Four vie for Wilton selectman’s seat

Name: Kyle Ellis

Address: 37 School St.

Age: 38

Occupation: Energy technician for Community Concepts

Name: Tiffany Maiuri

Address: 27 School St.

Age: 45

Occupation: Information Technology Services, University of Maine at Farmington

Name: D. Scott Taylor

Address: 99 Prospect St.

Age: 46

Occupation: Construction company owner/operator

Name: Michael Wells

Address: 894 Weld Road

Age: 48

Occupation: Retired Air Force pilot, real estate developer

WILTON — Four candidates stepped forward to seek a seat on the Board of Selectmen after Irv Faunce resigned last month. They are Kyle Ellis, Tiffany Maiuri, Scott Taylor and Michael Wells.

Each of the candidates have served the town in other capacities.

Ellis, a member of the Wilton Fire Department for 15 years, now serves as assistant chief. He’s a member of the Finance Committee, the Board of Appeals and the Ordinance Review Committee, and previously worked at the town office for six years. He has a business and economics education from the University of Maine at Farmington, experience in grant writing and knowledge of how to find grant possibilities, he said.

A career businesswoman, Maiuri is working on a master’s degree in homeland security from the American Military University. She is a retired U.S. Merchant Marine officer.

From her experiences abroad, her profession and work with nonprofit organizations, she has learned how to bring different individuals and groups together to work toward common goals.

A member of the School Street Neighborhood Association, she has sought grants to help with town development.

As the owner of Taylor Made Homes and an employer, Taylor believes working with his employees and customers helped him develop necessary communication skills for the position. He can work with budgets, stay within a budget and has developed good troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, he said. He also brings experience and knowledge of owning and maintaining a small fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment in his business, he said.

He has served on town citizen panels to interview candidates for the positions of police chief and officers.

As a squadron commander in the Air Force, Wells has gained experience in budgeting, planning and personnel issues. As a developer, he has secured financing, built roads and worked closely with town officials and the Planning Board, gaining an understanding of the process and procedures, he said.

As a member of Wilton’s Highway Committee, he said he has helped consider the balance between the town’s budget realities and needed road repair.

Economic development, revitalization of the downtown area and aging infrastructure, including the sewer plant and roads are issues the candidates think the town needs to address.

Attracting businesses and bringing jobs to Wilton “would add to the revenue stream for the town and would help pay for much needed infrastructure replacements,” Wells said.

He said he thinks the town needs to address replacement costs for roads, sewer and water by putting funds aside rather than paying interest on loans. By failing to plan ahead, bonds with interest needed for these projects reduces the amount put in to repair and replacement, he said.

“Keep spending and budgets as low and lean as possible,” Taylor said of the town’s needs.

Other issues facing the town, he said, are the sale of town-owned properties to get them back on the tax rolls, and fixing and maintaining roads as cost effectively as possible.

There are “four cornerstones to revitalizing the town,” according to Maiuri. These pressing issues include town finances, economic development and redevelopment, public safety and neighborhood stabilization. These need to be included in a formalized strategic plan, she said.

The town “needs to find a balance between laying the foundation for a more prosperous future and making the best of many not-so-good choices in the future,” she said.

Attracting visitors and businesses to Main Street by revitalizing the downtown area, marketing the town better and more development of the Route 2 corridor are issues voiced by Ellis. He said he thinks the town should seek ways to work with other towns to share services and save expenses while keeping the services now provided at the lowest cost possible.

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