LIVERMORE FALLS — Four candidates are competing for a two-year and three-year seat on the Livermore Falls Board of Selectmen.

Tom Barker, 60, a residential construction contractor for many years, is running for a two-year term. Incumbent Mary Young is not running for re-election. 

“I started at age 4 with my dad — yes, I wasn’t much help at that age,” he said with a laugh.

Asked why he was running for selectman, Barker said he believes the board plays a crucial role in determining the town’s future. He also said he disagreed with the overall direction of the current board.

“An awful lot of people seem to be pretty free with money, and I am quite conservative,” he said. “Where I’ve worked many years in construction, I know they can save a lot of money on repairs to the fire station.”

Selectmen are working to come up with a solution to repairing the fire station and correcting structural deficiencies. Like the other candidates for selectman, Barker thinks the fire station issue is the most pressing matter facing Livermore Falls. Many people in town are living on fixed incomes, he noted, and he thinks town officials “are painting an unrealistic view of where the town is at financially.”

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Barker said he was also worried about what would happen with Verso’s Androscoggin Mill in Jay. In the wake of recent job losses there, many towns nearby, such as Livermore Falls, are feeling the effects.

“It’s the ripple effect,” he said.

Susan Metzger, 49, currently unemployed, is running against Barker for the two-year selectman seat. One of the reasons she is running is that she is concerned about the possible removal of the town’s police department.

“I’ve heard a lot of discussion on taking away the Police Department, and going more to the (Androscoggin County) Sheriff’s Department,” she said. “I think that’s a huge mistake.”

Metzger pointed out that people tend to be more trusting of their local police force, and local officers know the town better than the county or state police.

“With the heroin epidemic, we’re going to see even more of a rise in crime and more of a need for the local police,” she said.

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Metzger said she is also running because she has the time.

“My children are grown,” she said.

Several people in the community have approached her about running, she said.

A concern of many people in town, Metzger said, is how repairs to the fire station will be addressed, what the cost will be and what’s the best way to go about fixing it. Even just repairing the station and not completely renovating it will be very expensive, she said.

Heather Bronish, 46, an unemployed former millworker, is running for a three-year seat held by James Collins, who is not running for re-election. She is going back to school for paralegal and justice studies, she said.

Asked why she was running, Bronish said, “I was encouraged to run to get some different voices on the selectboard.”

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Some of the most pressing issues affecting the town are the budget and how people’s taxes are spent, she said.

“People are concerned about the issue with the fire station and how much that’s going to cost,” she said.

George Cummings, 82, a former selectman and former member of the Budget Committee, is running against Bronish. His interest in town government goes all the way back to grammar school.

“They used to let us out to go to town meeting,” he said.

He has served on the Board of Selectmen and the school board in the past, and has been the road commissioner. More recently, he served on the Budget Committee.

Now retired, he noted that he has a hobby farm that he likes to tinker with.

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Asked about the most immediate issues facing the town, Cummings said, “Right now, the fire station. Somehow, I don’t know, but we’ve got to attract enterprise.”

Small-town America has almost died, he said, but in his U.S. travels, Cummings occasionally sees a town that’s thriving.

“There must be a secret there somewhere,” he said.

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Candidates for Livermore Falls Board of Selectmen:

and

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running for a two-year seat now held by Mary Young.

and

running for a three-year seat now held by James Collins.

Neither Young nor Collins is seeking re-election.

The election is Tuesday, June 14. Polls will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.


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