LINCOLN, Maine — A full slate of Town Council and school board candidates means a full array of choices for voters next Tuesday, but almost without exception, the residents seeking votes on Election Day have one thought in common: They want less government spending and more economic development in Lincoln.
In a survey of candidate political positions and biographies compiled by Town Manager Lisa Goodwin, council candidate Shaun R. Drinkwater probably put it most directly in his survey response.
“I believe Lincoln needs more development-businesses to reduce the tax burden on the residents,” said Drinkwater, who has served on the public works garage building committee.
Six-year council incumbent Thora House, who might be the council’s next vice chairwoman, said she wants more economic development but also wants, if re-elected, to continue to keep a tight rein on government spending. Over the last several years the council has tried, and mostly succeeded, at keeping town spending growth at or close to zero.
Incumbent Councilor Michael Ireland who, like his wife, Marscella, is finishing his first term, wants “to be a spokesperson for the people of Lincoln. To see a change in, and be a part of the change in the Lincoln form of government.”
He did not specify what form of government change he seeks.
Newcomer council candidate Paul David Nantkes said he has public volunteer and private business experience that could be helpful if elected. He has managed several businesses, been a board member for the Jacksonville Apartment Association and is director of safety-human resources for H.C. Haynes Inc.
Nantkes also has served on the committee for Lincoln’s Homecoming, which is the largest and most popular community event, and has served as a volunteer for the Mattanawcook Academy Music Boosters club.
Besides being a civics and government teacher at Lincoln’s Mattanawcook Academy, council candidate Curt Ring has served for three years on the budget committee while also serving as a high school and community football, basketball and softball coach.
As a civics teacher, Ring has helped high school students become involved in government affairs with several volunteer projects, most recently a mapping of graves at all town cemeteries.
“I have seen in three years of service on the budget committee ways that I would try to save taxpayers money. In addition, I do not have a personal agenda, my only goal being that I would like to serve and make Lincoln the best it can be,” Ring said.
Council challenger Gary Steinberg, a dentist who practices in Lincoln, served briefly on the town planning board and has been a leader and vocal member of the Friends of Lincoln Lakes group, which opposes the $130 million Rollins Mountain industrial wind farm now under construction.
He described himself as a “believer in ‘We the People’ and our constitutional law” and said he “believes Lincoln would benefit directly by following the principals” of constitutional law and that “representative, non-self-serving public service is a responsibility for us all.”
As a Friends of Lincoln Lakes member, Steinberg has been critical of what he has described as the very closed, stifling planning board process that led to the wind farm being permitted.
RSU 67 board of directors member Sarah Crockett, who is running for re-election, has served five terms on the school board and more than 50 years in the school system itself.
“As a former teacher in the district and as a longtime board member, I have a strong connection to the Lincoln school system,” Crockett said. “As a Lincoln taxpayer on a fixed income, I want to see the district continue to grow in order to provide the best possible education for our students, while remaining fiscally responsible in a time of a shrinking economy accompanied by growing unfunded government mandates.”
Crockett also has served on the budget committee and town office renovation committee, she said.
School board incumbent John Trask is a Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department detective who wants to “make a better school for students while being fiscally responsible to the voters-taxpayers of this district,” he said.
Lincoln Sanitary District board of directors member Darrell F. Dill Sr. is running unopposed for re-election to his three-year seat. He said he wants “to follow through on upgrades that need to be done and to keep rates as low as possible.”
Incumbents Donald Barker Jr. and Russell Stanley are running for re-election for the two remaining three-year seats, said Diana Johnston, chairwoman of the sanitary board.
Three council seats carrying three-year terms are up for grabs in this election, including that of council Chairman Steve Clay, who declined to run for re-election. Crockett and Trask are running unopposed for their three-year seats.