PARIS – Five men are seeking election as selectmen next week, and four of them have paired up in hopes their shared campaigns will get them into the two empty seats.

After all, it worked last year for newcomers David Ivey and Glen Young.

Incumbent Raymond Glover, 66, has formed an alliance with former Paris police chief and Oxford County Sheriff Lloyd “Skip” Herrick, 55.

Al Atkinson, 65, a retired management consultant, and Troy Ripley, 45, a general contractor who has served on the Budget Committee, make up the other political pairing.

The other candidate for one of the three-year terms is George “Buddy” Coffren, 59, a retired General Electric manufacturing worker.

He said the two-candidate races can help influence the vote but are a stretch for a small town.

“It’s sort of ridiculous in the town of Paris,” he said.

He cited “recent turmoil” on the board and a desire to serve his community as his reasons for running. Coffren has served on the Budget Committee, Planning Board, and board of directors for Oxford County Regional Solid Waste.

The five names will be listed individually on the June 10 ballot so voters can choose any two when they go to the polls between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Paris Fire Station on Western Avenue.

Atkinson said he and Ripley have similar interests, which make them a suitable pair.

“Both Troy and I are individual thinkers,” Atkinson said. “We have a lot of interests in common.”

A member of the Planning Board, Budget Committee and Comprehensive Plan Committee, he said he is running because economic conditions necessitate a board with “strong management and financial background.” He cited increasing property taxes as one of the most pressing issues facing Paris, and said he would work with the board to encourage building projects and attract businesses to town. He also supports consolidating services with Norway and Oxford.

Atkinson has also worked in the financial and computer industry.

Ripley said he is running because of increasing property taxes, which he says exacerbate the economic situation many residents face. He said he believes the town must pay off its debt, consolidate resources with neighboring towns and seek cost-saving methods from department heads.

Glover said he and Herrick are running together because they, too, have similar interests, and because last year, newcomers David Ivey and Glen Young were successful in getting elected to the board after campaigning together.

“I didn’t want to see the voting split continue,” he said, referring to a 3-2 pattern on the board in which he was in the minority. “I believe firmly enough in what I believe is the right course for the town to take.”

Glover, who has served on the board sine 1993, said he will pursue fair tax assessments, an efficient budget, review and amendment of ordinances dealing with land use issues, and the adoption of an ethics policy.

A retired manager and treasurer of the NoPar and Rainbow Federal credit unions, he has also served on the Planning Board and Comprehensive Plan Committee, and is the treasurer for the Oxford County Municipal Officers Association.

Herrick, a financial investigator for the judicial branch of state government, said he supports creation of an ethics policy and “creative cost savings,” including pooling resources with neighboring towns to deliver services in a more cost effective manner.

He has served on several county and state organizations, including the Maine Sheriff’s Association, the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, and the executive board of the National Center for Rural Law Enforcement.

The campaigns are supported by groups. Kathy Richardson says Paris Citizens for Responsible Government is a loose-knit group that raises money for political advertisements that endorse Glover and Herrick.

“Both are committed to meeting our challenge that local government be conducted fairly, legally, and in full view of the citizens of this town,” said Richardson. “They are their own selves. We don’t tell them what to do.”

Atkinson and Ripley are supported by Opportunities for Paris. Atkinson said the group raises money for political signs and advertisements, and also campaigns on behalf of the candidates. He said the group holds weekly meetings and has resident Rick Jackson acting as a treasurer.

The other open seat to be filled next week is that of Ernest Fitts III, who is not seeking re-election.

Ivey, Young and Gerald Kilgore are the others serving.


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