LINCOLN, Maine — Caitlin Brinkman wants RSU 67 schools to remain safe. Alycia M. Grieco sees Lincoln keeping its hometown values and traditions as a top priority. Harry Epp wants taxes lowered. Donald Thomas seeks to establish a code of ethics and mandatory ethics training for town officials.
The 10 candidates for Town Council, RSU 67 board of directors and the sanitary district board of directors have different ideas for maintaining and improving Lincoln. Voters will decide on Tuesday who should be leading the town.
Polls at the town’s sole polling place, Mattanawcook Academy, will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Preregistration can occur at the town office or at the polls, interim Town Clerk Diana V. Hill said.
As of the special Oct. 6 referendum, 3,332 residents were registered to vote out of an estimated population of about 5,200 voters, said Hill, who is a candidate for the sanitary district board. She predicted a 50 percent voter turnout, which is about average for an “off year,” an election not involving candidates for statewide or federal office.
“We have some heated issues so we may have some more voters for an off year than usual,” Hill said Thursday. “[State] Questions 1, 2 and 4 are going to be controversial.”
Rod Carr and David Whalen are incumbent council candidates; Epp, Grieco, Ronald J. Kafka, Gary Steinberg, and Thomas are challengers. Brinkman is a challenger to the RSU board, while Johnston and Darlene Mulari are running for the sanitary board as unchallenged incumbents.
Carr is perhaps the most experienced town leader. He has served for more than 20 years on the council; six years on the SAD 67 board of directors, RSU 67’s predecessor; and as a state representative on the 119th, 120th, 1221st, and 122nd Legislatures. He has been on the town recreation and budget committees and coached baseball, basketball and football, according to a town-provided questionnaire that all candidates answered. Candidates profiles are available at lincolnmaine.org.
Carr hopes if re-elected to “continue with strategies that will create jobs and a good economic climate for Lincoln and surrounding towns.”
Whalen has served on the Lincoln Homecoming Committee, Ballard Hill Community Center Committee and as an active member of several civic groups, including the Lincoln Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Rotary Club.
“I also believe that being involved, having an open mind, truly listening to the voices of ‘every one’ of your neighbors, and digging to find the facts, information and long-term effects of change is the only way to make decisions that are in your entire community’s best interest,” Whalen said in the questionnaire.
Some candidates have crossed swords previously. In one of the council’s biggest controversies this year, Carr recused himself from a 4-2 vote in April awarding wind power developer First Wind of Massachusetts a 20-year tax break after the Friends of Lincoln Lakes group accused him of a conflict of interest in working as a paid lobbyist for landowners who would benefit from the project.
Carr denied any unethical conduct. His work for the landowners, he said, involved “only advising and assisting” on forestry issues — not lobbying for First Wind.
Epp, Steinberg and Thomas are among the leading voices of Friends, the residents’ group that opposes First Wind’s project. A dentist, Steinberg said he believes the town should have an “ethical, nonsecretive legal process, supporting job diversification and fiscal responsibility.” He said he also feels residents are very poorly served by people acting in their own self-interest and by corporate lobbyists.
Epp would “like to see serious community development that would bring good-paying jobs to town,” while Thomas promotes transparency in town dealings with taxpayers.
Kafka said he is running “to be part of Lincoln’s growth and in recapturing the pride of a place where people felt safe and proud to call home,” he said.