Two political newcomers  from Lewiston will vie for an open seat in District 2 on the Androscoggin County Commission.

Robert McCarthy

Republican Robert McCarthy and Democrat Roland Poirier are facing off in the special election to fill the final two years of the four-year term in District 2. Interim Commissioner Marc Roy was appointed to fill the seat until the next election following the death of John Butler in 2019.

District 2 consists of much of the northern section of Lewiston.

McCarthy, 63, is the post press production manager at the Sun Journal, He has been married to his wife, Janet, for 44 years and they have two adult children and six grandchildren.

Poirier, 65, the retired CEO/president of OTIS Federal Credit Union in Jay, is married with three children and four grandchildren.

Roland Poirier

Three other commissioners are seeking re-election and are running unopposed — Noel Madore of Lewiston in District 1, Terri Kelly of Mechanic Falls in District 4 and Isaiah Lary of Wales in District 6

Why are you running for the Androscoggin County Commission:

McCarthy: After years of volunteering for numerous groups and organizations, this is the logical next step. As a lifelong resident of Lewiston, I want to do what I can to maintain our great community and help guide us through these difficult times.

Poirier: I believe county government provides important services. I now have the time to give back to the community and it would be my honor to represent Lewiston.

What skills do you bring to the role of commissioner:

McCarthy: I currently manage a two-shift, seven-day production operation with 35 employees. The skills required to run a department of this size would translate well to the role the commissioners play. I deal with all aspects of employment from hiring and performance reviews to disciplinary actions and terminations. I am also involved in production planning, major purchases, budgeting and building maintenance.

Poirier: I bring a strong work ethic, and a fiscally conservative management style, with the understanding on how to evaluate budgets. My management experience with the public, employees and government regulators provides a better understanding of the many demands that organizations face.

What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you solve it:

McCarthy:  The biggest challenge facing the county is the balancing act between how to fund essential programs that will make an impact on the residents of this community and remaining fiscally responsible to reduce the financial impact on the taxpayers. Communication is key. Listening, not just to respond, but to truly understand the needs and impacts each program or bond could have will be crucial in bridging the gap and moving programs forward.

Poirier: One of the biggest challenges is controlling cost and balancing needed services. One way to address this concern is working with budgets that focus expenses on long-term as well as short-term needs or wants, while building reserve accounts.

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