Four newcomers vie with incumbent for selectman seats

By Sarah E. Reynolds | May 27, 2014
Source: File

Hope — In the town's only contested race, five candidates are running for two, three-year seats on the Board of Selectmen; the open seats have been held by Jason Hall and Wendy Pelletier. Only Pelletier is running for re-election.

If she were re-elected, it would be Pelletier's second term. She and her husband have lived in the town for 13 years. Five of their six grown children live in Knox County, and they have grandchildren at Hope Elementary School.

Pelletier does nail care at two independent and assisted living facilities in the area, and also on Vinalhaven and in a salon in Rockport.

Her main reason for wanting to serve as a selectman again is “to keep taxes down in an increasingly difficult economy,” she said in an email. Another concern is to keep town government “free from undue state or federal influence/interference,” Pelletier said.

Jim Blanchette and his family moved to Hope in 2003. He has a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old.

He is the golf pro and general manager at Goose River Golf Club in Rockport. Current Selectman Jim Annis is on his staff.

Blanchette, who has not held elective office before, is running for selectman to learn more about how the town operates and said he hopes to offer a new perspective and be of service to the town.

“I just want to be paying attention to where our money is being spent and how well it's being spent,” he said.

Dave Bosken has not held elective office, either, but he is on the executive committee of the Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension. He has lived in Hope since 2000.

A recent retiree, he had a varied career, working as a builder/remodeler, a middle- and high school English teacher and a staff member for a trade association. He also invented a unique storm window, which he manufactured and sold himself.

He decided to run for selectman to give back to the town, he said. “I don't have an agenda … I like my town and I'm happy with the way it's run, and if I can be of service, I will be.”

Ryan Entwistle grew up in southern Maine, and came to Hope about 11 years ago, where he lives with his partner. He referred to himself as a “homesteader,” saying he does construction and odd jobs to make ends meet. “I mix and match to make a living,” he said.

Entwistle said he is interested in the direction the town is taking and wants to see it address the issues of food and sustainability. He has not held elective office, but is involved with Transition Town Hope, a group of people concerned about climate change, sustainability and building a more resilient community, he said.

He wants to encourage local food producers to sell their products locally so consumers know where their food comes from. Entwistle said he is also interested in what will happen to the Union Chemical site on Route 17 in South Hope. He said he hopes “something can be created there that is positive for the whole town.”

Brittany Payson is a lifelong resident of Hope. She has served on the town's Budget Committee since 2012, and last year was elected the Hope representative on the Community School District School Board. She also belongs to the Fire Department Auxiliary.

Payson and her husband have no children yet. She is an office associate at Maine State Prison in Warren.

She would like to see the Fire Department get more credit for the things it does, and said one of her main concerns is public safety. She would also like to improve the town's road maintenance. In addition, Payson would like to look into school policies at Hope Elementary and Camden Hills Regional High School, and address the budgets at both schools.

There will be a candidates' night at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the Hope Corner Fire Station.

Also, on Tuesday, June 10, residents will vote to fill three, three-year terms on the Budget Committee: Bill Jones, Joe Berry and Jean Ettlinger are the candidates. Kate Ryan is running unopposed for a one-year stint on the Hope Elementary school board. Current Road Commissioner John Monroe is running for re-election unopposed.

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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.

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