On June 14, voters in Rockport will choose one of two candidates — Denise Munger and Jim Annis — to serve a three-year term on the Rockport Select Board. Penobscot Bay Pilot has posed questions to each candidate, providing the opportunity for the public to better understand their position on issues important to the town and region. Here, Candidate Jim Annis discusses his position on various topics.
Please provide a biography of yourself and explain why you decided to seek a seat on the Select Board.
I am running for the Board of Selectmen because I feel like I can be of value to the Town of Rockport. I have been a selectman in the past in Rockport and have also been a selectman in the Town of Hope. I am familiar with town government and how it operates.
I grew up in the Town of Rockport, graduated from Rockport High School, attended Maine Maritime Academy and served four years in the U.S. Navy with an honorable discharge. I went on to work for Verizon and retired as a splice service technician.
2) What are the three most pressing issues facing Rockport today, and how would you like to see them resolved?
I think the three pressing issues in Rockport at the present time concern the RES site, the [Rockport Harbor] hotel and the Camden wastewater treatment.
There have been several meetings on a plan for the RES site. Hopefully, we can come up with a plan that works for everybody.
About the Rockport Harbor Hotel: It would seem to me that the Friends of Rockport would soon realize that the board is going to back decisions made by the zoning and code officials and it should be a done deal.
See more about wastewater below.
3) How will you protect the Rockport taxpayer as you shape and govern a municipal budget, and juggle various interests that request municipal funding throughout the year?
I think fiscal responsibility is in real need in the Town of Rockport, and that goes a long way in shaping the town budget. In areas of local government, cooperation is there is that we can look at and continue to develop for savings of taxpayers’ money.
4) Housing is at a premium for most middle class working families, and like most other places in the country, Rockport has few homes or land parcels left for families who want to put down roots in town. What should Rockport do to encourage alleviate housing pressures? Adjust zoning to encourage housing density? Allow accessory dwellings on residential lots? Encourage affordable housing?
I think the zoning will have to be looked at as long as we’re extending the sewer down Route 1 and along Route 90.
5) How do you see Rockport positioned in the larger regional Midcoast economy?
I think Rockport is doing a fine job blending in with the local economies. Is there room for improvement? Well, there’s always room for improvement.
6) How can the town-owned RES property best be used?
As noted above, plans are in ongoing and meetings are still being held.
7) What are your thoughts on the current impasse with Camden concerning wastewater disposal? What is your assessment of the idea of building Rockport’s own facility, as opposed to sending wastewater to Camden and Rockland?
As far as the wastewater goes, I think Camden and Rockport should work together to try to come up with a solution for a reasonable payment process if Camden does not want Rockport in its system, and I think they should be upfront and tell us. Rockland does not seem to be a problem and if it is, I have not heard of such.
9) There is a longtime perception that Rockport Village receives more financial investment and attention from the town than the other areas of Rockport — Glen Cove, Rockville, West Rockport and Simonton Corner. Do you find that to be the case? If so, how should the town address the imbalance?
That’s one of the reasons I am running, for selectmen to represent the outlying areas such as Simonton‘s Corner and West Rockport and Glen Cove.