PARIS — Former Selectman Robert Kirchherr and Vic Hodgkins are vying for a two-year term on the Board of Selectmen in Tuesday’s election.

The winner will complete the term of Board of Selectmen Chairman Ryan Lorrain, who resigned this year to move closer to his job in Augusta.

Kirchherr served on the Board of Selectmen for three years and chaired it for half of that time. He served five years on the Planning Board. He is retired as the associate academic dean of Central Maine Community College in Auburn.

Hodgkins is station manager at radio station WOXO. He served on the Budget Committee for seven years as chairman, and served as a School Administrative District 17 director.

Both candidates agree there are a number important issues facing the town.

“I want to look out for the taxpayer,” Hodgkins said. “I don’t call it an agenda. I’ll take it as it comes, which I honestly think is refreshing.”

Kirchherr believes the Board of Selectmen needs to set goals to balance the needs and wants of the residents and their ability to pay for them.

“Citizens are taxpayers, too, and I don’t know of anyone who is eager to pay higher taxes,” he said. “But citizens/taxpayers also want decent roads that are plowed early and often, street lights at dangerous intersections, police and fire protection, schools that prepare people for real work, a library with books and computers, and all the other resources and services that make a town into a community.”

Another issue Kirchherr said Paris needs to address is economic development. He said the town had a strong manufacturing base 30 years ago, but the businesses have not only left the town, but Maine and the country.

“With manufacturing starting to return, it’s time to see if Paris can attract some clean manufacturing and small businesses back to town,” he said. It’s just as important to attract people to work such jobs, he said.

Both candidates were asked if they could put money in the budget, where would it be and why.

“If I had the choice, I would not put more money into the budget, rather, I would look for ways to save money from the budget, which in turn would help to lower the overall tax burden we face,” Hodgkins said.

Kirchherr thinks the town should invest in its current infrastructure to save money down the road.

“Paris needs good roads, high-speed Internet, telecommunications resources, quality police and fire protection and schools where students excel,” he said. “To attract new citizens, manufacturing and small businesses to town, infrastructure needs to be in place that is more than OK.”

Hodgkins said he’s been thinking about running for selectman for a number of years and directed people to his website, www.vicforparis.com, to view his videos.

“My history is I’ve served my community in many, many ways. It seemed like the next natural step,” he said. “Being on the Budget Committee for seven years, I learned how town government works. I feel like I have a strong reputation in town.”

Kirchherr said he wanted to run for selectman so residents have a board that works better together for them.

“I think we have a good opportunity to do good things in town instead of looking at the past and mistakes that were made,” he said. “I think being on the board I can help do that.”

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, at the Fire Station on Western Avenue.

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