase said he decided to run again because there were “a lot of projects started during my term and are in the works and I want to see them through.” He said once the downtown project is complete, he would like to see bands perform on Friday and Saturday nights at the bandstand to be built at the end of Congress Street, “where people can enjoy being with neighbors.”

DiConzo said town spending must be curbed. “Seniors, like myself, cannot afford the big spenders on the select board and Finance Committee. We need to live within our means.”

He added, “I would like to start serious discussions on a public safety building on town-owned land in front of the town garage. I would like to see discussions started regionally for a health and recreational facility.”

Dyment said he wants to contribute to the community.

“I see a change that’s needed and the taxpayers need to be heard,” he said. “Living in the area all my life, I feel the need to give back in some way. I have fresh ideas that I believe could move Rumford forward.”

He said he wants to help Rumford be “more efficient and affordable with lower taxes and reasonable spending that would create an atmosphere for growth.”

Pride and potential were mentioned by Lamontagne in her bid for the office.

“I want this town to be my future as well as my children’s future. We need to make Rumford shine again. There is so much potential here. A positive attitude is key. This is a community where we care for each other,” she said.

Pepin, too, mentioned having pride in the mill town.

“I just want to be a part of making Rumford a town that citizens are proud to live in and where people would want to come to live,” he said. “The largest domino” is economic development and expanding the tax base.

Porter said he wants to make sure the town continues the way it’s going. He pointed out that when Berlin, New Hampshire, lost its paper mill, it didn’t negatively affect that community because of their positive attitude. The prospect of a mill closure could happen in Rumford, so the attitude of the town is key.

“We can’t go back to the past. We have to look at the future,” Porter said.

Starr said he sees the town headed in the right direction, “and I’d love to see this continue. The town has tremendous potential. The town has to be flexible and ready to seize new opportunities whenever we can, on whatever scale. I’d love to be a part of a team that’s making this place attractive to businesses and as business and resident friendly as possible.”

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