On the issues: Cushing Select Board Candidate Laurie Haynes

Sat, 03/07/2020 - 5:30pm

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 Laurie Haynes and am up for re-election for selectman. I have felt honored to serve as your selectman for the past 9 years and with your support will do so going forward. We have an amazing town with neighbors helping neighbors and a great love of community. I have been amazed at the amount of support I have received in the past and thank you all for the confidence you’ve shown in me.

I served in the military for 6 years where I worked as a medic and earned the rank of Sargent E-5 upon leaving the service. I worked at MBNA bank for many years where I was a member of a small team whose job it was to fill in wherever was needed from loan officer to collections and everywhere in between. When the bank sold, I decided to start my own business. For the past 13 years I’ve had a gardening business tending gardens for 30+ Customers and have been blessed that they keep me busy enough to provide a full-time seasonal position for one other person. I was the first Female member and first female Noble Grand of Warren Odd Fellows Lodge in. I also have a small farm on Salt Pond Road where I have a farm stand that provides eggs and produce for my community. In the past year I have adopted and trained (with help) a wild mustang. What a challenge that was.

To sum it up, I am not afraid of a challenge or hard work. I have been honored to serve my community these past 9 years and ask for your continued support.

Don’t forget to get out and vote and let your voices be heard.

What are Cushing’s greatest strengths, and how do you hope to maintain them?

I’ve lived in Cushing for the past 20+ years and found Cushing’s greatest strength to be its residents and their sense of community. If someone is in need neighbors help neighbors, if there’s a problem they feel comfortable contacting the Selectmen or the office to address it as we are all neighbors. Cushing is a small town of working and retired people from diverse backgrounds, that when it comes down to it will pull together for the common good of their community.

What are Cushing’s greatest problems to address?

As Selectmen, among other things, we are responsible for the town budget, which directly relates to what our residents pay in property taxes each year. We’ve been successful in keeping our towns expenditures down so taxes will not go up however, we have little control over either the school budget or the transfer station which are our biggest expenditures.

Does Cushing need to adjust zoning to accommodate business growth, housing construction and industry expansion?

Currently I don’t believe there is any need for additional zoning but if the situation changes, we would most certainly address it as the need arises. We would always consider quality of life and community values before making any changes

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 designed to pay the bills, address issues that may arise and to see that the town runs smoothly. Our town has 5 Selectmen, all of which are from varying backgrounds thus each of us bring something different to the table. Most often we are of differing opinions but that only adds to good decisions. We are able to discuss things calmly, consider each view and make decisions accordingly. If re-elected I will continue to voice my opinion on whatever subject, always keeping in mind what our beautiful community would want and keeping with our town values.

How do you see Cushing fitting into the greater regional economy and culture, and how would you like to develop that?

Cushing has lobster fishermen, clammers, trades people and a variety of other occupations. We are a versatile community with much to offer. We are good neighbors to surrounding towns as they are to us.

Where are your favorite places to spend time in the Cushing community?

This will sound totally self-serving but my favorite place to spend time is on my small farm. I have 3 horses, Chickens and 2 dogs. Community members stop by for eggs or produce or stop by just to visit and hi to the horses. What other community is still like that? Cushing is amazing. If I were to pick one other place in town it would be Art in the Barn. They always have something going on in the summer. They give artists a venue to show their work, then theirs always karaoke night. Amazing community event.

Free space! Anything else you'd like to say to the voters that we haven’t considered?

I do not consider myself a politician. I am a neighbor and resident of this amazing community and one of five people entrusted with its continued well-being.