WATERFORD – Three men running for a vacant seat on the Board of Selectmen addressed a standing-room only crowd at the town office Wednesday night.

Among the more than 60 Waterford residents who turned out to meet the candidates were Selectmen Norman Rust and David Marston, as well as many members of the citizens watchdog group Take Back Our Waterford.

As moderator David Sanderson posed questions to the candidates, it became clear that there was no divisive issue which made any of the three stand apart. Candidates Douglas Bradley, Stuart Davis, and David Hart agreed on most issues, with only minor variations in their answers.

Hart and Davis agreed that the town should seek professional help with its taxes, the major issue of the evening.

“If it was easy,” Davis said, “the gentlemen we have here would have figured it out.”

All three men agreed that the town and its selectmen should seek help wherever they could find it, either from professionals or citizen committees.

Hart said, “Every citizen should be taxed equally and fairly.”

Tax breaks should not be given in exchange for doing work for the town, he said. In addition, he said he felt ashamed of the current taxes on the town’s lakes.

Davis noted that in talking to residents he has found “there’s a lot of people who like their taxes.” He said that taxes should be adjusted for individuals who have been taxed unfairly. In the current economy, though, “I don’t think anyone’s taxes going down makes sense,” he said.

Bradley explained what he had learned about taxes through talking with his mother-in-law, former Selectman Cynthia Hamlin.

“The only thing that’s going to bring our taxes down is not spending,” he said. He added that when property values go down, the tax rate goes up. If elected, Bradley said, he would look into programs that help to subsidize town expenses, such as grants for firefighters and historic building preservation.

Davis is the only one of the three candidates who has experience in town politics. He has served on the Minot Planning Board and the Hebron Budget Committee, and currently sits on Waterford’s comprehensive plan committee.

Waterford residents will vote between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sept. 6 in the town office. The candidate who is elected next week will serve until the town meeting next spring, when the term of former Selectmen Whizzer Wheeler expires.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.