GREENVILLE, Maine — Regardless of their political affiliation, the four candidates for the House and Senate districts representing Greenville told selectmen Wednesday during a candidates forum that they would reach across party lines when needed.
Peter Johnson, R-Greenville, and Jim Glavine, D-Beaver Cove, who are vying for House District 27, and Douglas Smith, R-Dover-Foxcroft, and Susan Mackey-Andrews, D-Dover-Foxcroft, candidates for Senate District 27, each shared their views on issues raised by selectmen.
Three of the candidates actually crossed party lines before seeking public office. Smith said that in his younger years he was a Democrat, and both Andrews and Glavine were previously independents.
Asked what three issues were the most pressing for Greenville, incumbent Johnson, Glavine and Andrews viewed school reorganization as a top priority followed by the fact the state owes the local hospital in excess of $1.2 million. Incumbent Smith reversed the two in priority.
None of the candidates favored the school consolidation effort. Andrews, who is co-chairman of the unit 18 regional school planning committee, said she found it offensive to be told by the state how to run local schools, but added the process has allowed the districts to band together and partner for growth and effectiveness.
Smith said the state should have offered incentives to school districts and units to cut costs rather than force each school district to combine. He said he would rather erase the slate and come in with a more sensitive approach. The state’s effort is exactly the wrong approach for school consolidation, he said.
Repeal of the school consolidation effort is the best option to Johnson, who said the state needed to revise the funding formula and reduce the mandates from Augusta.
Glavine also supported a repeal of the school consolidation effort and said he would vote for the repeal if he were elected and the matter was presented to the Legislature.
Third most pressing issue for the community was listed as solid waste by Johnson and multijurisdictional emergency services by Glavine. Smith said it the Plum Creek issue while Andrews cited energy.