OAKLAND — Five people are vying for a pair of three-year terms on the Town Council in the Nov. 8 election.

Running for the seats are the incumbent council chairman, Michael D. Perkins, plus a natural gas saleswoman, a retired firefighter, a business owner and a Budget Committee member.

Perkins, 55, has served on the council for nine years, during eight of which he was chairman. He’s running again because he believes in being involved in the town where he lives.

“I’m involved in the town. I live in the town. I believe in the town of Oakland,” he said in a phone interview.

Perkins, who owns KMD Driving School, also is running as a Republican for the Legislature to represent House District 77, which includes Sidney and parts of Oakland. He faces Alan Tibbetts, of Sidney.

Perkins said he sees no problem if he wins both positions because he’s a “workaholic” and has been able to balance running a business while being a councilor for years, missing only one meeting. He hopes to keep the town financially responsible and cost-effective, noting that Oakland has “by far the lowest” taxes compared to nearby towns of similar size.

“We’re running in a very, very, very good direction,” he said. “I believe we’ve done very well at keeping the taxes down.”

He also supports the work Town Manager Gary Bowman is doing to revitalize the town. “We chose a phenomenal town manager,” he said.

Political newcomer Molly K. Bofia, 28, is running for Town Council in part for her daughter, Alyssa.

“I want to be a positive role model, and I also want to take action and take part in the community,” Bofia said. “I want to help her and get involved with her.”

Bofia is a residential sales representative at Summit Natural Gas and is going to Kennebec Valley Community College to get a nursing degree. She previously served on the Waterville Public Library board of trustees for about two years during the library’s renovation.

She said she’s excited about the “new energy that’s come to Oakland” and that she supports the efforts to revitalize the community. One of her biggest concerns, she said, is taxes, which she wants to keep low for residents.

Harold I. Buzzell, Jr., 61, said he decided to put his “hat in the ring” this year because he tries to “stay involved in the politics of Oakland.”

Buzzell has been on the town’s Budget and Advisory Committee for eight years. He has additional experience balancing budgets in his work managing three Hammond Lumber stores around the state. Taxes and school budgets are the big issues Oakland residents are faced with, Buzzell said, and he hopes to keep taxes in check as the town has in the past, and possibly even lower them.

He wants to keep the town growing and lure new businesses, he said, adding that the town has “an excellent town manager” with a lot of good ideas.

Buzzell also wants to find more ways to retain town employees.

“It’s a stressful situation when you lose somebody from the town crew,” he said.

Buzzell also highlighted the need for new municipal buildings, saying the town has to continue looking at the overall problem now that the new police station is complete.

“A new fire station is needed and a new Town Office is needed, and in my mind they’re both very important to the development of the town of Oakland,” he said.

Buzzell said he understands the time commitment that comes with the position, adding that he is ready to commit to that long-term.

“Hopefully, I’ll be in there for a long time,” he said.

Eric E. Sharpe, 64, moved to Maine 12 years ago and sees a bright future ahead for Oakland.

Sharpe worked for the Fire Department in Concord, New Hampshire, before retiring as battalion chief after 28 years. While he has never held an elective office before, he has served on the Waterville Opera House board of directors and is a member of the Oakland building committee that worked on the new police station.

Sharpe said he is running for council because he wants to be a part of the town, as he has been in other places he’s lived.

“It’s something I feel I would like to do to be a part of the town,” he said, “and to do what I think is best for the future of Oakland — working within a restrained budget, but not making penny-wise, pound-foolish choices.”

Sharpe said he believes that the town needs to take care of the police force, the Fire Department and the Public Works Department “for all the work that they do.”

He thinks the town’s next step, now that the police station is complete, is building a fire station. The current station was built in the 1950s, costs a lot to heat, can’t accommodate all of the trucks and has cracks in the walls large enough to see through, he said.

“The least that we can do is provide decent facilities for these people to do the work that they do,” he said.

Sharpe also said he thinks the town should focus on improving its tax base and maintaining its school district’s reputation.

“We’re making a turn. We’ve got a great town manager, Gary Bowman, and I think we’re on the track to make Oakland competitive with some of the other towns in the area,” he said.

Jeremy A. Lizzotte, 30, said he is running for council to “give a voice to the other residents who feel like they might not be represented.”

“There’s quite a few members of the council that are of an older generation, so I just think it’d be a good idea to have a few younger minds at the table,” he said in a phone interview.

One of the big issues for people who live in Oakland, he said, is taxes. While additional revenue set off any tax increase, the budget did increase last year, he said.

“We need to keep a better eye on the spending side of it in regards to what we appropriate the funds for,” Lizzotte said. One example, he said, could be providing incentives to nonprofits to work more on their own so the town doesn’t have to subsidize them.

Lizzotte said he thinks the town is good at coming together, which he thinks could be used to help raise money quickly for the proposed gazebo at the boat landing.

“I am more for initiatives of people donating money to do that, not the town spending the money,” he said.

Other candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot are Mary-Anne LaMarre, for a Regional School Unit 18 board seat and Edward Hammond, William Kennard and Kelly Pinney-Michaud for three seats on the Budget and Advisory Committee.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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