APPLETON – Select Board Vice Chair Peter Beckett faces a challenge from former long-time Select Board Chair Donald Burke in this year’s election, June 14.

DONALD BURKE

“I’m running because of the encouragement of folks from throughout town,” Burke said. “I believe strongly in community involvement.”

Burke served 30 years on the Select Board. He resigned in 2016 after the board went to five members and another Select Board member was named chair.

“I have no agenda and make no promises, I only look forward to life getting back to the way it was before the pandemic,” he said in seeking election this year. “Appleton is a very special place for the hills, forests, fields, and history, but most of all, the people.”

“I’ve lived in Appleton almost my entire life. I attended Appleton schools and was in the first class from Appleton to graduate from Camden High School.

“My most recent career was working for the Farm Service Agency, but I have operated a family farm since I got out of the Army. My family helps me in August and we still hand-harvest wild Maine blueberries.”

“My most recent career is now as a deckhand/tour guide for Camden Harbor Cruises during the summer months. I belong to Grange, Appleton Historical Society, Appleton Alumni Association and the Knox County Blueberry co-op.”

PETER BECKETT

Beckett, a retired software development manager for financial firms in Boston and New York, is running on his record of accomplishment.

“I moved to Appleton nine years ago, and after retiring I decided I wanted to see if I could give back to the community,” he said. “I knew nothing of local government except for the annual tax bill so I attended select board meetings as a resident for six months before I decided to run for office.”

During his tenure, he said he has redone the town website, contributing to transparency.

“I also do the town’s annual budget and have made this process more transparent every year, so the budget committee have as much information to make their deliberations run smoothly,” Beckett said. “This year we are looking at the first tax rate reduction since I have been on the board.”

He has served on the school’s facilities committee, the Comprehensive Planning Committee and is treasurer on the transfer station board. He began the process of digitizing the tax maps, which were done by hand when he joined the Select Board. He has worked to put information about the town’s culverts online.

“With my background in computers, I created the Broadband advisory committee and started working with Tidewater to get grants with the aim of having fiber cable available on every road in Appleton,” Beckett said. “I am pleased to report that we are 95% of the way there. The last 5% of roads are those that are serviced by Consolidated Communications which is in a part of Burkettville. Even though we have made two grant applications for this area we have not yet been successful but continue to work on this.”

“My wife and I have made many friends in Appleton which is a very friendly town,” Beckett said. “She is responsible for the annual Gnome project, which she along with many volunteers build Gnomes out of tomato cages and fir branches and deliver them all over town, which brings a smile to all who see them.

Beckett concluded, saying, “As you can see I am involved in a lot of the town’s administration, which I love doing, as I get to meet so many of our residents and have decided to run for another term so I can continue this work.”