LIVERMORE — Voters will elect a town clerk, a treasurer and two selectmen at the polls Tuesday, June 12.

Ballots can be cast from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

Town Clerk Renda Guild is unopposed in her bid for re-election, as is Treasurer Amy Byron. Both positions are for two years. 

Selectmen candidates Benjamin Guild and Brett Deyling are seeking a three-year seat held by Megan Dion.

Dion and incumbent Wayne Timberlake are seeking a two-year position.

No one is running for a three-year seat on the Regional School Unit 73 board.

The selectmen candidates responded to the following questions:

1. Why are you seeking this position?

Deyling: I would like to see the town continue to be able to pay the daily bills without taking out loans as has happened in the past at great cost to the taxpayers. I think the town also needs leaders that can deal with the reality that we have a small tax base and limited funds to meet the demand for services that our residents expect.

Guild: I feel the selectman position places you in a position to work for the people and not push a personal agenda. Your ability to serve directly correlates to your ability to listen to the citizens and move the town in a forward direction while being financially responsible. I am seeking this position because as a hardworking, driven and civic-minded individual, I will work hard to improve our town and forward our comprehensive plan.

Dion: I am seeking this position because I enjoy serving the people of this town. I have had the privilege of being a selectperson for the past six years.

Timberlake: I want to be involved and try to make a difference in this town.  I have lived in Livermore my whole life.

2. What qualifications would you/do you bring to the position?

Deyling: I am a Maine-licensed professional engineer. In my younger days I worked as a laborer for a few excavation contractors in the state. I was also in the United States Marine Corps. I have the discipline to keep my focus on the goals that need to be achieved. I am very direct and numbers-driven, I have the technical knowledge to know what needs to be done, how long it should take, what it should look like when done and what it should cost. Too many people in leadership positions have no background in real work and are prone to being taken advantage of by contractors and suppliers.

Guild: My background primarily has been in public service and working in a municipal setting, both as an administrator and in the field. I currently hold two college degrees, one in paramedicine and the other community paramedicine. I am very familiar with municipalities and how the local government works due to the municipal services I have worked for, currently and in the past.

Dion: I worked at the Town Office prior to being elected as selectperson. Because of that I have an understanding and knowledge of how different areas of the town operate. Also, my husband and I own an excavation business. With owning a business, there are always challenges that need to be worked out, problems that need to be solved, as well as budgeting, research, lots of paperwork and learning, just to name a few things. I love researching and learning and helping others in whatever way I can.

Timberlake: Self-employed logger for 26 years and I feel I know equipment management and budgets.

3. What do you consider the most pressing issue(s) facing the town and how would you address it (them)?

Deyling: The most pressing issue I see is a limited tax base and stagnant business climate. The town needs to focus on improving the tax base, in whatever form that takes. The Route 4 corridor is an opportunity to bring some business to town. We saw Dollar General develop a site last year. We have a small but hopefully growing agricultural market in the town, we have forests and recreational opportunities that could be utilized to draw in people and businesses, we just have to do a better job marketing our assets to perspective residents/businesses.

Guild: Our infrastructure is my top concern. Our roads, public buildings, and equipment speak largely about the town we live in. I think taking a calculated and justified look at how to improve them and how to build upon them will help to advance our town. I also feel making sure what we do is justified and within reason helps to properly maintain them. Maintaining a business-friendly atmosphere while keeping to our core principle values and beliefs is another issue I feel is pressing. The Planning Board members have some great ideas and forwarding them will help our town.

Dion: The most pressing issue I think the town is facing is the increase in taxes without the tax base going up. When our tax base is increasing, it is understandable that our budget could also increase, but when the tax base is not increasing and our taxes are, that’s when we have an issue.

We have many in town who live on a fixed income; so, when they are expected to pay more in taxes, it becomes a greater burden on them. That being said, many people who are asked this question might revert to the condition of our roads; which is an issue that has grounds, but, to me, I think people are the most important part of this town. When we have people who are thriving in town, it will flow into all areas of our town. Without our people, we would not even have a town. Creating a healthy, thriving town, without overtaxing the people living here, is my priority.

Timberlake: Major concern is to keep our roads and equipment to be safe for our townspeople and employees. We have limited funds so our road committee is working with selectpersons to address areas with the most needs.

4. At town meeting, voters will be asked to adopt “referendum voting” for future town meetings. Do you support this move? Why or why not?

Deyling: I am not in favor of referendum voting in town. If an individual is interested in participating in town business and discussions they can attend the town meeting and vote as they please. Uninformed voters who do not attend the meeting prior to casting their ballot and are not aware of the pros/cons of the issues they are voting on could be very dangerous for the town.

Guild: I do support this move, mostly because I feel it will allow more individuals to be engaged in the decision-making process. In a town where more than two-thirds of our workforce commutes out of the area, it can be challenging for them to attend a meeting which, at times, can be lengthy. I also feel there are ways to allow individuals to be involved in the process leading up to the voting period, by going to selectmen meetings, Budget Committee meetings, and obtaining information from the Town Office.

Dion: I understand that the argument for referendum voting would allow more people to be able to vote. I strongly stand behind the voice of the people. I personally would miss town meeting. I like being able to discuss the articles and hear the voice of the people and their different perspectives. Also, with this in place, an article would not be able to be amended on the floor. For instance, if we wanted to spend less on a certain item, someone could amend the motion and if it was seconded and the amendment passed, then the townspeople could lower the cost. Whereas, with a referendum ballot, you can only vote it up or down.

Timberlake: Yes, I feel we need to get more Livermore citizens involved to vote on town warrants. Some people are unable to make the town meeting so this will give more people a voice.

5. This year, the selectpersons are recommending spending an additional $175,000 for Capital Road Improvements over the Budget Committee’s recommendation of $350,000. Which amount would you support and why?

Deyling: The Budget Committee recommended $350,000 based on available funds. I don’t see the need to spend the additional money at this time. I would like to budget with funds that we have available and not rely on loans for our infrastructure improvements.

Guild: With the cost of road improvements increasing, and with the cost of asphalt increasing, I do support this. The increase is to give the townspeople different options on how much they want to spend on the roads. The money proposed is for specific projects and with this I feel is justified and not being allocated without a planned purpose. Everyone can agree that our roads are in rough shape, however the issue lies in funding. I feel at some point we need to look at increasing this budget, if not this year, in years to come.

Dion: I would strongly support the Budget Committee’s recommendation of $350,000. We found out at our last selectmen meeting that we are $188,796 over the tax levy limit with the selectmen’s proposed budget.

Now, that is above the already allowable approximate 1 percent increase. This greatly concerns me. I can’t imagine increasing our taxes that much on our people, again thinking about those who are on fixed incomes. And for what? Around one mile of road and two overlays?

I think we need to come up with a better plan for our roads. There are other options out there that need to be explored. A lot can be done by ditching and cutting back trees away from the road, which can be done by our road crew. That’s the reason we bought an excavator. Instead of increasing the taxes on our people, we need to use the finances we have wisely and think outside the box to solve the issues with our roads.

Timberlake: I support the higher amount because $350,000 does not rebuild enough road. Even the higher amount barely helps us get ahead.

6. What are your work and volunteer experiences and how would they benefit you as a selectman?

Deyling: I work as a civil engineer. I also operate a small farm in town. I have extensive construction experience and spend quite a bit of time engaged in infrastructure projects from both a design and construction management perspective. I know how to effectively communicate issues and deal with criticism professionally and with a level head. I am good at managing projects and budgets and working within constraints to deliver services at appropriate costs. I volunteer during the winter at Lost Valley helping to develop a cross country skiing culture in the youth of the area.

Guild: For the past 12 years I have been a firefighter/paramedic for various departments in Maine and New Hampshire. I have had the ability to serve as an administrator for some of these departments. I currently volunteer here in Livermore as well as serve on the town’s Planning Board. I have served as an AmeriCorps member, which allows individuals to volunteer their time and in return, receive grants for education.

Dion: I worked in the Town Office as the deputy clerk, which allowed me to understand the dynamics of our town and the process of government. I also was able to get to know many of our residents and serve them in that setting. This has helped me to not only understand different issues and other matters, but also has allowed me to put faces on the people that our decisions are affecting. As far as volunteer experience, when I was in college, I had the privilege of working with Child Evangelism Fellowship and also a Special Events Ministries team that traveled across the state of Maine. This allowed me to see many areas of Maine and meet many people.

I also had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Third World countries and serving overseas. That has opened my eyes up to the wonderful blessing it is to live in the United States of America. It has made me thankful for the many freedoms that we have and has given me a great respect for our country, our founding fathers, and those who have served and are currently serving our country to protect those freedoms. We should never take lightly all that we have been blessed with, when so many have far less.

Timberlake: In the past I coached AYS soccer and Little League baseball.  I volunteered at Spruce Mountain ski slope repairing  equipment. I was a self-employed logger for 26 years. The past nine years I have worked at Verso Paper in Jay. I was also an over-the-road truck driver part-time during mud season while I was logging. I have served 14 years as a selectman.

7. Please provide a few biographical details.

Deyling: I have lived in Livermore since 2011. I grew up in Leeds, where I moved when I was 4 years old. With the exception of college at the University of Maine, the United States Marine Corps and a couple of out-of-state work stints, I have lived my entire life in the area. I work at a small engineering firm based in Lewiston, with work all over New England. My wife and I own a small farm. We grow lamb, beef, fruits and vegetables. I do not have any children yet, but feel like Livermore would be a great place to raise them.

Guild: I have lived in Livermore for six years, and I am the fourth generation to own our land on Keith Street. My wife and I are expecting our first child in November and we couldn’t be more excited. I grew up in Industry, but have spent my whole life in Livermore visiting family and close friends.

Dion: In college, I studied at New Brunswick Bible Institute and received a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies centered in Christian counseling, and I also have my Bachelor of Theology degree from Covington Theological Seminary. My husband and I built our house here in Livermore in 2009. I have lived in Maine my whole life, and my husband grew up right here in Livermore. We own a business called Hillside Excavating. We have four amazing kids. We love to be involved in our community and our church as different opportunities come our way.

Timberlake: I have always lived in Livermore. I have a two-year degree from the University of Maine Orono. I have been married to my wife, a nurse at Franklin Memorial Hospital, for almost 33 years. We have three children and three grandchildren.

[email protected]

Brett Deyling is seeking a three-year seat on the Livermore Board of Selectpersons. (Submitted photo)

Benjamin Guild is seeking a three-year seat on the Livermore Board of Selectpersons. (Courtesy photo)

Megan Dion is seeking a two-year seat on the Livermore Board of Selectpersons. (Submitted photo)

Wayne Timberlake (Submitted photo)


Comments are not available on this story.