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Falmouth Town Council candidates back Route 1 redesign

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Falmouth Town Council candidates back Route 1 redesign

FALMOUTH — Voters in the June 11 Town Council election won't have many options, with three candidates seeking the three available seats.

Russ Anderson, David Goldberg and Claudia King are the candidates in the uncontested election.

Goldberg, a Falmouth resident since 2000, is a public relations and marketing executive who co-founded the Portland-based firm Kemp Goldberg Partners.

With a background in the banking industry, Goldberg said he can use his financial experience to help foster and encourage small business growth.

"Falmouth is a town of homes and schools and residents, and the business community often gets lost in the conversation," he said. "I respect the mind of a small business person and I'll be looking to do things down that path in the next few years."

Goldberg said the proposal to redesign the Route 1 business corridor – which requires public approval of an $11.7 million referendum – is a good start to make the corridor more attractive to business owners.

Fellow candidate and 20-year Falmouth resident Anderson said he has followed the Route 1 redesign closely and also supports the project.

Anderson, who ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2012, also has a background in finance, having worked in the insurance and financial services fields for the last 30 years. He now works part-time as a consultant.

"It felt like it's a good time in my life to serve and give back," he said. "I've got the time and energy to now serve the town in that capacity."

Anderson said the schools are an asset to the town and that he supports the school budget, along with the two proposed renovation bonds for Falmouth Middle School that total about $5 million. But, he said, it's important to consider the impact the bonds will have on property taxes.

"I think as we go forward I would like to work with the rest of the Town Council to see if we can get back to a place to hold the line on tax increases," he said. "A lot of people are still challenged by this economy and we need to be fair to them."

To do that, Anderson said he wants to work to refine the process of how bonding proposals are brought to the town by working to combine several projects, instead bringing single, relatively smaller proposals every year.

King, a former physical therapist, has previously worked on town committees, most with a focus on environmental issues.

She helped establish Falmouth's Green Ribbon Commission, working to create a climate action plan for the town, which focused on energy conservation, reducing emissions and saving money.

As a councilor, King said she would use her experiences working with the town in the past and would look forward to implementing the Route 1 plan if the project is passed by voters.

"This seems like a natural progression," she said. "... I believe (the Route 1 project) is big task and that the plan has real implications. ... I'm interested in being part of that process. That's a big deal to me."

Unlike the other candidates, King does not have a background in business and said her approach on the council would be to look at the "overall health of the town," similar to her professional work.

"I am definitely interested in making sure the town continues to manage its finances in a fiscally prudent manner and keep what I perceive to be it's strong assets," she said. "Whether that's good physical management of natural resources, our fine schools or the tremendous value of open space. Those are things I think are held in high value for a lot the town's people and I'm certainly all about continuing to protect those town assets."

King also said she would focus on the economic development of the town with the goal of diversifying the tax base to lessen the property tax burden on home owners.

The three candidates will replace council Chairwoman Faith Varney, who is not seeking re-election, and Councilors Tony Payne and Bonny Rodden, who have reached the term limit of six consecutive years. Candidates are elected to three-year terms.

Polls at the Falmouth High School gym, 74 Woodville Road, will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Election Day.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow Will on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.