NAPLES — There are contested races for the Selectboard and the Planning Board this year, while the SAD 61 board seat will be filled by Janice Barter.
Incumbent Robert Caron II and John Nostin are running for the open Selectboard seat. Four candidates are competing for two Planning Board seats: incumbents John Thompson and James Allen, and Robert Nyberg and Caleb Humphrey.
The town has open seats on the Budget Committee and Transfer Station Council, but no one took out nomination papers for either position.
Caron has been on the Selectboard for two three-year terms and is part of the Naples Community Center Exploratory Committee. He also served on the library Board of Directors for four years and on the Recreation Committee for three years.
He would like to address the issue of growth in town by planning “to get us in a better position for our taxpayers.” He is also interested in a new community center: “We’re trying to figure out for the programs that we want offered in the community, how to better utilize current buildings or do we need new structures?”
“I have a strong relationship with a lot of Naples residents,” he said, and “I think it’s important to give back to the community.”
Nostin serves on the Budget Committee and thinks “it’s time for a change.”
“Some of the members currently there belong to the good old boys network and need to be replaced,” he said.
Nostin said he is running because he cares about the town.
“Some members of the previous Selectboard haven’t been there for the town or the people,” he said. “I believe a selectperson is elected to serve the town and the people of the town.”
Thompson has been on the Planning Board for 15 years and said “there are some things left undone that I want to see get finished,” including updating ordinances.
He served as the town’s code enforcement officer for 20 years and serves as code enforcement officer of Frye Island. He is also a member of the Ordinance Review Committee.
Allen has served on the Planning Board for 18 years, was a member of the Budget Committee for one year and served on the Ordinance Review Committee for a number of years.
“I’ve always been taught to give to the community and volunteer,” he said.
He doesn’t think anyone on the Planning Board should have an agenda.
“My job is to look at each individual project that is brought to us with an open mind and follow the ordinance,” he said. “I’m honest and a voice of reason when it comes to ordinances. I’m unbiased.”
Nyberg, who is on the Budget Committee and the Land Use Committee, chose to run to be of service to his community and help shape the town’s future.
“I want to see things happening in Naples. Where’s the plan? What is Naples gonna be in five years?” he said.
“We haven’t been doing anything for the community. The people in the community need services. It just seems like we need to get some plan, some direction.”
He said that if elected, he would “really listen to the community, find out what they want and make that happen.”
Humphrey would like to focus on giving “some life back to this town during the off-season” when “it’s incredibly quiet.”
“There are no major facilities for anybody that lives in the community. Everything basically shuts up (in the winter). We need to have a little more activity,” he said.
Humphrey has served on the Budget Committee for three years.
The election will take place May 21.
Meanwhile, the town’s proposed budget is $12.5 million, up about $324,000, or about 2.7 percent, over last year’s.
Town Manager John Hawley said the most significant increases are in emergency medical services “to equalize the pay rates with neighboring communities,” town maintenance and the transfer station.
He anticipates the tax rate will remain about the same. It is currently $13.35 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.
The Selectboard will vote April 8 on the budget and residents will vote on it at the annual town meeting on April 30 at 6 p.m.
Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at email@example.com.