Peter Bradgon, Candidate for Selectman
Tuesday you will have the opportunity to elect two new members to the board of selectmen. This day could change the board significantly. I have tried my best to reach out to the townspeople with my view points and what I would do as selectman. I have compiled a summary outline of the areas I want to work on. Please note, I really care about New Gloucester; I have no intentions of changing what we have as a town or our government. We should always be looking at ways we can do better.
- Communication: The first priority. There are several ways we can improve. I have already covered many of the opportunities for improvement. The citizens need to be informed about what the selectmen and other committees are doing.
- Transparency: This comes with communication. The more the board communicates and the more that is published will lead to trust. Unless it is a personnel matter or a sealed bid the information should be available to the public and available before any meeting. When you have good communication and transparency you then build trust.
- Policies and Procedures: I am a supporter of developing clear policies and procedures for how the town operates. Not red tape but efficiency. How agendas are developed, meetings are run, budget process, undesignated fund, etc.
- Budgets: I feel we need to see where the town wants to be at for services and build from the bottom up to get there. We need to give the budget committee strong guidelines and to look at the whole budget. The whole budget should be available to everyone on the website. I am a strong conservative but do not want to pinch a budget to affect services or the quality of New Gloucester.
- Capital Improvements / Paving: I feel we need to have clear policy on how we actually replace equipment. Not just based on age but possibly hours, miles, repairs, trade in value, purchase price, what the item is used for, alternatives, cross use between departments etc. The last couple years we have not funded our capital improvement accounts like we should. Paving needs to be addressed. Our roads are falling behind because of our funding to that budget line.
- Undesignated Fund Balance: I believe we need to develop a clear policy as to what our minimum balance will be and what our maximum balance will be, and if we exceed the maximum balance, how the excess is used. This will take out personal opinion as to what a good balance is. I am all for a very hearty undesignated fund balance, but I am not supportive of over-taxation to fund this.
- Technology: I believe we need to look at what we can do to improve the technology in the town. We need to look at new phone systems, internet standards in buildings, increasing computers at the library to name a few. We also need to expand the town’s web page.
- Sabbathday Lake: We need to look at preserving this asset to the town. We must address the issue of access. The opportunity of the easement we have must be fully investigated. Having passes available to the outlet beach could be a temporary fix.
- Recreation: Continuing to expand this is a high priority with many townspeople. We need to look at our town recreation facilities and see what we can do to make them better.
- Land Use: We need to be proactive in this area. We need to work with the land management committee in reviewing our zoning and ordinances in town and not be reactive.
- Public Input: Discussion needs to be had about how the townspeople can give their input. The selectmen agenda needs to allow for more opportunity for discussion from the townspeople. Public input should be considered by all the board.
I think this gives a good idea of where I stand and how I want to move the town forward. I really hope to have your vote on June 11th.