Richmond voters on Tuesday will have a lot of options to fill two seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Seven people are running, including one incumbent, Rose Beckwith. The other vacancy is for the seat of Tracy Tuttle, who is not running for re-election.

Voting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Richmond High School.

Paul Adams, 51, who drives a truck after retiring from a military career, said he’s running because he doesn’t like the way the selectmen have conducted town business in recent years.

He objected to the selectmen placing the state building code on a referendum ballot in 2012, just a few months after voters rejected it at Town Meeting, and hiring Beckwith as summer recreation coordinator.

“It doesn’t pass the straight-face test, in my opinion,” Adams said. “It’s things like that the Board of Selectmen have done in the last few years that lead me to believe that we need to change what’s going on.”

More generally, Adams believes that town government needs to pull back on spending. He said parents should volunteer to run recreation programs for Richmond’s children, as he did when his children were young, instead of the town paying for it.

“These young parents today need to act as parents and continue to volunteer their time for the activities of their children,” Adams said. “That’s just part of being a parent.”

Beckwith, 56, an education technician at Marcia Buker Elementary School, is running for re-election to a third term.

Beckwith said she’s proud of improvements the Board of Selectmen have overseen in her six years on the board, including the new library building and the permanent bathroom in the town’s waterfront park.

While Richmond’s tax increment financing districts have helped attract businesses and fund upgrades downtown, Beckwith said the town also needs to improve infrastructure outside the village. With some major debts being retired in the near future, Beckwith hopes some of the money from debt payments can be redirected to infrastructure, particularly roads.

“Our roads in town are horrible,” she said.

Beckwith said another goal is to make Richmond welcoming to businesses to grow the tax base so property owners are not overtaxed.

Fred Browne, 77, said he supports providing structured activities for children in the summer and also wants to maintain or expand the programming at the Golden Oldies Senior Center.

He said he would visit with seniors regularly and be a conduit between them and the Board of Selectmen.

“I think they should be treated with attention and gratitude for what they have done over the years,” he said.

Browne is the Budget Committee vice chairman. He has been on the committee for two years and ran unsuccessfully for selectman in 2012.

He said he thinks there are ways to save in the town budget while providing the services residents want and making investments in infrastructure, particularly the repair and upkeep of the roads.

Browne said he can work well with the other selectmen and the town’s department heads.

“I have a philosophy of comity and of inclusiveness in working together,” he said.

Mike Grizkewitsch Sr., 71, was a machinist at Bath Iron Works. He said he is running because he thinks the selectmen have not been fully honest with voters and taxpayers.

When the selectmen approved construction of the library last year without sending it to voters, for example, they said the project would not use tax dollars. But having public works employees do site work diverted them from other projects, used fuel and put wear on town vehicles, Grizkewitsch said.

Grizkewitsch said he objects not to the new library but to how it was done.

“All they had to do was come to Town Meeting and ask permission for it,” he said.

Grizkewitsch also believes town officials have been too free-spending. He thinks Richmond should have used TIF money to offset taxes, as other towns have done, instead of hiring people. The town office is overwhelmed with bureaucracy, he said.

O’Neil LaPlante, 67, has been on the Budget Committee for a year and served on the school boards for Richmond’s municipal school district and Regional School Unit 2. He also is on the comprehensive plan committee and was a police officer in Richmond.

LaPlante said he’s concerned about the aging of Richmond’s population and the increasing numbers of seniors and children who live in poverty.

He also wants the selectmen to be more in touch with Regional School Unit 2 for budget reasons and to see whether the town can help support students.

“Right now, our schools in Richmond are not doing as well as we’d like them to do,” LaPlante said. “We have to come together as a community along with the RSU. We have to do even more to work closely together.”

LaPlante said his experience working with the schools would help him strengthen those connections if he’s elected.

While he said officials generally have done well in budgeting for the town’s needs, LePlante also thinks the town needs to do more long-range planning.

Ryan Shea, 39, said residents are disgruntled about Richmond’s spending, and he would represent those concerns on the Board of Selectmen.

“I just want to make it so it’s attractive for new moms and dads to come in and build a home and not have to worry about taxes taking over,” Shea said.

He said he needs to examine the budget more closely to identify areas for savings, but as an example, he doesn’t see a need to spend tax money on the summer recreation program when the town has the Richmond Youth Recreation Association, which provides activities based on registration fees, donations and sponsorships.

Shea is vice president of the association’s board, and he tried amending the town budget at Town Meeting last week to eliminate the proposed $22,290 appropriation for the summer recreation program and merge it with the volunteer-led recreation association.

Shea said although he’s fiscally conservative, he would draw the line at budget cuts that could threaten public safety.

Shea owns Quality Landscaping.

David Thompson, 59, served a decade on the Board of Selectmen from 2000 to 2009. Now that he’s retired from his job as a postmaster and has fewer obligations at home, he’s running again because he wants to bring fiscal conservatism to the board.

“We just need somebody leaning in that direction to help the board with some of these decisions,” he said.

Thompson said he hears frustration from other residents about this being the second straight year with a tax increase in the municipal budget.

“I’m retired, so I’m experiencing it myself,” Thompson said. “When you’re on a fixed income and your monthly income’s not going up, but your outflow — when those things are going up and they’re beyond your control, people get frustrated.”

He said he also can bring a business perspective to the board because he has his own small automotive business.

There are also other elective offices on the ballot. Jonathan Edwards is running unopposed for the Richmond Utilities District. There are no candidates for the Budget Committee or a spot on the RSU 2 school board.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

[email protected]

Twitter: @s_e_mcmillan


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