FARMINGDALE — The November special election to fill Farmingdale’s third seat on the Board of Selectmen will be a contest between a former selectman and a candidate who stepped up to run in August’s special election.

This is the second special election in Farmingdale this year to fill vacancies on the town’s governing board. Farmingdale, with a population of nearly 3,000, has a three-member Board of Selectmen, with three-year terms.

Isaiah Peppard

Isaiah Peppard, who narrowly lost to Joseph Connors at the Aug. 9 special election, is running again because he said he continues to be interested in what’s best for Farmingdale and its residents.

Andrew Vellani, a former Farmingdale selectman, is also running. Vellani has failed to return a number of interview requests made over several weeks by the Kennebec Journal.

“Our tax bills just went up significantly,” Peppard said, “so obviously it’s a priority to try to see if we can do better with our taxes.”

When Farmingdale residents approved the town’s spending plan in June, they agreed to pay $650,000 more for road maintenance to catch up with work that had been deferred.


“It’s a double-edged sword. Do you want to have crappy roads or do you want to put some money into your roads and improve them? Eventually it’s going to catch up and you’re going to have major expenses like you see in this budget.”

He also acknowledged that Farmingdale town officials have no say over what town residents pay for the Regional School Unit 2 and Kennebec County assessments on their tax bills, and that’s a balancing act for town officials.

He said until he starts digging deep into issues, he doesn’t know what can be done. To bring down the property tax rate, he said, requires putting a big dent in the town’s budget.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the taxpayers of Farmingdale,” he said. The selectmen are the ones who manage (the budget) but it all comes down to the residents.”

Recently, Farmingdale officials met with their counterparts in Hallowell and Manchester to talk about the possibility of combining public works resources among the three communities to save money.

“Am I opposed to it? Not at all,” he said. “Am I supportive of it? I would cautiously say that I would entertain the idea, but I wouldn’t rush into it before doing a lot of homework.”


He said he would look into data to determine whether towns with full-time public works departments have better roads than those that do not.

Peppard, 43, has lived in Farmingdale for about 10 years, where his wife’s family has lived for decades.

Peppard grew up in Richmond. After serving four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, he worked as an officer in the Richmond Police Department and volunteered for the Richmond Fire Department. For 11 years, he worked as an officer in the Gardiner Police Department. He is now a senior investigator with the Maine Office of State Fire Marshal.

From about 2008 to 2012, Peppard served as a selectman in Pittston, where he lived at the time.

In the June 2019 election, Vellani unseated incumbent Jim Grant, who had been the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, but he resigned from the board less than a year later.

In his letter, Vellani wrote: “I am submitting my resignation as Selectman for the Town of Farmingdale effective May 26, 2020. Please forward the balance of my salary and stipend due up to May 26, 2020, which is 20.6% or $1,030 and $412, respectively to my home address. … I have enclosed 2 keys for the Town office … that were issued to me.”

In Farmingdale, selectmen each earn $5,000 a year.

Voting will take place at the Farmingdale Town Office, at 289 Maine Ave.

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