NORWAY – Seven people have announced they are running for the Board of Selectmen in elections Tuesday, June 10. There are two positions to be filled, one for three years and one for two.

Polling will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the fire station.

Russell Newcomb

Selectmen’s Chairman Russell Newcomb announced he is seeking re-election to a second three-year term. He is one of four people vying for one spot.

Newcomb said he enjoyed being a selectman and that the board has made considerable progress during his tenure. He noted the improvements that have been made in the out of town roads.

He said he is also excited about upcoming water, sewer and road projects, especially the work on Main Street and Beal Street. He said he realizes the importance taxpayers place on roads.

Newcomb has served on the roads committee and the budget committees for several years, before becoming a selectman.

He has always lived in Norway and he and his wife, Shelley, have two teenage children. He is currently employed by Allen’s Auto Sales in Norway.

Newcomb also has operated his own snowplowing and sanding business for more than 20 years.

He enjoys snowmobiling.

“Being a selectman for the last three years has been very rewarding, it can also be somewhat frustrating at times,” Newcomb said. “Trying to accomplish things to improve the town of Norway and keep within a reasonable budget has been a challenge that I have enjoyed.

“Norway is very fortunate have fantastic services such as police, fire and recreation that make this a great community,” Newcomb said. “Lets keep it that way.”

Roland “Ron” G. Blake Jr.

Roland “Ron” G. Blake Jr. said he doesn’t like what uncontrolled development can do to a town. And as a selectmen, he promises he would work to prevent it from happening here. He is running for a three-year spot.

Blake, who has been in Norway for three years, is a pastor as well as a builder.

He and his wife, Maury, have served as missionaries for the Southern Baptist church in three foreign countries and have two grown children.

He has spent the majority of his 52 years living in Florida.

“In the ’50s Orlando was just a cute, little country town,” Blake said. “I saw it made into a cosmopolitan town and now the people are trying to get it back.

“I see knee-jerk decisions being made,” he said. “Yes, money is necessary, but a vision for this town is needed right now.”

He said the Route 26 corridor needs zoning regulations and that developers owe it to the town to be good responsible neighbors in beauty as well as function.

William D. Daniels

William D. Daniels said he would put his business sense to work if elected to fill the three-year selectman term.

The 44-year-old has never been involved in politics but has been in public service. He was on the ambulance advisory committee when PACE was formed in 1992. He said he had been thinking about running for selectman for several years, but didn’t because he felt he never had enough time to give the job.

Daniels said that has changed since he is working closer to home. He drives bus for SAD 17, is a dispatcher for the Oxford County Regional Communications Center and drives a limousine Central Maine Limousine in Paris.

“I have a lot of business experience,” Daniels said. “I plan on really looking at where taxes are going for the people. We’re at a point where we cannot afford double digit increases each year.

“I basically want to get in there and do what I can do,” he said.

He said development of the downtown area is very important and believes the town needs to work on renovating existing buildings and getting them filled.

“The Growth Council did a nice job getting New Balance and Maine Discoveries in here, but it will take more than those two to anchor Main Street.”

Daniels said the scheduling of the road crews should be scrutinized because he feels they are being asked to do too much work outside their jurisdiction, which hurts repair work on some roads.

“I just think road crews are getting too many jobs and then unable to devote enough time to their job,” he said.

Daniels is a lifelong resident of Oxford Hills. He and his wife, Nettie, have two children that have graduated from the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

Ray Parks

Ray Parks said he decided to run for the three-year selectman seat because he wants to be involved with the town’s development.

Parks, 70, retired from the Pineland Center, Pownal, just before it closed. He worked there 12 years.

He has been in Norway for 21 years.

“As far as I can see now, the town is being run quite well,” Parks said. “The police, fire, and town office are in good shape. David Holt (town manager) is doing a good job and the road crews are doing excellent jobs.

“I wanna be involved in the development of Norway,” he said. “I have no ideas per se, but something could be done for instance, on Beal Street.

Parks said he wanted to get new businesses on Main Street and would like to see another restaurant open up at the site of the former Colonial Coffee Shop.

He was on the Planning Board last year and resigned.

Parks is a veteran of the Korean War, past commander and a life member of the Floyd J. Harlow Jr. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Paris.

He is single and said he likes to hunt and fish in his spare time.

Carol W. Roth

Carol W. Roth says realistically there is not much that can be changed in town government.

But the 75-year-old said it can be made to run more efficiently and that would be his aim if elected to the two-year seat vacated by John Akins due to illness.

“The way I look at is I don’t think you can change much,” Roth said. “But, maybe we can get local government to work more efficiently.

“I would strive for efficiency in local government,” he said. “I’m not looking to lay off anybody or combine anything. Like any other endeavor in life, I approach it with an open mind. And, I’m honest.

Concerning regionalization – combining services by towns to save money – Roth said he was not for or against it, but at this time it is not part of his platform.

He said he is retired when Barbara, his wife of 48 years, is not around. They have five grown children.

Roth is a former construction engineer and has lived in Norway for about 10 years.

He said he has served on the Budget Committee for three years and has been interested in local government. He said working on the Budget Committee was very rewarding.

“I can’t say we saved any money, but were diligent in seeing that what was asked for was the correct amount and spent in the best interest of the taxpayer,” Roth said.

Leslie C. Flanders

Leslie C. Flanders has always been too busy for politics.

But now he has some time. And he’s hoping to be elected to the two-year position.

His electrical contracting business has kept him hopping for the past 25 years. He has a wife, Carol, two grown children and eight grandchildren.

“I have some good help,” Flanders said. “I can take some time away and don’t have to have my nose to the grindstone 12 to 14 hours a day anymore.”

The 58-year-old Flanders has been in Norway for 48 years.

He has served on the Appeals Board for about six years and was on the Budget Committee for his first time this year.

He said he believes the Board of Selectmen and other agencies in town have been doing a good job in the promotion and operation of Norway and that he doubts any one person can make a big difference.

“I’ve lived in this town almost my whole life,” Flanders said. “And have done work for the highway, sewer and water departments. I have insights to the inner working of the town that most people don’t have an opportunity to see.

“We’re poised for some growth down the road and I think I could do a good job in that regard,” he said.

Flanders said he was hoping the C.B. Cummings & Sons mill can be developed. He said he would also like the Opera House block to be returned to local control.

“If we can do that, we probably can get the storefronts filled up again,” Flanders said. “Careful development is needed. There is a Main Street committee doing a wonderful job and the Growth Council, but the town needs to step forward a bit. There is more that can be done. We need to talk to people and speak in a favorable way. Let them know they are welcome into town “

Ron S. Snow

Ron S. Snow is no newcomer to Norway politics. He served two terms as selectman from 1993 to 1999. He had been very active in civic endeavors as a commander of a local American Legion, on the executive Board of the Growth Council and treasurer of the Norway-Paris Solid Waste Board.

Then he decided to take a break.

“I needed to recharge my batteries,” Snow said.

He said if elected to the two-year position his main focus would be road repair and finding some way to get business back on Main Street.

Snow said he was opposed to having too many ordinances and feels if the state has a law a municipality should follow it rather than duplicating it by making one of its own.

He also feels the state should “step up to the plate” and pay the towns what it promised them for General Purpose Aid for schools.

And on schools, he said: “I feel that schools and school districts should collect their own taxes and should get the same percentage we get,” Snow said. “On a given year we might only get 87 percent and they (the school) still get 100 percent of what it asked for.”

The 54-year-old Snow was born in Norway and spent most of his life here. He received an associate degree in accounting from Bliss College in Lewiston in 1969 and then spent four years in the U.S. Navy.

He has three daughters from two previous marriages and is currently single.

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