DEXTER, Maine — The four candidates for the two three-year terms on the Dexter Town Council all said recently they would work to help improve the local economy.
Frederick Banks, Charles “Chip” Merrill, Michele “Missy” Smith and incumbent David Clukey are vying for the two seats that will be decided during the Nov. 8 election.
Banks, who has served previously on the town council for seven years and is a Kiwanis member, said he was seeking election to make sure the “will of the people” is done. Banks is a longtime businessman in the community, having owned and operated a Christmas tree farm for 15 years and the Dexter Redemption Center for 12 years. He said the most important issue the town faces is the lack of jobs. While he was unsure just how that could be addressed, he said he would work hard to find a solution.
Smith, a Dexter native, has been involved in Cub and Boy Scouts and has served on the Dexter Recreation Committee for many years. She said she has attended Town Council meetings for more than a year, and is concerned that a “’few people are running the town and the will of the people is not always what they want or how they vote.” She said her motivation is to help bring the town back together and to move forward. The most pressing issue the town faces, she said, is the outward migration of Dexter’s population. “We need to do something to attract and keep families so our nice, small town prospers in the years to come,” she said.
Merrill, a fifth-generation Dexter native, previously served a term on the Dexter Town Council and has served as a SAD 46 board member. For seven years, he has worked as a commercial real estate broker and has operated a business in Dexter for 25 years. He said he wants to be a voice for the taxpayers. Merrill said the economy is one of the most important issues to be addressed. He also would like to be involved in the hiring of a new town manager. Merrill said he would use his “25 years of business experience to help make some hard decisions in this tough economy.”
Clukey, who also is a Dexter native, was employed by the Dexter Police Department for 41 years, 27 of those as police chief. He has served on the Town Council for the past three years. Clukey said he is seeking re-election because there are a number of projects that were not accomplished in the prior term that should have been. “I feel that more should be done to promote the town to encourage people and businesses to locate in Dexter,” he said. The town has a lot to offer, including an excellent school system, a pristine lake, and one of the finest airports of any town Dexter’s size, Clukey said. He said he would like to continue representing Dexter’s hardworking residents.
There is no opposition to other municipal seats that also will be decided next month.