Three run for two seats on Bridgton selectboard

Bill Vincent 

BRIDGTON — When Bridgton voters head to the polls on June 13, they will choose two selectmen from a list of three candidates. 

Running for the two seats are incumbent Robert Murphy, real estate appraiser George Frederick “Fred” Packard, who has previously served on the town Planning Board for over 20 years, and tile contractor William “Bill” Vincent, who previously served as chairman of the town’s Budget Committee. 

Residents will also vote June 13 on a proposed marijuana moratorium that would temporarily ban marijuana retail establishments and social clubs in the town for 180 days while the state continues to work on implementation of the statewide recreational marijuana law passed by voters in November 2016. 

The candidates for the selectmen’s seats each spoke with the Lakes Region Weekly about their backgrounds and visions for the town.

Robert Murphy

Age: 75
Occupation: Contractor 
Political experience: Currently serves on the selectboard, and has been a selectman for about six months after filling a vacant seat. Murphy said he had no previous political experience before joining the board, and added, “I like what I’m doing, so I’m running again.”
No. 1 issue facing the town: “Town sewerage, big time. This town is long overdue for something that improves the town, period. They keep arguing and fighting over it, it’s ridiculous. I think any of the candidates are in favor of it, too, so, I’m being honest.” 

George “Fred” Packard 

Age: 71
Occupation: Certified real estate appraiser for 30 years in Maine and New Hampshire.
Political experience: Served on the Planning Board for 21 years and sat on several committees. 
No. 1 issue facing the town: “Wastewater. I think every candidate you interview is going to say the same thing … This (land use) ordinance that they’re working on, it needs quite a lot more work, I think, and that’s why they postponed it from this June election until November. And I haven’t really delved into it to really understand the whole thing at this time because it’s like a can, it keeps getting kicked down the road every time you turn around for the last two years. But it’s something that all communities have to think about – some minimal land use requirements.” 

Bill Vincent 

Age: 59
Occupation: Tile contractor 
Political experience: Served on town Budget Committee for several years, including three years as chairman. Also worked on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Land Use Zoning Committee. 
No. 1 issue facing the town: “There’s actually four that I think all take priority. Three of them are tied very closely together: that being the sewer expansion, the land use ordinance being passed, and the streetscape going forward. The fourth one being doing something as far as treatment and enforcement to battle against the opioid epidemic that’s going on right now in the Lakes Region.”

Bill Vincent 

Fred Packard