Meet the candidates running for Selectman



SOUTHWEST HARBOR–This year’s annual town meeting in Southwest Harbor, will take place on two different dates and all by secret ballot. On July 14, along with voting for the state primary, residents are also voting to elect two new members to the select board and whether to re-elect the two incumbents of the school committee and the one incumbent to the high school board of trustees.  

Voting is scheduled to take place at the fire station on Main Street from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are also two local referendum questions. One is asking voters to approve constructing a new public works garage and the second is to approve the approve the proposed updates to the Coastal Waters and Harbor Ordinance. Absentee ballots can be requested and returned up to and on July 14. 

The Islander asked the three candidates vying for the two seats on the Board of Selectmen a few questions, here are their answers. 

Carolyn Ball 

Work/previous town government experience:

Carolyn Ball

I have been active on town boards and committees. I have served on the Warrant Committee at least three times and served on the first comprehensive plan committee. I recently wrote a successful grant for the Harbor Committee to 

plan for the Manset Dock. To do so I attended a number of Harbor Committee meetings and continue to keep in touch with the committee to write the grant for the next step, which is construction. 

To ensure that I am knowledgeable about town government, I have been attending the Zoom meetings of the Board of Selectmen and have attended board meetings and workshops as an interested citizen in the past. A number of years ago, I was concerned about the financial management of the county, so I attended and spoke at the League of Town meetings and County Commissioners’ meetings. I have become familiar with the Planning Board and its appeals process because two businesses applied for permits close to my home on Main Street. 

My work experience is closely related to my desire to seek office. I have taught public administration at the University of Maine and University of Southern Maine, including teaching Managing Cities Towns and Counties this summer. Because of this work, I’m a member of Maine Town City County Association (MTCMA) and attend their conferences, keeping me up-to-date on Maine law and town management concerns. 

 

What do you value about Southwest Harbor? 

Southwest Harbor is a wonderful place to live because we have all the basics within our downtown; a school, a drug store, hardware store, banks, post office, restaurants, a community center, and I hope, in the future, a grocery store again. This makes our town a place where you can get to know your neighbors easily. 

 

What are your concerns for the town? How should they be addressed? 

I wish to continue to support and maintain our downtown. Our businesses are adapting to the gradual opening up of the economy. For the Board of Selectmen, that means that we continue to control the town’s budget and make wise decisions about projects. The town manager has been doing an excellent job maintaining a realistic budget. A hard question comes to the voters on July 14 when they must vote on a public works garage as well as for Board of Selectmen members. The warrant articles will be on the ballot on Aug 11 rather than at the Town Meeting. I hope that voters will obtain an absentee ballot for these elections since it will take time to vote in person with so much on the ballots. 

 

What is your vision for the future of Southwest Harbor? 

The town has a long vision statement. To paraphrase it, my vision is to have a vibrant year-round economy and provide our children with a good education. Given current events, I would also add that I want to have a supportive community for all. Southwest Harbor is a safe community. I want to work with the police chief to review police policies, ensure that the police understand and use community policing and continue to be trusted by community members. 

 

Eric Clark 

Work/previous town government experience: 

Eric Clark

I started my career working at local boat yards, and in 1984 I started Marine Systems Custom Boats. In 2017, I partnered with my father to run K.C. Distributors Janitorial & Industrial Supply business. I have served three terms on the Harbor Committee and three terms on the Board of Trustees for MDI High School. 

 

What do you value about Southwest Harbor? 

I am a lifelong resident of Southwest Harbor and attended K-8 at Pemetic 

Elementary and four years at MDI High School, and so have my three children. I value our school system and the people who make it a great learning institution. I value our small town as it has a mix of very diverse people both young and old. We live in one of the most beautiful settings in the state with the ocean, ponds, lakes, mountains and Acadia National Park at our fingertips. 

 

What are your concerns for the town? How should they be addressed? 

High taxation, infrastructure and keeping up with it. COVID-19’s effects on the work force, small businesses, boatbuilding, the lobster industry, other occupations and retirees. The ability for retirees and young people to continue to live here and the school system’s increasing budget. 

We need responsible spending of taxpayer’s dollars and keeping money available 

for infrastructure repair or replacement is key to the vitality of this town currently. The effects of COVID-19 have reached into all our lives with little warning and the length of which it will be here is unknown as are the lasting effects it could have on this town. 

If I am elected, I will vote on spending and issues in the best interest of the year-round and summer residents of this great town. 

 

What is your vision for the future of Southwest Harbor? 

I would like to see this town as a place where both young and old go about their daily lives with no fear or concerns about their safety or livelihood. A place 

where people can feel a sense of vacationland but still live here full time if they choose to do so, as I have for almost 58 years. 

 

George Jellison Jr. 

Work/previous town government experience:

George Jellison, Jr.

Member of the Board of Selectmen from 2010 to 2019. 

What do you value about Southwest Harbor? 

I value that we still have a yearround downtown area.  

What are your concerns for the town? How should they be addressed? 

We have a number of projects that have been discussed and some approved to be bonded that were projected to be done over the last couple of years that haven’t moved forward in a timely manner and consequently will cost taxpayers more outlay if they are ever completed. The leadership should complete the way overdue Main Street sidewalk project before we bond another $1.9 million for a town garage that has inflated in value by six times from a design that was all but set for bid in 2018.  

What is your vision for the future of Southwest Harbor? 

The future of Southwest Harbor is currently an unknown with the current pandemic situation, but now is not the time for the town and for the taxpayers to incur more debt, not knowing how revenue will come in on the local and state level. I am concerned about the tourism related and fishing industries weathering

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley covers the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands. Send story ideas and information to [email protected]

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