TREMONT—Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Board of Selectmen in next week’s election, the two incumbents and an involved member of the community.
Both McKenzie Jewett and Howard ‘Howdy’ Goodwin have served one term on the board and their seats are open this year. David Campbell is finishing his term on the high school board of trustees and is looking to join the Board of Selectmen.
Jewett served Tremont as the town clerk for 15 years before being elected to the board three years ago. Goodwin grew up in Tremont and says his first year as a selectman was a good learning experience and he is looking forward to serving another term.
Campbell has been a member of the recreation board for 18 years, was a member of the warrant committee, when the town had one, is a member of the cemetery committee and is a tenant representative on the housing authority board.
When asked what each values about Tremont, the candidates highlighted the community aspects.
“I think that Tremont is a great community to live and work,” said Jewett. “My husband and I own and operate a small business in Tremont. We have successfully put four children through Tremont Consolidated School as well as MDIHS.
“The feeling of ‘small town’ is important to us,” she added. “Especially during difficult times that we have all faced over the past few months. It’s nice to be part of a community that comes together during difficult times.”
Goodwin echoed a similar sentiment.
“I want to keep Tremont the way it’s always been,” he said, “low profile, not a big tourist attraction, a nice, quiet neighborhood.”
Being involved is important to Campbell, who attends as many Board of Selectmen meetings as he is able. One of Campbell’s concerns is a lack of activities for elderly and younger residents of the town. He would like to see more community gatherings around music and food, after COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Taxes are another concern for Campbell. He’d like to see them remain the same or go down a bit, he explained in a conversation with the Islander.
Goodwin did not express any concerns for the town other than preserving the way of life that exists in Tremont.
“I honestly feel that Tremont is on the right path,” said Jewett who feels the current Board of Selectmen works well together. “I have the same concerns as most other small Maine towns. Our roads need repair. We need to figure a way to encourage more year-round residents and businesses in our community. Affordable housing is a concern.
“We need to find a balance between maintaining our small-town feel [while] encouraging growth,” she added. “Maintaining our school system is key to our community. Families want a place to raise their families that is safe and welcoming.”
As for the future of the town, Goodwin would like to “keep it going the way it is, pretty much.”
Campbell would like to see more job opportunities in the town for residents who need work. Although he is a fan of Hansen’s Outpost, Campbell also thinks another, larger store would be a positive addition to the town.
Jewett would like the town to keep moving forward.
“We need to be willing to change and adapt to the changes around us,” she added. “I feel we are on the right track.”