RUMFORD — Seven people are seeking six seats on a Charter Commission being formed by selectmen.

They are Christopher Brennick, Candice Casey, Eric Davis, Richard Greene, Ryan C. Palmer, Roger Viger Jr. and James Windover. Additionally, those seeking write-in votes and verified on Tuesday were Stephanie Wilson and Gary Dolloff.

Voters to go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 5.

On Oct. 1, selectmen appointed three members who submitted applications to the commission. They are Michael Peter Chase, Amy Bernard and Kevin Saisi.

The seven candidates were asked for brief information about themselves and what they hope to accomplish on the commission.

Casey’s resume lists her current work history in Rumford as publisher of the blog, RiverValleySun.com, since 2011, and as area founding director of the Community Pride Project since 2009. She also worked as the Maine Republican Party’s field office coordinator in Rumford in 2012 and served as executive director of Maine Citizens for the Tax Break in 1998.

And, according to Casey, she worked in Ormond Beach, Fla., between 1998 and 2005, where she owned and operated three businesses: a pool and spa supply company, a golf course mitigation and irrigation operation and a computer consulting firm. They were all organized and incorporated under the umbrella of the pool and spa company.

The Sun Journal could not verify Casey’s work history with any of the Florida ventures. According to the Florida Department of State, Casey incorporated four businesses in Florida on May 12, 2003: Pool & Spa Supply Company, Women to Women, Ethical Financial & Insurance and National Chemical & Maintenance Service. All were registered at the same address in Ormond Beach and all are now inactive.

Casey’s resume also lists employment as a financial consultant with Salomon Smith Barney in Ormond Beach, where she said she transacted sales of stocks, bonds and insurance products from 2000 to 2001. There is no record that Casey was ever licensed to transact such business in Florida, either through the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Florida Division of Professional Regulation.

The Sun Journal contacted Casey on Wednesday for more information to verify her broker license, and she restated that her job history and SEC license were all accurate as provided on her resume.

As for the Charter Commission, Casey, who lives on Essex Avenue, said she intends to “do all that is within my power to preserve our town manager form of government.”

“As has been demonstrated over the past year, the people of Rumford are deeply concerned and involved in the decision-making of our community,” she said. “I intend to see to it that the ability to make these decisions — to be in control of our town government — remains with the people.”

She said she doesn’t want to “entrust our future to an overreaching, uncontrollable city council form of government.”

Davis of Prospect Avenue said he is a Vietnam veteran with two grown children. He said he took early retirement from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, served on a Board of Appeals in another municipality, and is a 17-year veteran of Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation, formerly known as Maine Handicapped Skiing.

Davis considers himself a “fresh voice” in Rumford, having purchased a home there three years ago. That, he said, will allow him to deal with the current-day situation without the past history of the town’s affairs influencing his views.

As for the Charter Commission, he said he wants “to assist on verifying that the charter is a true reflection between it and the local ordinances, in all aspects.

“I want to make sure that it represents the will and thoughts of the people of Rumford so that they can continue to have the voice and the power to keep the town strong and moving forward,” Davis said. “If there are any changes that need to be made to do this, the commission must have their support and input to make it happen.”

Greene said he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maine at Machias and in 2010 with a master’s degree in social work.

He has three children. His oldest daughter graduated in May from St. Joseph’s College with a nursing degree and is employed at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. His middle daughter is a junior at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vt., pursuing a degree in travel and tourism, and his son is a sophomore at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Greene said he moved to Rumford in 1983 and works as the program director at the Pennacook Learning Center. He also operates a small private practice providing clinical psychotherapy.

Greene said he has worked for the local school district since 1996 and has been in the social services field since working at Rumford Group Home in 1984. He said he also serves on the Rumford Finance Committee because he wants to give back to the town “that has been such a wonderful place for my family and me.”

“I think the Charter Commission is another small way to be able to give back a little,” Greene said. “The charter is supposed to be a document that provides structure and be a guide for our town leaders.”

He echoed what Buccini and Sterling said that the charter sometimes gets in the way of doing business.

“A recent example is when the selectmen were not able to take advantage of a federal grant that would have strengthened the police department,” he said. “Another example is how it mandates a split vote on town budgets, interfering with voters being able to vote how they really want to. I think anything that interferes with voters being able to vote as they wish is a serious problem.”

Brennick said Wednesday that he is a Mexico native who moved to Rumford two years ago. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Maine at Farmington and is employed at the Pennacook Learning Center as a high school special education teacher.

Brennick said he served for three years on the former SAD 43 school board and is serving his second of a three-year term on the Rumford Parks Commission.

“I want to make sure that provisions in the charter support regionalization and don’t put up roadblocks,” Brennick said. “I want to also make sure that the charter is up to date and working so our municipal government can function.”

Palmer said he was born and raised in Rumford and is a 2000 graduate of Mountain Valley High School. He attended Central Maine Community College and is employed at the Greater Rumford Community Center and with Gleason Media Group. He is head baseball coach at Dirigo High School in Dixfield and on the board of directors at the Rumford Parks Department.

“I think the Charter Commission is a committee that Rumford needs,” Palmer said. “Hopefully, the committee that is elected and has been appointed can make progress with minimal drama. I think the regionalization process needs to move forward. I also think some of the initiated articles need to be looked at differently.”

Viger Jr. said he was born and raised in Rumford and has lived in Rumford for 36 years. He and his fiancee, Kristen Nicols, recently built a home in Rumford.

Viger said he has 17 years experience working for the River Valley public works departments, including his current position at the Rumford-Mexico Sewer District. Sewer District Superintendent Greg Trundy said Viger has worked there for seven years.

Viger Jr. is the son of Roger Viger Sr., who also lives in Rumford.

“As a hopeful member of the Charter Commission, I want to assist in making the town’s charter easier to understand and interpret,” Viger Jr. said. “I want to keep the power in the hands of the taxpayers.”

He said his 17 years of working for the town makes him a qualified candidate “to give positive feedback to the Charter Commission and help Rumford move forward in the right direction.”

Windover is a father to four children, three of whom are stepchildren. A lifelong resident of the River Valley area, he graduated from Mountain Valley High School and took some college courses.

He works as a welder fabricator for SF Pathways in Lewiston, has served five years on the Rumford Planning Board and spent 18 months working on the Comprehensive Plan Committee to update the town plan being voted on next month.

“I intend on preserving the ‘No’ vote of the voters,” through the Charter Commission, Windover said. “I want to make it as democratic as possible. I don’t think that we need to change that or try to in any way that is going to change the way the town votes now, and I’m also trying to think of a way that we can possibly institute a spending cap.”

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at the American Legion Hall on upper Congress Street.

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Sun Journal managing editor Judith Meyer contributed to this report


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