TREMONT — Two candidates are running for the open seat on the town’s Board of Selectmen at the May 13 town election. Polls will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Harvey Kelley Meeting Room in the Tremont Town Office.
The incumbent vice chairman of the board, Jamie Thurlow, is seeking another three-year term. Morgan Black, a lifelong resident of Tremont and lobsterman, is running for the first time.
Jessica Bass and David “Jed” Campbell are vying for the open seat on the Tremont School Board.
Kristin McKee is running unopposed in her bid for the open seat on the Mount Desert Island High School Board of Trustees.
Years ago, Bass came to Tremont for a summer job between semesters of school. She fell in love with the town and has never left. Bass has two children with her partner Steve “Spiff” Carter, a lobsterman.
For the past two years, Bass has been a trustee at the Tremont Library and also runs the local Girl Scout troop. If elected to the school board, Bass said she hopes to find creative solutions that appease all parties.
“People talk about wanting change,” said Bass. “But there’s so much Tremont pride. I never grew up with anything like this. It’s not about change. It’s about tweaking things and making them better for this round of children.”
A lifelong resident of Tremont and fourth-generation lobsterman, Black coaches Little League and keeps a small poultry farm on his family’s parcel of land. He considers himself an avid gardener.
Black, who is running for town office for the first time, is seeking a position on the Board of Selectmen so that he can help allow “small business to grow and add economic growth while still preserving Tremont’s small-town, Quietside lifestyle.”
As the father of two small children, Black is deeply concerned about the direction of the town.
Noting his belief that there has been “a misappropriation of town funds,” Black said that as a selectman he would “think about the big picture.”
“We need more business,” Black said. “But we need to make sure we don’t become too hustle and bustle.”
David “Jed” Campbell
Campbell has lived in Tremont all his life and worked at McEachern & Hutchins for almost 40 years. A former member of the Warrant Committee and Recreation Board, he currently serves on the MDI High School Board of Trustees.
“Usually I’m one of the first to volunteer when a board has an opening,” Campbell said.
Noting the budget as a significant concern, Campbell said, “I want to serve on the school board to figure out what goes on at Tremont schools. I want to get inside and get a feeling on what we can to save on and what we need to spend money on.”
A fifth-generation lobsterman who operates out of Bass Harbor, Thurlow is seeking his second term on the Board of Selectmen.
“I came into it green,” Thurlow said. “But I followed suit and learn quickly.”
Thurlow credits his success as a selectman in part to Chris Eaton, who served on the board for more than 10 years.
According to Thurlow, one of the lessons Eaton imparted was the importance of hearing from all sides.
“If you think strongly about something that’s fine,” Eaton told Thurlow. “But listen to what everyone has to say and then make your decision.”
Thurlow has enjoyed his time on the board and is proud of the work he and his fellow selectmen have done. “There’s a lot of business going on, and the town is in a really good position,” he said. “We’ve put aside more in savings. I’d hate to see it go in any other way.”
If voted to the select board for a second term, Thurlow pledges to continue to approach issues with an open mind.
“The decisions you make today not only affect the town now,” Thurlow says, “but will affect the town in 20, even 30 years.”