Residents became better acquainted with contenders seeking terms in municipal government at a March 5 candidates' night.

Thirty-year veteran selectman Alton Grover is unopposed in securing another three-year term on the board, and Brooke Harrington is also running unopposed to claim a seat on the town budget committee.

Evelyn Kalloch is seeking another term on the board of assessors. That race is uncontested. Kalloch was not at the meeting.

Martha Marchut and Randy Robbins are vying for Willard Payson's select board seat.

Robbins grew up in town, went to area schools and attended Glen Cove Bible School. He has worked as a fisherman, missionary, lobster trap maker and is a retired member of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Reserves and Maine National Guard.

He is a volunteer member of the Area interfaith Outreach Food Pantry and serves on the Waldoboro Transfer Station Committee, representing Cushing.

Robbins has served on the select board before — the last term ending in 2011 — and said he enjoys interacting with and informing residents. He said a goal is to remain confident with the town budget and added he appreciates government and strives to keep it transparent.

"I believe that when the population is educated, the better the town can function," he said.

He especially wants to educate the town on what options are available in dealing with waste and recycling.

Martha Marchut recently retired from her last job as chief clinical officer at Mid-Coast Mental Health. She moved to Cushing in 2000 from Connecticut, and has ties to Maine through her paternal family and attended Colby College in Waterville as an undergraduate student.

She earned a master's degree in social work from Smith College. She has taught elementary school, volunteered for  hospice programs and was on a board of directors for an elderly housing complex in Connecticut for 15 years.

Marchut said she is a capable candidate because of her experience in corporate settings, making difficult decisions and implementing them. She also has experience working on budgets, policy writing, and hiring and training employees.

She said she loves the town and wants to give back to the community she describes as "a wonderful place to be."

Marchut said she has learned about the good work done in the community through attending various committee meetings and recognizes what can be accomplished. She added that with the strong current board, she sees the addition of a new person as an appropriate time to "learn the ropes."

A personal interest of Marchut's is emergency preparedness in relation to the current country climate and the growing prevalence of natural disasters. She has trained with the Red Cross and said when an emergency happens, people are invariably not prepared.

Grover said he has spent most of his life in the Cushing Community Center building, first as a young student, when it was a school, and subsequently throughout three decades as selectman.

He said he has always tried to take care of the budget, keeping town finances  manageable and even.

One problem currently facing the town office, he said, is an unwelcome, albeit smart squirrel — avoiding being captured by a Havahart trap. Residents requested when the critter is caught, he be transported to Thomaston or Friendship.

Harrington, originally from Michigan, is a retired architect and professor from Temple University in Philadelphia. While teaching, he was part of the university's budget review committee, working with fellow faculty to draft budgets for a school of 34,000 students and the university's hospital.

"My basic fault," he said, "is I'm a cheap skate and I like to know where my money goes."

He moved to Maine permanently with his wife, Judy, in 2010. Harrington said he likes to be involved, and is a member of the Cushing Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

Residents concerned with certain facets of town government posed their questions to the candidate panel.

Resident Monika Mcgee, who is on the Transfer Station Committee and helped start the town's recycling program, wanted to know how candidates will assume a leadership role in dealing with transfer station costs and if they would be more proactive with the recycling program.

"I know you all tacitly agree recycling is important, but I've never had a member of the board come to me and say, this is really important for the town," she said, adding the transfer station costs get little discussion.

David Farmer inquired whether candidates would consider bringing the comprehensive plan back to the table for updating and a citizen re-vote. The plan was narrowly voted down by residents in a prior election. All responded that if it was the will of townspeople to do so, they would put it back on a ballot.

The event lasted about an hour and about 20 people attended.

Residents will vote for candidates Monday, March 18, from 2 to 8 p.m. at the community center. Town meeting will be the following day, Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.