Porter challenges Napolitano for North Yarmouth selectman seat
NORTH YARMOUTH — Two candidates are competing for one seat on the Board of Selectmen in the June 9 election.
Incumbent Paul Napolitano is being challenged by Tim Porter.
In addition to the selectman election, Todd Nicholson is running unopposed for the School Administrative District 51 Board of Directors seat being vacated by Dan Panici. Nicholson, 43, of Hawthorne Road, is a Colby College graduate and works in marketing.
Napolitano, 60, of Mill Ridge Road, is seeking his second term as a selectman after spending the past year as the board's chairman. He said his decision to run again was based on his confidence that he has "the knowledge and background to help get us through the hard times before us."
Napolitano owns and operates an excavating company in town.
He also said that his election would smooth out the process of hiring a new administrative assistant when Scott Tilton's contract expires in June; Napolitano has been involved with the goal-setting process for Tllton's replacement, and will be part of the interview process set to begin on June 8. If he is not re-elected, he said his opponent may not have the opportunity to participate in any interviews, and the rest of the board would have to decide whether to wait for the new selectman to take office July 1 before continuing the hiring process.
Napolitano's goals for the new top administrator include having someone who lives within or is willing to move into SAD 51 (North Yarmouth or Cumberland), and who has a good financial background.
In the face of a tough economy, Napolitano said he hopes that, if re-elected, he and the board can keep a close eye on the town's budget in order to maintain services while keeping taxpayer costs down.
"We can't lose services," he said, "we don't have any to begin with."
Plowing streets and sidewalks and picking up trash, Napolitano said, are the only real services the town provides, and past investigations have shown that consolidating those services ends up being more costly. His only answer for how to keep costs down, he said, is to keep an eye on spending.
Porter, 53, of Royal Road, is a project manager at Yarmouth-based Anastos & Nadeau, a home construction company. He said he decided to run for office because he's reached a point where his children are grown and he's comfortable where he is.
"It's time to give something back to my community," Porter said.
He agreed with Napolitano that mitigating the economy's impact on the town is going to be a key issue in the upcoming year, but said his own professional experiences would suit the town better than the incumbent's.
"Nobody needs taxes to increase in these times," he said, "We need to keep costs under control. I manage projects, I manage money, I manage time and contracts and do a lot of negotiations with contractors, which is needed, and I have a lot more experience doing that."
While Porter said he has no specific ideas for change in the town, he does have a goal for the board itself. Seeing some residents frustrated by trying to follow the public process and not understanding it, Porter said he hopes to improve the board's communication with the public.
The municipal election will be held June 9. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Wescustogo Hall.
Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or email@example.com.