MILLINOCKET, Maine — You heard it here first: Jimmy Busque, John Davis and Arnold Hopkins very probably will be re-elected to the Town Council or Millinocket School Committee on Election Day.
Busque, an incumbent councilor, and Davis, whose last council term ended in November 2005, are running unopposed, as is Hopkins for the school committee. Hopkins seeks another three-year term. Busque and Davis seek three-year terms.
Only Town Council candidates Steve Campbell and Peter Walsh are running in a contested race, against each other. Both seek former Chairman Wallace Paul’s seat, which Paul resigned about two months ago to take a job out of state, and the one year remaining in his term.
Walsh and Campbell present starkly different profiles.
Walsh is a retired Machias police chief and retired U.S. Navy Criminal Investigation Division investigator well-versed, by virtue of his police career, in public service and local government work.
During his time in Machias, Walsh was his department’s spokesman and frequently assisted local government and regional officials in setting policies in matters of public safety and recreation, among other things.
Campbell has indirect experience with public service and local government: His father, Steve, is a retired town firefighter; his uncle, Reid, a retired town police chief; and present Fire Chief Wayne Campbell is another uncle, he said.
Walsh is 60; Campbell, 30. And Campbell, a store manager at Carquest of Millinocket, readily admits that, if elected, he will need time to research both his new responsibilities as a councilor and the issues confronting the town.
“I want to get involved with the town more than anything,” Campbell said Thursday. “I thought this would be a nice, easy way to get involved and see what it’s all about.”
Walsh and Campbell have placed fiscal responsibility and economic development at the center of their platforms. Both say that drawing new business into town is a top priority. Walsh also favors setting a tighter rein on municipal and school spending.
Campbell would like to see Millinocket’s economy diversify beyond the temporarily shut down Katahdin Avenue paper mill, with new industry coming to town.
“By the time my daughter goes to college, it would be awesome to think that there’s something here that she could come back to work for after she graduates,” Campbell said of his daughter Sydney, 5.
The town’s sole polling place, Stearns High School, will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.