I am Don White, a candidate for the Camden Select Board in the June 14 election. I’m a 20-year resident of Camden, a retired sales and marketing executive, active on local and regional committees dealing with town operations and Route 1 development. I reside on Pearl Street with my wife, Jean, and our beagle buddy, Sophie.

During my years in Camden, I’ve participated in the Camden Public Library book sales and now act as the chairman. I’m the chairman of the Opera House Committee and for the past several years have participated in the landmark Gateway 1 project of area towns along Route 1. I have been a board member of the Camden Civic Theater, a former Camden Rotary Club member, volunteer with the Camden Rockport Animal Shelter, a volunteer with the Camden Rockport Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer with Bay Chamber Concerts.

I am interested in our town’s economic growth while maintaining the small town charm that makes Camden such a unique community. I support a balanced municipal budget, maintaining the strength of our police and fire departments and educational facilities, developing our existing commercial spaces, affordable housing, maintaining our working harbor, pathways and parks for the enjoyment of our residents and continuing activities to attract visitors to our area.

I’m a proponent of forming a transit committee to research state and federal funding to accelerate the process to develop a daily bus service from Lincolnville to Rockland. Collaborating with neighboring communities and working with state transportation experts we can make this a reality. Daily bus service for Camden is important because a daily train service from Boston through to Brunswick likely will be a reality in 2012-2013 and Eastern Maine Railroad may begin limited year round passenger service from Rockland to Brunswick when the Downeaster service to Brunswick begins.

In 2014, I foresee Camden well on its way to positive economic growth utilizing guidance from the 2011 Economic and Development Analysis and Action Plan from Development Concepts Inc. and the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research. The mill that housed MBNA in the 1990s is flourishing with families occupying the Washington Street condos and the Mechanic Street side is bustling with businesses on all floors. A new daily bus service between Lincolnville and Rockland along Route 1 is about to begin thanks to the hard work of the CEDAC committee and federal and state funding. The former Tannery property is the home of an incubator technology business with 20 employees and growing. Thanks to a federal grant and local business people a downtown parking facility is close to a reality. The town has approved a bond after private funding raised $4.5 million to upgrade and expand the Snow Bowl. Our harbor, mountains and lakes continue to be a magnet for visitors.

Some may see these accomplishments, within a three-year period, as too ambitious, less than realistic. On the other hand, working together with our new economic development director we can accomplish these goals and more in the years to come. Camden is a wonderful place to live, work and play. Working with numerous state and local business and technology experts Camden can continue to forge ahead while maintaining our unique charm.

In the next few months the Select Board will be searching for a qualified candidate to serve as our next town manager. I believe my experience as an owner/publisher of business and travel magazines and the interim director of the Maine Tourism Association in the 1990s will be of great help in this selection process.

The future of the former Apollo Tannery property on Washington Street will be part of our town meeting on June 15. Voters will have the opportunity to reaffirm their desire to continue to have a referendum vote on any future business making that site their home. Pay close attention to the wording of Article 6A and 6B on the town meeting warrant that will be voted on at the Camden Opera House on Wednesday night, June 15. Article 6A stipulates the Select Board alone will decide the fate of all town held properties. If that article fails, voters will be asked to give the selectmen permission to dispose of any town owned property, except the Apollo property. Remember, in November 2008, we the voters, by a 2 to 1 margin (1,745 to 997) voted to require any sale of the town-owned tannery property be approved by referendum vote.

I’m a strong advocate of transparency in government. I believe the privilege of being elected by fellow townspeople to the Select Board brings with it the responsibility to represent their interests. During the next few years, there will be several important decisions being made and lots of discussion and debates. I want to be part of those discussions and decisions. I also want to hear from my fellow townspeople when issues or questions come up. On June 14, I’d appreciate your vote for Camden Select Board.

 

Donald A. White Jr. is a candidate for the Camden Select Board on June 14.