CHINA — Four candidates are running for three seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Incumbents Joann Austin, Peter Foote and Paul MacDonald are seeking reelection to the five-member board. Albert Althenn is seeking to be elected to the board for the first time. Board members serve two-year terms.

Austin, 73, served on the board for 10 years in the 1980s and is coming up on another 10 years now. A local attorney, she emphasized her experience as an asset to the town.

“At the moment, one of the things most useful is history, a sense of context for what decisions make sense,” she said.

MacDonald, 70, is a retired construction worker who has served four years on the board.

“I just keep an eye on the budget, keep taxes reasonable,” he said.

Foote, 45, has served four years, and wants to continue on the board because of issues with the schools and China Lake. A mechanic at O’Connor GMC, he’s lived in town for more than 25 years.

“It’s important for someone that’s been on the board to stay there,” he said.

When it comes to schools, China voters will decide a ballot question Nov. 6 that asks if they want to begin the process of withdrawing from Oakland-based Regional School Unit 18. Foote said he opposes the move, saying town voters already have significant power to consider the budget and that the town benefits from resources provided by the Messalonskee district.

He also would like to continue to work with the local lake access committee to find a place for a public swimming area, which is called for in the town’s comprehensive plan.

Althenn, 67, owns real estate and runs a steel roofing company. He’s concerned about town spending, particularly at the transfer station, and about the health of China Lake.

“The town is growing and the comprehensive plan is so complicated it’s going to take an attorney to figure out what it says,” he said.

Althenn served on the Planning Board in the early 1990s, shortly after he moved back to town.

In September, District Court Judge Beth Dobson ordered Althenn to remove three of the four vehicles on his property because he was running an “automobile graveyard.” He was ordered to pay a fine of $1,500 and to pay attorney fees and costs to the town in the amount of $8,509, according to the decision issued Sept. 18.

Althenn, who said he’s a car collector, plans to appeal.

“I’m in no way guilty of the charges,” he said. “I have no intention of letting this stand.”

Susan Cover — 621-5643
[email protected]