SKOWHEGAN — A 23-year incumbent faces opposition from two challengers for road commissioner, three candidates are running for four vacant school board seats, and the school district budget validation vote is on the ballot as residents go to the polls Tuesday.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office on Water Street.

In the race for road commissioner, 23-year incumbent Gregory Dore, of East Madison, is being challenged for the fourth time by Donald Kinney Sr. and former Highway Department employee Paul Murray for a three-year term.

• Dore, 60, said the experience of two-plus decades on the job makes him qualified for another term.

“I’m very dedicated, I’ve got a lot of experience and I’ve got a good educational background to manage this department,” he said.

Dore said he studied engineering at the University of Arizona, has participated in Maine Department of Transportation training and has acquired the nickname “Road Scholar” from DOT officials for the number of classes he has taken. He also has attended several America Public Works programs for more training and updates on cost cutting and road maintenance and organizes monthly meetings with officials from seven area towns on issues such as joint purchasing and safety training.

“I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I continue to learn,” he said. “This is another changing field that you have to stay on top of it if you’re going to keep within a budget that’s affordable to the town.”

The Highway Department’s annual budget is about $1.2 million.

• Kinney, 60, is semi-retired and works out of state installing natural gas pipelines.

Kinney said he has run road crews, has operated big trucks and heavy equipment building roads and has handled complicated state regulations, qualifying him for the job.

“I’ve run companies both in Maine and out of state,” he said. “I have gas pipeline safety experience. We’re going to have natural gas all over the state pretty quick, and I have all the licenses for digging for hot lines and everything. I’ve been in construction all my life.”

He said he received votes running against Dore in the past and hopes to win this time.

“I want to work for the people, and fresh blood will do a lot of good, having new people in,” he said.

• Murray, 58, is a part-time school bus driver for School Administrative District 54 and previously worked for the highway department under Dore. He was a combat engineer for 15 years, working stateside with the Maine Army National Guard.

“When I worked for the town, I did what all the other guys did, plowing snow and all that,” Murray said. “In me you will have a working road commissioner. I will not be home at 2 o’clock in the morning when we get calls to come into work.”

He said when the people want the roads cleared in the winter, he will be out there with the other crew members. Murray said he has all of the qualifications to become the Skowhegan road commissioner. He said he owned a printing business for 22 years and knows how to deal with government regulations.

He said he will be able to work within the approved department budget to get the work done.

SAD 54

There are three candidates for four vacant seats on the 23-member school board with incumbent directors Liz Anderson, the chairman, and Noella DesPres, whose terms expire this year, choosing not to seek re-election.

Anderson and DesPres said at the district budget meeting in May that the contentious debate and school board vote to not change the name of the high school sports mascot — the Indians — didn’t factor into their decision not to seek re-election. Both women voted to drop the name “Indians” in a final 11-9 vote that resulted in the school keeping the name.

There also was talk that if the school board voted to drop the name and image of the Indians mascot, the proposed budget for the coming year would not be adopted at the district meeting. The $34 million budget was approved at the meeting and the final validation referendum vote is scheduled for Tuesday in all SAD 54 towns — Skowhegan, Norridgewock, Canaan, Smithfield, Cornville and Mercer.

Incumbent director Jessie Roderick of Skowhegan, whose term of office is up, was not at the school board vote on the Indians nickname and is not on the ballot for re-election.

On the ballot for a three-year term, incumbent Director Jane Arthur is seeking re-election. Also on the ballot are former Skowhegan selectman and Somerset County commissioner Lynda Quinn and by Amy Rouse.

• Arthur, a retired elementary school teacher and a former member of the Maine Education Association board of directors, said her interest in being on the school board is in instructional and professional development of students and staff.

“We constantly want to improve our education for our students and their opportunity for higher-level education,” she said. “I think you need someone on that board to help out with development, especially on committees. I will represent all the students and I will try my best to vote responsibly — I’m a taxpayer, too, here — on budget matters.”

Arthur also voted to change the name “Indians,” while Lynda Quinn, who also is running, was a vocal opponent of changing the name. Arthur said she received a couple of upsetting phone calls before the Indians vote and several thanking her after her vote.

• Quinn, a former special education teacher at the high school who later ran a private school in Skowhegan for several years, said she decided to run for school board long before the mascot name became a big issue in the district.

She said her biggest concern on the school board is continued use of Common Core education standards that detail what public school students should know at the end of each grade through their high school graduation.

“I do not like Common Core,” she said, adding that because school board work usually is done at the committee level, she’d like to get on a programs and policy panel to examine how Skowhegan is doing Common Core.

• School board candidate Amy Rouse did not respond to repeated requests for interviews.

OTHER RACES

Incumbent Town Clerk and Treasurer Gail Pelotte is seeking re-election unopposed for a three-year term.

John Grohs is seeking re-election unopposed for a three-year term on the Board of Assessors.

Michael Lambke is running unopposed for a five-year term as Coburn Park commissioner, and Deborah Jones is running unopposed for a three-year term for overseer of the poor.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow