With the July 14 election in Lincolnville for Board of Selectmen seats, Josh Gerritsen returns for another three-year term and Mike Ray is newly elected.

Each were asked to tell readers something about themselves. Gerritsen was asked what he hopes to continue to working on with the Lincolnville Board of Selectmen and Ray was asked why he ran for the open seat on the board.

Josh Gerritsen

Gerristsen has served on the Lincolnville Board of Selectman for three years, and currently is chair of the Broadband Committee.

Over the next three years, he hopes to work with fellow selectmen on a number of issues affecting Lincolnville residents. The first is access to broadband. He has served as the chair of the Lincolnville Broadband Committee since February, which has been working hard to gather information to help increase access to affordable, high-speed internet for all Lincolnville residents. The committee's next step is to send out a survey to the community to get a better understanding of the needs of the residents. "To me, it comes down to either working with Lincolnville Telephone Company to expand their fiber-optic network, or to build and operate our own municipal broadband service," Gerritsen said. "We won't know which option makes the most sense for Lincolnville until we do a study."

The second issue is browntail moths. The browntail moth infestation has infiltrated every part of Lincolnville this year, according to Gerritsen. "I have scratched my way through this summer like most of us, and there is no easy, inexpensive solution." He encourages residents to consider clipping nests first before resorting to cutting down oak trees or spraying pesticides. "I am confident residents will eventually get a handle on the moth population, but our oak trees won't come back for a generation and pesticides will persist in the environment for years," he said.

The third issue is increasing public access and use of the harbor. "The harbor is one of our best assets, but unfortunately it's difficult for residents to take full advantage of it," Gerritsen said."The Lincolnville Board of Selectmen had originally recommended funding the design and construction of a pedestrian walkway and waiting area roof structure for our pier as well as the design and environmental permitting of a new boat launching ramp for FY21. But we agreed to pare that back in light of COVID-19 because of the economic stress that has put on our community. I fully support these projects moving forward next year, and look forward to seeing more residents enjoy the harbor because of them," he said.

He would like to see the Lincolnville Board of Selectmen change its name to the Lincolnville Select Board. While this may seem trivial to some, he said, there is no good reason to continue using the gendered title and it would be as simple as a warrant article, an approval from the voters, and a bit of paperwork from the town staff. Many towns in Maine have already made this switch. "Let's continue in the Lincolnville tradition of being forward thinkers and make this change now," he said.

He grew up in Midcoast Maine and left to pursue a career elsewhere, like many young people do, he said. He earned a degree in Environmental Studies at Skidmore College and worked as a photographer in New York. "After a decade away from Maine, I realized Lincolnville was where I wanted to settle down. I moved back and started a small farm raising animals. I have transitioned to working as a filmmaker full-time, making documentary and narrative films."

Mike Ray

Since moving to Maine  from Ohio a little over 30 years ago, Ray has lived in Camden, West Rockport, Warren Village and, for the last 20 years, in Lincolnville.

He has worked a variety of jobs: rigging work at a boatyard, counseling for the developmentally disabled, guiding, landscaping, restaurant work, public transportation and building the house he and his wife Barbara live in. Lately it seems that work, getting in firewood, and messing about in small boats keeps him busy, he said.

"Off and on I've been lucky enough do some volunteer work in areas that might be considered political," Ray said. "These vary from (relatively) organized campaigns and parties, to serving on Lincolnville's Planning Board, Land Use Committee, Conservation Commission and its newly-formed Broadband Committee."

"I think democracy is felt most strongly at the local level, though maybe without the attention and glitz that Washington or Augusta generate," Ray said.

Everyone in town works hard to keep the community going through the taxes they pay or services they offer, and each person deserves to get the most widely-agreed upon value for that contribution, he said. "I ran for a spot on the Select Board to try and help neighbors get the best bang for the buck, help maintain a quality of life for all residents and maybe assist in keeping town affairs running smoothly and unobtrusively."