Contested races in Sebago for Selectboard, School Board

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SEBAGO — Selectboard incumbent Edythe Harnden is being challenged by Christopher Harrington and David McCarthy for the one available seat on the June 12 ballot.

Audrey Douglass is the only candidate for a three-year term on the Sebago School Board, while Donelle Allen and David Sheldrick are running for one, two-year seat.

There are two Sebago Budget Committee seats on the ballot, with three candidates: member Gerald Holt, Edward Fitzgerald and James Libby.

Selectboard

Edythe (Edie) Harnden 

Age: Senior citizen (declined to give an exact age)
Occupation: 
Sebago general assistance manager, retired assistant to the Parsonsfield Selectboard
Political experience: 
current Selectboard member

Why are you running for Select board?
I want to support my town, which is very important to me. I have enjoyed being Selectman – we have a great board… I guess that’s my main thing, is to be there for the people of the town.
What skills and experiences do you bring to the table that you think can help Sebago?

Having served previous terms, I am proud to have also been the general assistance administrator. By checking with the Department of Health and Human Services I been able to save the town money. Having started the Town Fuel Fund, which is run entirely by very generous donations, help has been given to those who are not eligible for General Assistance. I worked on several grants for Senior Citizen Weatherization helping with doors, windows, roofs, etc. I hope to be able to continue. I have been in Sebago since 1981 and love our town, the town has lots of special meanings to me.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Sebago today? And biggest opportunity?

Working on the town budget is always a challenge, the board works very hard on this while trying not to reduce services. Also the new school system. Being a small town we have several small businesses and new homes being built which offer great opportunities.

Christopher Harrington

Age: 27
Occupation:
Water treatment technician, EMT, firefighter
Political experience:
 town ambulance committee, served as vice president of the Sebago Community Fire Company. 
Why are you running for Selectboard?
Sebago has always has been my home and always will be. We are at a turning point in our towns history and we need fresh faces to face the new challenges.
What skills and experiences do you bring to the table that you think can help Sebago?

I have served on the committee for the acquirement for the town’s newest ambulance. I worked alongside the members of the committee and the Board of Selectman in designing a truck that has the safety of our town in mind. This task was completed while working within the town’s budget. I was elected and served as vice president of the Sebago Community Fire Company. I have a great deal of experience working with the community as an EMT/ firefighter for the town. Between living in this community my entire life and working at the Fryeburg fair as a demonstrator, I have had the opportunity to meet with thousands of esidents of Sebago and surrounding towns.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Sebago today? And biggest opportunity?

It is clear that the biggest issue our town is facing is the withdrawal from SAD 61 and the economic impact that our new school system will have on our taxpayers. We need to limit excessive spending and the burden our residents will face while not sacrificing our children’s education. Growing and expanding our town and in many ways, but growing at a rate that the town can afford.

Dave McCarthy

Age: 60
Occupation:
 Sales
Political experience: 
past Selectboard member for three years, budget committee member for nine years, Board of Appeals for four years, and Sebago Comprehensive Plan Committee. Previous chairman of Sebago Town Hall Expansion Committee, and Sebago Fire Department Expansion Committee.
Why are you running for Selectboard?

Our town right now, is in a crucial period because of our decision to leave SAD 61. It’s a very exciting time, as we have taken control of our destiny, and this move will help to ensure our property values stay intact, and that we serve the students of our town in the best way possible. Our new school district will be our single largest expense. Therefore, it’s critical that the leadership of this town take a more active role to ensure our success … Another area where I want to impact is service to our taxed residents. We who make up our town’s government should always be mindful that we are there to serve, help and improve the lives and experiences of our constituents.
What skills and experiences do you bring to the table that you think can help Sebago?

Having spent 30 years negotiating contracts in sales, managing budgets and large projects, I have learned many things. Perhaps the most important is I listen to what people say and don’t say. I am objective and will always listen for the best solutions. I can build a consensus among people to drive agendas and get things accomplished. I have also held various positions on town boards and committees and understand how things work here and will be able to hit the ground running.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Sebago? And biggest opportunity?

A big challenge in the past 20 years was always the potential of the elementary school closing. We have removed that threat. I see the first three years of our new school district of vital importance to the success of our community both fiscally and socially… Another important issue is communication, as good communication is vital to any town. I want to insure we are doing everything we can to engage our citizens and ensure they have the information available to them, and that they feel like they have a voice, and are comfortable with what is available to them regarding access to the board. One possibility is to see our committee and board meetings recorded and made available online, either on our web site or some other hosting entity.

School Board (two-year seat)

Donelle Allen

Age: 53
Occupation: 
works at local preschool and day care
Why are you running for School Board?

I am running because I have been a part of the entire withdrawal movement from the beginning. I currently am the co-chair of the staffing and administration advisory committee, and I am an alumni of Sebago Elementary School. My mother was my third-grade teacher.
What skills and experiences do you bring to the table that you think can help the Sebago School Administration Unit?

I have a knowledge of the workings of Sebago Elementary from my earliest memories. Over the years, I’ve known the staff down there. I’ve been working with children my entire life (she studied early education, worked as a nanny, ran a school lunch program, and has worked in the behavioral health field) … You name it, I’ve done it.
What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the new SAU? And greatest opportunity?

The greatest challenges is the short time span that we’re looking at to get up and running … other than that, it’s really exciting. The greatest opportunity is building a school – we’re already proud of our school… so just expanding upon that an maybe implementing some new and exciting ideas in the future.

Dave Sheldrick 

Age: 43
Occupation:
Bond manager-contract at Berkley Surety
Political experience
: Prior to 2018: none. Beginning in January 2018: Involved with the Sebago Finance Committee – helping establish a budget for the first year of the Sebago School District. I was also involved with selecting the current superintendent, Marc Gendron.

Why are you running for School Board?
First, I believe the School Board should include a parent – someone with a direct, vested interest in the decision-making process. I will be able to provide that perspective, as I have a daughter in third grade, as well as a daughter at LRMS in eighth grade. At the moment, I do not believe there is a parent on the Sebago School Board. Second, I consistently work out of town during the work week. As such, I am not immersed in the day-to-day, local politics that may have accompanied previous board members. While some may view this item as an obstacle, I view this situation positively – the ability to provide the board with a fresh, objective perspective in the decision-making process. Third, I have been active in coaching girls soccer and girls basketball for the Town of Sebago. Now, I want to expand my involvement with the school.
What skills and experiences do you bring to the table that you think can help the Sebago School Administration Unit?

My professional skill set involves finance and business analytics. I believe these skills will be valuable in terms successfully planning mid-term and long-term budgets/plans for the new school district. Further, having a child that attends the school provides balance in terms of maintaining the human side of the decision-making process.
What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the new SAU? And greatest opportunity?

The greatest challenge facing the new Sebago School District will be identifying any unknown start-up costs associated with running this school as its own entity … Fortunately, the town has been proactive in this process… I feel the greatest opportunity for the Sebago School District will be the ability to control its own destiny. With the exception of paying tuition for middle school and high school students from the town of Sebago (terms of the withdrawal deal) the town’s funds will go directly toward the town’s school.

Edythe Harnden

Christopher Harrington

Dave McCarthy

Donelle Allen

Dave Sheldrick

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