OXFORD — Two political newcomers and one veteran committeeman are facing off in a three-way race for an open seat on the Oxford Board of Selectmen. 

Peter Laverdiere, Peter Cushman and William Sanborn submitted nomination papers to the town office last month and will be on the November ballot to fill two years remaining on former Selectman Dennis Sanborn’s term. Sanborn passed away in May.

Of the three, only Laverdiere has been active in Oxford town government, as a longtime ballot clerk and member of multiple committees.

Laverdiere, 72, said his experience in town affairs, including membership on the Budget Committee and Appeals Board, led to consider a select board run. 

He said he has a good sense of what is important to the Oxford community and hopes to keep the town moving in the right direction. 

Originally from Lewiston, Laverdiere has lived in Oxford for 18 years. Now retired, he worked as a sales manager for Prudential Financial for almost 30 years.

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Employment was the most pressing issue facing the town, Laverdiere said, particularly “getting out of the way and letting entrepreneurs create jobs.” Laverdiere said he’s been “extremely impressed” with the quality of current board members and believes they’ve steered the town in the right direction. 

“I can’t say there’s anything that disturbs me or would be a priority to change at this time,” Laverdiere said.

Cushman, 69, said he wants to make sure the community’s affairs are run correctly and property taxes stay low. 

A retired antique dealer and auctioneer, Cushman grew up in Oxford but spent most of his adult life away before returning to the town about six years ago. He is a Vietnam War veteran, serving from 1968 to 1969.

Aside from a desire to keep property taxes low, Cushman said he couldn’t pinpoint any particular issues confronting Oxford he would address, but he generally thought that the town could use a “new face in government.”

If elected, he’d like selectmen to have more discussion on agenda items before taking action, Cushman said. It is infrequent for Oxford selectmen to have lengthy deliberation before taking action on votes and select board meetings often last less than a half hour. 

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William Sanborn, 52, Dennis Sanborn’s son, said he’s running to complete his father’s unfinished term. 

Sanborn, a contaminated site technician, has lived in Oxford his entire life, but admits he has no experience in politics or municipal government.

“It’s a new ball game for me,” he joked. 

He said he wasn’t aware of specific issues facing the town, but would be excited to learn more about some of the projects the select board is involved in, like the new sewage treatment plant, Pismo Beach ball field and Oxford Casino. 

Like Laverdiere, he believes the current board is a “pretty cohesive group.” The town is headed in a good direction, he said, and has “good asset” in Town Manager Michael Chammings. If elected, he hopes to help continue making good decisions for the town. 

The election will be held on November 5. 

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