Chebeague Island special election draws 4 candidates

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — Four candidates are running for two recently vacated seats on the Board of Selectmen in a special election Tuesday, March 1.

Susan Campbell, former vice chairwoman of the board, submitted a letter of resignation Dec. 22; William Calthorpe resigned Jan. 1.

Both were serving their first terms. Campbell’s term runs until June 30, and Calthorpe’s ends in 2017.

Campbell has decided to run again for her seat, despite just giving it up.

“What I’m doing is getting back on the board,” she said. “I resigned in December to look into a new venture, which didn’t come through, so I’m putting my hat back in the ring to come back on and just finish up some projects that I’ve been involved in and just watch the budget and so forth.”

Jean-Louis Beaupre and John Corson Jr. are running against Campbell; Nelson Stevens is running unopposed to complete Calthorpe’s unexpired term.

Beaupre, an excavator and landscaper, has lived on the island full time for six years, and said he spent his summers there for many years. He has been chairman of the Chebeague Island United Methodist Church trustees for two years.

He said his decision to run for the Board of Selectman came about because he wants to be more involved.

“You hear things around the island that people want to change stuff, and I think the best way to change stuff is to be a selectman,” Beaupre said. “I want to listen to people and help them change things.”

Beaupre said he’d be a good selectman because he doesn’t over complicate issues.

“I’m more direct,” he said. “I like things to be simple.”

Corson, who is semi-retired, has lived on the island full time for five years and has always visited in the summer. He serves on the island’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

He said he wants to be on the Board of Selectmen because he thinks his background in finance will help the town, especially in light of the recent discovery of missing town funds. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office investigated and was unable to determine if a crime had been committed. 

“I thought that as the town starts to restructure its finances a bit that (a background in finance) might be of use,” Corson said. “I’ve been in small business and Wall Street-type finances for a number of years, and those bring skills to the board.”

Stevens, a retired boat yard mechanic, has lived in town for six years and has been visiting the island since he was born. He serves on the Board of Adjustments and Appeals and on the Coastal Waters Commission.

Stevens was also one of five representatives for the island when it seceded from Cumberland in 2007. He said his experience would make him a good selectman.

“I’ve been involved with the town since we became our own town, and I feel like with my experience I have something to add,” he said. “I just want people on the island to be happy with their community and I want to see more people involved and participating.”

The polls will be open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Chebeague Island Community Center.

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.