HARRISON — Five candidates are vying for two open seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Incumbent Chairman Matt Frank is seeking another three-year term, along with Henry Hudson Jr., Charles Parrott Jr., Ray Simoglou and Richard Sykes. Outgoing Selectman Richard St. John is not seeking re-election.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at the Town Office, 20 Front St.

Appeals Board member Jonathan Whitney is seeking another five-year term and is running unopposed.

There is a three-year and two-year Planning Board position open with no candidates. Outgoing member Barbara Varricchio said she would accept the seat if selected as a write-in candidate, according Town Clerk Melissa St. John. Outgoing Selectman Richard St. John said if he was written into the three-year Planning Board seat, he would accept it.

Each candidate for selectman was asked to provide some biographical information about themselves and to respond to three questions:

  • Why are you running for the Board of Selectmen?

  • What do you feel are the most important issues facing the town?

  • What do you hope to accomplish as selectman?

Candidates Parrott and Simoglou did not respond to the questionnaire.

Matt Frank

Frank has served for six years on the board and wants to serve another term, noting “it has been an honor” to do so.

“It is necessary to set priorities (mine would be the children, the roads and public safety) and maximize services and reduce costs,” he said.

He is now the vice chairman of ecomaine, which takes care of the town’s garbage and recyclables, where he pushed the organization to operate like a free-enterprise business instead of a government agency.

“They have been able to pay off their bonds, increase their cash reserves and modernize their plant and equipment,” Frank said of ecomaine. “This has resulted in a Harrison budget reduction of approximately $135,000.”

He said the town now spends double on roads from when he was first elected — $600,000 — in an attempt to slowly catch up. He got the lights and scoreboard repaired at RADR Sports Complex.

Frank said many residents have a hard time paying their taxes, and the town’s operating budget has decreased from $1.91 million to $1.87 million while he’s been on the board.

“We need a tight sensible budget that sets priorities and improves efficiencies,” he said. “I pledge to continue to be a tight-fisted, compassionate problem solver.”

Henry Hudson Jr.

Hudson, a former selectman, is a self-employed concrete contractor at Henry’s Concrete Construction Inc., which he started in 1969.

His reason for running for selectman is simple: “To keep things running as smoothly as they are now.”

“I do not have any cause to change things,” he said. “I have no conflict of interest with anything.”

He added, “I am not running against Matt Frank, as I believe he should be re-elected.”

If elected, Hudson said he would like to keep the town’s taxes down, but at the same time allow the programs that work well to continue to run.

“I feel that owning and running a business for this many years has given me the experience to be fiscally smart in making these decisions,” he said.

Hudson served as selectman from 1985-87.

“While in this position, I was instrumental in creating our town’s transfer station, and setting up capital accounts to pay not only for town equipment but also amounts to have on hand when equipment needed to be replaced,” he said.

While serving as selectman, Hudson and his colleagues began the process of setting aside $100,000 annually to improve the town’s roads. They also hired then-Town Manager Mike Thorn, “who brought our town out of debt.”

He was previously the president of Harrison Old Home Days for five years. He also served as the trailmaster for the Harrison Friendly Riders Snowmobile Club. He has “also been very supportive of our church and the Harrison VFW.”

Richard Sykes

Sykes is a retired high school principal who recently served one year on the Harrison Board of Selectmen.

For Sykes, it’s all about community service.

“I am running to continue my interest in serving the citizens of my community,” he said.

There are two important issues for the Friendly Village.

“Important issues will be to keep property taxes low while maintaining quality services for the town,” Sykes said.

“I hope to increase communications with our citizens,” he said when asked what he hopes to accomplish if elected.

Sykes previously served four terms as a state representative. He is currently a member of the Harrison Fire Department.

[email protected]

Matt Frank

Richard Sykes

Henry Hudson Jr.


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