No contests in Durham elections

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DURHAM — Barring any write-ins, April’s municipal ballot will look relatively straightforward this year.

Running uncontested for re-election on the Board of Selectmen and Regional School Unit 5 School Board are Richard George and Candace Decsipkes, respectively.

Last year, George, 42, defeated former Selectman Barry Baldwin for a one-year seat on the board, serving the remaining term of former Selectman Joshua Libby, who resigned from the board in January 2017, citing professional and personal reasons.

George is a 15-year resident of Durham. He graduated in 1994 from Brockton High School in Brockton, Massachusetts before enlisting in the Navy. George served in the Navy from 1994 to 1998 as a medic, and has taken business classes from La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Viterbo University.

This is his second political race.

George owns and operates 10 national franchises, eight Subways and two Aroma Joe’s, and works from his corporate office in Brunswick. He also volunteers in Durham as a basketball and softball coach, as well as various school programs throughout the year.

“I think we had a pretty busy agenda this year with a relatively new board,” George said March 6. “We got a lot accomplished, but still have some unfinished work to do that I’d like to follow up on.”

Decsipkes, 69, is a retired educator. She bought her house in Durham in 1978. After her husband died in the late ’90s, she moved away for several years before returning in 2001.

This will be her third term on the RSU5 board, however. In the ’80s, Decsipkes served for a few years on the School Board when Durham was still a part of School Union 30 with Lisbon.

She is also chairwoman of Durham’s Historic District Commission and is a member of the historical society.

“I feel strongly about education and wanted to stay involved,” Decsipkes said March 6. “RSU5 is a great school system. My goal is to help it continue to be one of the best for our children while always looking to respect the taxpayers with our budget proposals.”

Three seats are also to be vacated on the Budget Committee in April, but only one candidate, neophyte Neil Berry, turned in nomination papers. Leigh Fisher and Vice Chairman Terri Kirk will not seek re-election. The third seat was left vacant last fall when Christina Libby resigned.

Town Administrator Ruth Glaeser said in this situation, she hopes the two write-in candidates who receive the most votes will accept the other two open seats on the Budget Committee.

“I’ve never seen something like that go to a special election in my time here,” she added.

Voting will be held Friday, April 6 at the Durham Community School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The town’s annual meeting will follow on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Durham Community School.

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