Candidates seek change for the betterElection June 10
Waldoboro — Working as a team and bringing a sense of community back to the table is the common theme among the five candidates seeking two available seats on the Waldoboro Board of Selectmen at the polls Tuesday, June 10.
Incumbent Craig Cooley is seeking reelection. He has served on the board for four years and as chairman for the past two years.
"As a select board member, I hope to make this an area that can and will compete with other Midcoast towns," said Cooley.
He believes businesses of all sizes need to be welcomed to Waldoboro, and a more industrial presence needs to be encouraged to reflect the town's heritage and increase the tax base — and relieve the burden on residential property taxes.
A native of Washington and Waldoboro, Cooley also has served on the Regional School Unit 40 Board of Directors for three years.
"When I was elected four years ago, we had a lack of trust from the citizens," Cooley said. "Our undesignated fund balance had gone from $1.5 million to less than $65,000. Our meeting room was filled with unhappy citizens who were not allowed to speak their minds to the elected officials of this town," he added.
"When I was elected chairman I changed that," said Cooley. "I want to hear from the people of this town — after all, they too are paying tax money that we [the board] are spending," he said.
Cooley has worked for more than 23 years in both county and municipal government. The past 17 years he has been administrative assistant to the chief of police and a patrol officer for the Rockport Police Department.
He is a member of Masonic Lodge 15, the Kora Shriners Lodge, Mid-Coast Shrine Club, and a member of the Rockland Elks Lodge. Cooley enjoys boating, fishing and hunting. He resides with his wife Kim and son Gabe in Back Cove.
Opposing Cooley and seeking the other seat left vacant by the expiration of James Bodman's term are Robert Butler, Joanne Minzy, Wilfred Dever, and Clinton Collamore Sr.
Robert "Bob" Butler
Butler moved to Waldoboro in 2005 when he moved his family business to the area. Over the years he has served in the Peace Corps (Afghanistan), worked for two oil companies, had a career in banking, and been a partner in a financial consulting company. He currently operates his own company.
Butler believes the board must focus on what is best for the community rather than individual preferences.
"Creating a vision and working toward a viable future for Waldoboro requires commitment to common goals," said Butler. "The patience and willingness to listen are essential," he added.
"We've had too many split votes on the current board — with little apparent effort to reach consensus," said Butler.
Butler and fellow candidate Joanne "Jann" Minzy have partnered up in their campaign. Butler said the two share certain values and approaches to conducting the town's business.
"We're confident that a careful review of the facts, frank and 'civil' public discussion, willingness to accommodate the points of view of others, and common sense will more often than not lead to good decisions," said Butler.
He expressed dismay at losing "a very competent and dedicated town manager" [John Spear] because certain members of the current board appeared not to respect his judgment.
"Jann and I are committed to ensuring that our town's loyal employees are treated fairly and without prejudice," said Butler.
As for the school budget, Butler believes the select board needs to help maintain a delicate balance between the needs of excellent education and the other demands on the town's operating and capital budgets.
He added that more progress is needed to improve Internet access in Waldoboro. "Students, no matter where they live, should have solid Internet connections to complete homework assignments," he said, adding "businesses wishing to move to Waldoboro should not feel compelled to turn away because Internet is unreliable in the areas they wish to locate."
Butler is no stranger to town government, having served on the board of selectmen and the budget committee, and chaired the Transfer Station Committee that drafted the new Solid Waste and Required Recycling Ordinance. He is a member of the Waldoboro Broadband Committee, served on the Library Board, the Energy Committee, Culinary Arts Committee, and is involved with the Village Working Group which is looking at ways of revitalizing Waldoboro's downtown.
"All of those efforts have given me the privilege of cooperating with very creative, committed and inspiring volunteers who share Jann's and my desire to bring positive change to Waldoboro," said Butler.
Butler lives in Waldoboro with his wife, Sally and has two grown children. For relaxation he enjoys gardening, travel, reading, fishing and riding his motorcycle.
Joanne "Jann" Minzy
Waldoboro became Minzy's home 40 years ago while she took a hiatus from her teaching career to raise four children.
"I believe it's important to look at all sides of an issue, basing decisions on facts," said Minzy. "Opinions are fine, but if they are not based on fact, they don't amount to a hill of beans," she added.
Minzy hopes to bring a sense of "team" to the select board. "We should be a team working for the good of our community, each having his or her own voice, listening to each other and community members, seeing where we agree, and then making decisions. I'd like to see more real dialogue among the members," she said.
With the development of new businesses and a community art and culture center in the works, Minzy believes there is a movement now that needs to be encouraged.
"Promoting Waldoboro is a good thing," she said.
As for a Comprehensive Plan, Minzy would like to see a couple of simple attainable goals set with objectives, a timeline, and a plan of action.
"Perhaps it's there, but I don't get a sense of what the board wants for the town or how they plan to get there," said Minzy.
Minzy has not served on any municipal board before, but has been a church and library trustee, a member of a number of education committees at the state and district level, and a member of the Central Maine Library District Executive Board.
"I am no stranger to hard work and I 'play well with others'." she said. "I have a lot of life and work experience, and I think I represent people from all walks of life. I love my community, promote it whenever and where I can, and will work to make it prosperous," she added.
Minzy is a retired teacher who substitutes in the RSU 40 district. In the winter she works at Saddleback Mountain Ski Area, running a host program, and in the summer she is a docent at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
For relaxation, Minzy skis, golfs, kayaks, gardens and walks. She enjoys socializing with friends and family, and playing Mahjong with a local group. On the side, she is a ballroom dancer. "I tend to be high energy," she said.
Minzy has four grown children and 13 grandchildren.
Clinton "Clint" Collamore Sr.
Collamore is no stranger to the select board process, having served 13 years on the board — seven as chairman.
"Family first ... always," said Collamore in explaining his sudden resignation last time he served. Both his parents had been diagnosed with Alzheimers, and soon after that his mother passed away and his father's condition worsened.
Now ready to jump back in to the small town government he loves so much, Collamore hopes to bring everyone together like he remembers it used to be.
"The community seems to be at odds about everything," he said. He hopes to have the opportunity to be an effective leader and make the public more aware of what is going on and how it may affect them.
"It all has to do with communication," said Collamore, who recalls there use to be a town newsletter that would assist with that.
Collamore has been in the Midcoast all his life, graduating from Medomak Valley High School and a bachelor of science degree in public administration from the University of Maine at Augusta.
"I have been involved in the community forever, and may as well be in a decision-making level," said Collamore, adding "I know the town and its people."
Budgeting, problem-solving and negotiating are the strong characters Collamore feels he brings to the table, along with attending the Maine Municipal Leadership Prorgram, which he would suggest every board member attend.
"Whatever I get into, I really get involved," he said.
He has served on the Waldoboro Days Committee since its inception, a member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee and Shellfish Committee, and a former trustee of the Waldoboro Public Library.
Collamore lives in Waldoboro with his wife of 33 years, Mary. They have two grown children and three grandchildren. He is a commercial lobsterman and clam digger, and enjoys gardening, reading and spending time with his family and pets.
"I hope to be a voice for the taxpayers of Waldoboro and hopefully bring more transparency to the political agenda," said Dever.
After moving to Waldoboro in 1955, Dever graduated from MVHS and served four years in the United States Navy, before he began his 33-year career at Bath Iron Works.
The experience Dever brings is living life and working with a lot of different people in the service and at BIW.
"The town fathers need to listen to the taxpayers," said Dever, adding "When certain political factions can't get the votes needed to pass their political agenda, they keep having vote after vote until the people don't bother to participate in the process."
The father of three grown children lives with his wife of eight years, Linda. They have seven grandchildren. Dever likes to exercise, garden and read for relaxation.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys working out, ocean therapy sessions and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 16.