Chebeague Island special election draws 1 candidate

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — One candidate is on the ballot in an Oct. 7 special election for an unexpired seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Chris Loder was the only person to submit nomination papers for seat vacated on Aug. 13 by Mark Dyer. Dyer, who was chairman of the board, cited personal reasons when he resigned. His term expires in 2016.

Town Administrator Eric Dyer (no relation to Mark Dyer) in August said the special election was scheduled less than a month before the General Election because the board wants to fill the position as soon as possible. The date was chosen because it falls within 60 days of the resignation.

Loder said he decided to run because he saw a need and wanted to fill it.

“In the absence of anyone else taking the ball, I stepped in,” he said. “I want to make a difference in my community.”

Loder, a business innovation leader at IBM, has lived on the island for just over a year. He said he grew up in New England and often went sailing up the coast of Maine. He and his wife have three young children who all attend school on the island.

Loder said he’s been interested in contributing to the island and that being a selectman will allow him to do that. He said he isn’t trying to make a name for himself in government.

“I don’t want a career in politics,” Loder said. “I want to live in a great place.”

Loder said that as selectman, he will be an “effective listener.”

“The most important part of government at this level is to listen and solicit input as data and as facts, to understand the value of what’s being proposed and the cost to the community,” he said.

Loder said one of his main goals will be to see Chebeague’s independence through to maturity.

“You learn a lot as you’re growing, and I’d like to assist that growth,” he said.

This wasn’t the first time Mark Dyer resigned from the board. After being elected when Chebeague Island became a town in 2007, Dyer resigned without explanation in October 2011, two years before his term expired.

Dyer ran for a seat on the board again in June 2013. He won one of two seats in a four-candidate race in which his sister, Susan Campbell, was also elected.

Campbell, formerly vice chairwoman of the board, is now the chairwoman. David Hill was elected vice chairman.

Voting on Oct. 7 will take place at Town Hall from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.