A Lewiston distillery manager and a retired state worker are squaring off for a seat on Monmouth’s Board of Selectmen.

Incumbent Harold Jones III is facing a challenging from Sandra Schiller in the vote, which is scheduled for June 9 as part of the referendum-style Town eeting. Voting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the lower library at Cumston Hall.

While Jones and Schiller are involved in the only contested race, voters also are expected to fill two other positions. Edmund Zuis is the only candidate for a position on the Regional School Unit 2 board of directors, and Kristin Sanborn is the running for a seat on the Cumston Public Library trustees.

Schiller, 68, is married and has three grown children, two of whom live in Monmouth. She has four grandchildren who attend Monmouth schools, including one at Henry L. Cottrell Elementary School, two at Monmouth Middle School and one at Monmouth Academy.

“I am embedded in this community,” Schiller said.

Schiller, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Eastern University in Pennsylvania, most recently worked for the Maryland Department of Human Resources’ Citizens Review Board for Children. The state agency reviews cases for foster care to determine safety and placement. The position, which Schiller held for 16 years, allowed her to lobby lawmakers, as well as draft legislation, to benefit children and work with child welfare professionals.


“We knew all the cases,” she said.

Jones, 60, and his wife have two grown daughters and three grandsons. A 1972 graduate of Monmouth Academy, Jones has worked in fleet management and logistics for the past 23 years, much of which he has spent with White Rock Distilleries in Lewiston, which is now Boston Brands of Maine. Jones was a truck driver and logger before getting into plant management.

Jones, who previously was on the Planning Board, is completing his second term and sixth year on the Board of Selectmen.

“A number of people have encouraged me to run, and I decided to run again,” he said. “I think I bring a lot of experience from the private sector that’s been helpful and will continue to be helpful.”

Schiller’s town government experience is limited to serving on the Board of Appeals and regularly attending selectmen’s meetings, but she is active with various town organizations, including the Friends of Cumston Library, the Monmouth Museum and the Cumston Hall Quilters. Schiller said she is running for selectwoman because she wants to be a part of the town’s economic development.

“I’d like to be part of seeing this community grow,” she said. “I think we’re right on the brink of something very exciting.”


Schiller said she supports the work of the economic development committee, particularly its effort to spruce up the downtown by setting up a tax increment finance district.

“The biggest strength is the people,” she said. “We have a diverse population, and because it’s so diverse, we have a lot of opportunity to find everyone’s best and run with it. We’re still cohesive, even with our differences. That really is a strength here.”

Like Schiller, Jones also said Monmouth’s biggest strength is its people. He said there is an abundance of residents who want to help their neighbors and, ultimately, their town. For example, Jones said, the Fire Department is nearly fully staffed at a time when volunteers departments around the state are facing massive personnel shortages.

“They’re a dedicated group of citizens that work to help the town,” Jones said.

That community effort extends to the economic development committee, Jones said.

Schiller, who bought her home in Monmouth eight years ago, said that unity in diversity is modeled on the Board of Selectmen.


“I just plain have a fascination with government,” she said. “I find it fascinating that five people can come together and really make something happen.”

Schiller said the biggest challenge the town faces is striking an economic chord that balances the security of taxpayers against the needs of the town and schools. Finding money to meet those needs does not necessarily translate into raising taxes, Schiller said.

‘I’m familiar with the bigger picture,” she said. “I would be looking for money outside the normal realms to see if we can tap into other resources.”

The TIF program is one example of finding additional sources of revenue, Schiller said. “I think it’s exciting there are people starting to look for those,” she said. “I think we can look for more.”

The town’s biggest challenge, Jones said, is coming from lawmakers who are withholding more money from the towns and schools to meet the budget demands of the state.

“There is a propensity of state government to look to municipalities to help solve the state’s budget problems,” Jones said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642


Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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