PARIS — Two candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the upcoming selectmen’s race to fill two openings on the board.
Incumbent Ted Kurtz and former selectman Ken A. West are each running for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox said it is the first time in the five years she has worked for the town that she has seen an unopposed selectmen’s race.
Neither selectman elected to a three-year term in 2007 remains on the board. Former Chairman David Ivey was recalled in a 651-69 vote in February, and selectman Glen Young resigned for personal reasons in March. The board opted not to fill the vacancy caused by Young’s resignation after determining that someone elected to the spot would only serve for about six weeks.
Kurtz was elected to the board in March after running unopposed in a special town meeting to fill the remainder of Ivey’s term. He received 416 votes. Kurtz had not had any experience serving on municipal boards or committees prior to March, and has since been vocal about the need for the town to avoid budget increases.
West unsuccessfully ran in March to fill another vacancy on the board, which was caused when former vice-chairman Troy Ripley resigned about a week before a recall election. Retired schoolteacher Jean Smart won the contest to serve the remaining two years with 323 votes, while West received 118 votes.
West was elected selectman in 2005, but resigned after one year due to an increase in his hours at work. He was employed at Maine Machine Products Co. for 22 years before retiring, and now does accounting work for his wife’s income tax service.
In other races, Janet Jamison and Raymond Lussier are running for a single three-year term on the Paris Utility District Board of Trustees. Mike Dignan is running unopposed for a three-year term on the Oxford Hills School District Board of Directors, while George “Buddy” Coffren Jr. is the sole candidate for a one-year opening on the same board.
The Paris ballot will also include two referendum questions to see if voters will accept amendments to the recall ordinance and subdivision ordinance.