Penobscot Bay Pilot is posing questions to each candidate running for the Cushing Select Board, providing the opportunity for the public to better understand their position on issues important to the town and region.
Two candidates are vying for one seat on the Cushing select board: Craig Currie and Laurie Haynes.
Please provide a concise biography of yourself.
My name is Craig Currie and I am running for the Cushing Select Board. Before moving here I was in the toy and juvenile products business for many years including as a founder of American Girl. I currently am a member of the Town Budget Committee and one of the elected Town Assessors. In addition I am on the Boards of the Cushing Public Library (as Treasurer) and Knox/Lincoln County Extension Service. I also act as Treasurer for the Friends of Cushing Rescue Squad. I enjoy being involved with all these groups and would like to further contribute to the Town if you elect me. I also enjoy hunting and fishing and tending my gardens. We have two grown children — a son who works for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a daughter who is currently getting her electrical engineering degree in Portland.
What are Cushing's greatest strengths, and how do you hope to maintain them?
The people of Cushing have always been warm and welcoming. We have a great community that really cares about its residents and their needs. A good example is our Maine Bicentennial celebration group which is pulled together from the Library, Historical Society, Fire and Rescue squads, the local Broad Cove church and many others. Cushing has a great diversity of folks living here and we should continue to tap into that diversity.
What are Cushing's greatest problems to address?
Cushing has done a great job keeping town controlled expenses under control. However the school and county budgets continue to be a complex and growing problem in their rapid increases. I would like to see Cushing work with the other towns in the RSU and the county to try and work through these issues in a comprehensive manner. We always need to balance the needs of our Cushing residents and taxpayers with those of other towns.
Does Cushing need to adjust zoning to accommodate business growth, housing construction and industry expansion?
I don't believe adjustments are needed at this time but if changes arise we should address them in a community friendly manner.
What is the importance of local government, and how do you see yourself, as a potential select board member moving forward, in it?
Local government is the heart and soul of this country. I would always be open and honest when dealing with our Cushing citizens and really listen to their concerns and comments. I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the Cushing Select Board as a new member.
How do you see Cushing fitting into the greater regional economy and culture, and how would you like develop that?
Cushing has a great mix of folks who contribute widely to the regional economy and culture. We have a great mix of working and retired folks who are always ready to lend a hand to the community and the county. I would certainly encourage this continued involvement.
Where are your favorite places to spend time in the Cushing community?
We have some great walking trails in Cushing including the Town Trail next to the Cushing Community School and the Pleasant Point Nature preserve. I also enjoy spending time on my farm and with our fantastic neighbors.
Free space! Anything else you'd like to say to the voters that we haven’t considered?
This is my first time to run for the Cushing Select Board. I have tried to get a better understanding of the town through the Budget Committee and Assessor work. I think I would bring a fresh perspective to the town's leadership and would be very committed to the work necessary to help Cushing move forward.