2016-06-10 / Front Page

Three running for selectmen in Arundel

When Arundel voters head to the polls June 14, they will have a choice of three candidates for two open spots on the board of selectmen. Both incumbents – Velma Jones Hayes and Jason Nedeau – have entered the race and are being challenged for a three-year term by Noel Holmes.

Candidate surveys for Jones Hayes and Holmes are listed. Nedeau, however, declined to submit information to the Post.

“I think I’ll just stick with my signs and the past three years [of service on the board],” he said.

Absentee ballots for the race are available now at town hall and may be requested through Thursday, June 9. Traditional polling will take place on Tuesday, June 14, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

In other municipal races, only Ira Camp took out papers to fill Erin Nedeau’s expiring seat on the RSU 21 Board of Directors. He is the current chairman of Arundel’s economic development committee.

Meanwhile, the town’s budget board is plagued by its perennial lack of candidates for six elected positions. Only current member Jack Reetz filed for one of two three-year terms on the board. Michelle Allen took out papers for a two-year term on the budget board, while nobody submitted papers for the single one-year term that is available.

The budget board is offering terms of of one-, two- and three years because whenever there are too few candidates for the available slots, selectmen are empowered to appoint someone to fill the seat until the next regular election.

The annual town meeting, to vote in the proposed $3.18 million municipal budget for 2016-2017, which is up $54,035, or 1.73 percent from current spending, will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at the Mildred L. Day Elementary School.

That budget figure does not include the $45,000 voters will be asked to appropriate to fund a plan for withdrawing from RSU 21. That question will be on the June 14 ballot. The budget board and all but one selectmen have come out against the idea. Whether or not to actually withdraw from the school district would be take up in a second vote, after the plan is completed.

Name: Velma Jones Hayes

Age: 74

Address: River Road

Phone: 985-7738

Occupation: Retired banker

Family: Married (four children, three stepchildren, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren)

Education: Associate’s degree from Plus Gray School of Business

Organizations and activities: Arundel Historical Society (treasurer); Salvation Army, Arundel, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport Unit; Gary’s House volunteer.

Top Three Issues: (in order of priority)

1. RSU 21 withdrawal

2. New town hall

3. Route 1 infrastructure

Why are you seeking elected office?

I am seeking re-election because I feel that I can do a good job working for the taxpayers of Arundel. I have lived here since 1958 and raised my children here. I have six grandchildren here and one great-grandson who all live here, My roots run very deep in Arundel.

I strongly feel that we do not need to spend hard-earned taxpayer money for a divorce proceeding from the RSU. The M.L. Day School has gone from being in the bottom 10 percent of schools to being in the top 10 percent of schools and that is the only area where we could make cuts, all other costs are fixed and set. Anyone can see the numbers just by making their own study – call the RSU business office and ask for the numbers. I did. Talk to our town manager, he is paid to look out for the best interests of all of us. Education has thrived in the RSU and our cost-sharing is very much a benefit.

We need new business in Arundel and to draw that business we need infrastructure along our Route 1 corridor. That is being worked on and should continue as long as our tax rate stays reasonable.

We badly need a new town hall and are close to choosing a site for the building; we already have the plan. I am asking for your vote so I can continue working for our taxpayers. Thank you.

Name: Noel B. Holmes

Age: 40

Address: Clearview Drive

Phone: 286-7048

Occupation: Plant services manager at Protech Environmental Services.

Family: Married (three children) Education: Associate’s degree from York County Community College.

Organizations and activities: Arundel Little League; Autism Society of Maine; Mildred L. Day Elementary School Parent Teacher Association.

Top Three Issues: (in order of priority)

1. In my opinion, we have a need for more involvement from citizens who typically don’t get involved. Feedback from a more diversified resident pool, results in more informed, responsible and effective decisions made by the town representatives.

2. In addition, economic growth of our town should be stimulated more aggressively to broaden our tax base to minimize increases, flatten or lower the tax rate.

3. I feel a key issue facing the town is being part of an RSU and how our educational choices are being made and our tax revenue being spent without regard for resident feedback. This will continue to have a significant impact on the taxpayers especially those with fixed incomes.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I decided to seek a position as a selectman of the town because I care about being a part of the community I live in and helping the town government make the best decisions possible that affect our infrastructure and people. I am not a native Arundel citizen; however, I can think of no better community to serve. I learned at a young age, humanity, humility and the importance of civic duty, which I am grateful for.

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