Chebeague Island candidates running unopposed

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — Barring any last-minute write-in candidates, the June 12 town elections will be uncontested.

Running unopposed for re-election to the Board of Selectmen are Mark Dyer and David Hill. Also unopposed for re-election are School Committee members Jeff Putnam and Jennifer Belesca.

Residents can cast their ballots on June 12 at Chebeague Island Community Center from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

A carpenter by trade, Dyer, 57, has lived on Chebeague Island for 45 years. This will be his third term on the board.

Although he is not serving on any other town committees, Dyer said he is “informally supporting” the Road Plan Committee, on which he previously served. He also served on the town’s Transition Committee, which managed the island’s transformation to a town after it seceded from Cumberland in 2007.

Although he said he has no specific goals or priorities, Dyer said he’d like to serve another term on the board to “continue to try and help improve how the selectmen do the people’s business and perform as a team in a professional manner.”

“I also want to continue to try and help with financial and logistical planning for short- and long-range capital improvements throughout the community, while attempting to balance those needs with the concerns of managing a somewhat stable tax,” he added. “Which can be very challenging, to say the least.”

Hill, 71, is the Center Director for the Maine Small Business Development Center at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in Wiscasset. He has lived on Chebeague Island for 14 years. This will be his fourth term on the board.

He said he is also involved with the Broadband Committee, which helped establish chebeague.net, and said he’s served on “practically all the island organizations at one time or another.”

Hill said he’s seeking another term on the board because “there is still a lot to be done on the island, ranging from needed renovations to the Stone Wharf to bringing broadband internet up to this century’s standards.”

(I’d like to) help make progress on those fronts, as well as other issues of importance to the island, such as road safety, transportation planning, and maintaining the excellence of our school and its facilities,” he added. “In short, we have to ensure that we have a viable community that can sustain itself for many generations to come.”

Putnam, 40, is a full-time commercial lobsterman and has lived on Chebeague his entire life. If elected, this will be his second term on the School Committee –  he currently serves as Chairman.

With all three kids in the approximately 30-student school, Putnam said he and his family are very invested in Chebeague Island School. He said he is seeking another term on the committee because he’d like to see the planned school renovations come to fruition.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the hammers start and that project get going,” Putnam said.

He added that he enjoys being involved with the School Department, complimenting the administration, staff, teachers and School Committee.

“I feel like I’m doing some great things for the community,” he said.

Belesca, 48, is the store manager for The Niblic gift shop at the Chebeague Island Boat Yard. She has lived on Chebeague Island for most of her life and has served on the School Committee since the island seceded from Cumberland in 2007.

Belesca said she is running for re-election because she is passionate about the importance of education on the island for its year-round community. She has two sons at Yarmouth High School, one a junior and one a senior, and said she planned to serve on the committee until they graduate.

“I’m not quite done because they’re not quite done,” she said. “There’s still more to do because my kids are still in school.”

Belesca, like Putnam, also said she’d like to see the school renovations through to completion because “there’s a lot of work to be done.”

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

Mark Dyer

Dyer

Hill

Putnam

Belesca

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