Penobscot Bay Pilot has posed questions to each candidate running for Lincolnville Select Board in the Dec. 15 special election, providing the opportunity for the public to better understand their positions on issues. The seat opened in mid-September when Selectman David Barrows passed in a tragic accident. Jordan Barnett-Parker and Jason Trundy are vying for the open seat on the board. Candidates responding with their individual written answers will have their responses stored in the Pilot’s 2020 Election Resource Guide.
1. Please provide a biography of yourself
I was born and raised in Belfast and graduated from Belfast Area High School. My wife Lorraine and I have resided in Lincolnville since 1999 and we have been married for 32 years. We have three adult children and have begun our adventure into being grandparents!
I have been employed with the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office since 1994 and currently serve in the role of Chief Deputy where I oversee the daily operations of the patrol, corrections and civil process divisions. I have previously served two consecutive terms as a Lincolnville Selectman. I’m a member of the Belfast Rotary Club and serve on their Board of Directors. I also serve as a current Board Member of the Maine Youth Alliance (Game Loft & IKME).
My wife and I enjoy a wide array of hobbies including landscaping, gardening, wood working, antiquing and almost any activity that gets us into nature!
2. What are the three most pressing issues facing Lincolnville today, and how would you like to see them resolved?
One of the pressing issues we face in Lincolnville is the same faced by our State and Nation which is the current COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected every facet of our lives including our health, employment, education, sense of security and our basic need for social interaction.
Although the Select Board has limited oversight in some of these areas, they do have the ability to make a positive impact through the budget process. I believe the Select Board must balance its duties to maintain the operation of the town while recognizing that many of our neighbors continue to financially struggle.
The Select Board has and will continue to face a number of decisions where striking this balance will be required. My prior board experience has taught me that no single person has all the answers. The best decisions are reached when the members of the Select Board and the community they serve are open minded, maintain open lines of communication and engage one another with active listening and mutual respect.
3. How will you protect the Lincolnville taxpayer as you shape and govern a municipal budget, and juggle various interests that request municipal funding throughout the year?
The work of finding balance while crafting a municipal budget is one of the greatest challenges that faces a Select Board! While reviewing a budget there are elements essential to the operation of the town.
While serving as a selectman I would evaluate each funding request by asking is it a responsible and reasonable expense. To reach the answer to these questions each board member must remain open minded and be willing to listen to their fellow board members, the community we serve and subject matter experts. The more community input and factual data a Select Board has available, the better their decision will be.
4. How do you see Lincolnville positioned in the larger regional Midcoast economy?
Lincolnville has a tremendous appeal to individuals who are seeking a Midcoast community to call their home. We are blessed with beautiful hiking trails, beaches, lake and ocean access, a highly rated school system, and much more. Collectively these things position Lincolnville to play an important role in our regional economy in the years to come.
5. Where do you enjoy spending time in the Lincolnville community?
My wife and I enjoy spending a lot of time at our home working on various projects including landscaping, gardening and bird watching. We can also frequently be found walking local beaches and hiking trails in the Camden Hills State Park.
6. Since the school is the major beneficiary of Lincolnville’s property tax dollars, would you work to have more interaction between the Select Board and the School Board, particularly on building and grounds issues?
My experience has always been that the Lincolnville Select Board has enjoyed a positive working relationship with the members of the Lincolnville Central School Committee and the Five Town CSD School Committee. We are fortunate to have outstanding representatives on these boards who are knowledgeable and responsive to community input. If chosen to rejoin the board I will continue to foster open dialogue and a positive working environment with these boards.
7. Would you support a municipal initiative to assist homeowners to switch from oil heating to heat pumps?
In January of 2020 Governor Mills significantly increased rebates available to Mainers who wished to upgrade to heat pumps. This was one of the factors that caused my wife and I to have a heat pump installed in our home this summer. I’m confident that the currently available rebates are sufficient to encourage interested individuals to upgrade without additional municipal incentives.
8. Would you support an ordinance to prohibit unshielded outdoor lighting for residential construction? Business construction is already required to have shielded lights.
I would hesitate to promote an ordinance that creates a broad mandate. Lincolnville is a diverse community and what is appropriate in one space may not be appropriate in others. Any ordinance considered by the board must incorporate significant public input and its impact be thoroughly evaluated.
9. The Lincolnville Central School uses approximately $20,000 of heating oil and propane each year. Would you support a change to heating systems in the school to solar electric or other cleaner energy systems that would greatly reduce Lincolnville’s CO2?
I personally support any effort to explore the use of green energy sources. If the LCS and/or CSD boards choose to pursue this type of an evaluation I would lend any appropriate support they requested.
10. Would you vote for funds to hire energy experts to develop a proposal and budget?
If the LCS and/or CSD boards choose to pursue this type of evaluation the conversation regarding how it would be funded should occur with them.
11. As the Midcoast continues to grow its outdoor and recreational economy, more people and visitors will be boating on lakes and ponds, hiking, and biking. How do you hope to balance demand with environmental protection?
The Select Board has always maintained a positive working relationship with the Lake’s and Pond’s Committee and collaborated to ensure appropriate environmental and enforcement efforts are in place. I would anticipate that this relation would continue in the years to come.
Much of the hiking done within Lincolnville is done in areas under the management of the Camden Hills State Park or other land trust organizations. Again, the Select Board has always maintained strong working collaborations with these organizations and I would anticipate those to continue.
12. Free space! Please add additional thoughts as you see fit.
If I’m chosen by my fellow community members to serve as their representative on the Select Board I will serve with integrity, transparency and compassion. I will always maintain an open mind and open ears. I will be budget conscious while ensuring that the most vulnerable among us are protected and I appreciate the opportunity to be considered for this position!