June 18, 2018
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Three-way race shaping up for Old Town council posts

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

OLD TOWN, Maine — Three residents have stepped forward as candidates for two openings on the City Council to be filled by voters on Nov. 6.

The candidates are former council chairman David Mahan, John Nuttall and Joseph Pluff.

Mahan had served three terms on the council when last year, he lost his re-election bid in a tight four-way race. Assistant operations director for the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center, Mahan said he wants to return to the council because current members failed to conduct a city services survey and extend City Hall office hours one night a week. He also thinks some members had personal agendas during budget deliberations and noted that taxpayers got “dinged” with both a tax increase and a pay-as-you-throw trash initiative.

“Having been on the council before, I know it is very hard to try to please everyone,” he said. “I feel there is always a balance that you can use to try to come up with the right plan to fit most people’s needs. I hope to get elected and once again use that balance to keep the City of Old Town heading in the right direction.”

A sergeant with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department’s Corrections Division, Nuttall is working toward a master’s degree in public administration.

“I am running for town council for several reasons,” he said. “The first of those is pretty simple; I have seen my tax burden on my property go up and up. I am for responsible government that lives within its means. This means that during difficult economic times, elected officials must make difficult choices. … I want to see the government of Old Town return to this principle and make decisions that will keep our property tax rates attractive to those looking at our town as a possible place to bring their family or their business.”

A member of the city’s Economic Development Committee, Pluff has worked for ZF Lemforder in Brewer, where he was responsible for financial analysis and cost estimating, and for FMC Corp. in Rockland, where he was a production supervision and cost accounting manager. Before that, he was a merchant seaman.

“With my work experience and knowledge of local issues, I will bring a fresh perspective to help solving the problems that Old Town is facing,” he said. “One of my main objectives is to maintain the property tax at its current level or, if an increase is necessary, that the increase be no more the cost-of-living increase. One of the ways to accomplish this is to find synergy between the services that Old Town provides and local and/or regional organizations.”

On Election Day, voters also will fill two RSU 34 school board seats and elect a Ward 1 warden and ward clerk. James Dill and Roxane Dubay are unopposed for re-election to the school board, as is warden candidate Sharon St. John. No one has stepped forward for the ward clerk post.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 5 Gilman Falls Ave., according to City Clerk Patty Brochu.

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