OAKLAND — With just one seat on the town council up for election this year, a longtime councilman will face a local firefighter and longtime resident.

Mark Fisher, 43, has served on the council since 2002 and says he believes he’s done a good job helping to keep taxes down in the town of 6,200 residents

In the Nov. 4 municipal election, Fisher will face challenger Harold Buzzell Jr., 59, who works in inventory control for Hammond Lumber Company in Belgrade, where he’s been for 27 years.

Fisher is a therapeutic foster parent, meaning he takes in special-needs children and other youths who cannot be placed in normal foster homes.

He is also a longtime member and current president of the Messalonskee Lake Association and has been a licensed real estate agent.

“I have a firm philosophy that we can’t really expand facilities in Oakland if it’s going to make taxes go up,” said Fisher, who proposes the town use grant money for municipal projects and continue placing money in a savings account for future municipal buildings.


Buzzell, who is an Oakland firefighter and former Belgrade firefighter, said he is running to get more involved in the politics of Oakland, where he has lived for 49 years.

Buzzell served previously on the town’s budget and advisory committee. While both candidates believe taxes should remain unchanged, they admit much depends on the local school budget.

They differ on the issue of state revenue sharing, which has declined in recent years as the Legislature seeks to balance the state budget while the national economic downturn saps state revenues.

Fisher said the drawdown in state funding to local communities has impacted schools “with the expectation that the towns are going to pick up the difference” and that the state should be sending more money to municipalities like Oakland.

Buzzell said, while the issue is complicated, he does not feel it’s as big an issue as people make it out to be.

“It’s kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said when asked if the state should be contributing more to municipalities, noting state revenue sharing still comes from Maine tax dollars.



This is a corrected version.

Evan Belanger — 861-9239


Twitter: @ebelanger

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