June 25, 2018
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Hampden candidates air their top priorities

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — Town voters will choose one of three Town Council candidates and two of three SAD 22 board of directors candidates on Election Day.

James Feverston, Kristen Hornbrook and Andrew Colford are seeking the lone open seat on the seven-member Town Council. Incumbents Cindy Mitchell and Peter Buzzini, along with newcomer Tanya Pereira, will battle for two seats on the 13-member school board.

Voters in Newburgh and Winterport, the other towns in SAD 22, also will vote on the school candidates.

Here is a look at the Town Council candidates, in alphabetical order:

Andrew Colford, 40, an airport firefighter with the Maine Air National Guard, has lived in Hampden with his wife and three children for the past nine years. He has served on the council before and ran unsuccessfully last year.

“It was a post that I enjoyed very much. I feel that I bring the people’s voice to the council because I try to get all the input from my constituents in town on items that concern them,” Colford said.

His top priorities are to work on the tax rate program for seniors so they can continue to enjoy their homes; to attract more business to the Route 202 business park to lessen the tax burden, and to be the eyes and ears of the residents of the town and be a good steward for Hampden.

James Feverston, 58, is a senior research and development specialist and consultant. He moved with his family to Hampden 15 years ago because of its reputation for quality schools and community services, but also its rural character.

His top three priorities are to explore every available option to reduce the tax burden on homeowners and businesses without compromising the safety or well-being of the community; bringing to the council a willingness to listen and be responsive to residents; and maintaining Hampden’s reputation as a great place to live, which requires continuing to provide a family-oriented, ecologically healthy, rural community environment.

“We can accomplish this through land-use policies that provide for a balanced location of land among residential, businesses, open spaces and natural resources,” he said.

Kristen Hornbrook, 40, is self-employed and lives in Hampden with her husband and two children. She said she believes that, at some point, it is the duty and responsibility of everyone to serve.

“I am ready to take my turn and serve the residents of Hampden,” she said.

Her top priorities if elected are balancing what the residents want for services and how much they are willing to pay for those services, and getting to know the town residents in order to get their feedback on the issues that concern them most.

“The role of any public servant is to be the voice of the citizens we serve,” she said. “To that end, I will be looking to connect with as many residents of Hampden as possible as often as possible to hear their wishes and concerns.”

Here is a look at the SAD 22 board of directors candidates, in alphabetical order:

Peter Buzzini, 52, is a wealth manager and financial adviser and serves on the SAD 22 board. He said he’s running for re-election for many of the same reasons he was originally was drawn to the post.

His top priorities are seeing the new high school to completion and making sure it satisfies the community’s needs; helping to manage the budget process through a potentially tricky transition associated with the loss of federal stimulus money; and helping the residents of the community realize their dream of rendering the old Hampden Academy property into the vibrant mixed-use town center that they have envisioned.

Cindy Mitchell, 53, is an information technology systems administrator who is seeking re-election to a third term on the school board. She said her service has been rewarding and she wants to continue through coming budget challenges.

Her top priorities are to develop a budget that reflects the residents’ current economic challenges while meeting their expectations of excellence in education; to develop curriculums, educational practices and professional development as the schools move to standards-based curriculums; to ensure a successful transition to the new high school that includes a successful, transparent and inclusive partnership with the community in determining the best new use of the existing Hampden Academy.

Tanya Pereira, 34, is an economic development specialist who grew up and went to school in Hampden. She recently bought a home and moved back specifically because she wanted her daughter to benefit from the same education system that guided her. She also said the school board needs more representation from younger families.

Her top three priorities are to minimize the effect of necessary budget cuts on the quality of education delivered to students; to improve relationships with the district municipalities to ensure successful and appropriate redevelopment of the Hampden Academy campus when vacated; and to continue to identify innovative programming that supports all students and prepares them for success.

Two other candidates, Richard Moore and write-in candidate Roland Narofsky, are seeking two partial, one-year terms on the SAD 22 board of directors to fill an unexpected vacancy:

Roland Narofsky, 43, is vice president of a local credit union and said he’s running simply to contribute to his community. He said his experience in budgeting, small-business ownership and financial services management would help elevate the importance of education in the community in a fiscally responsible manner.

Richard Moore did not respond to a reporter query for information.

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