Government Spotlight

Select board candidate profiles, 3 year term

Following are profiles of the three candidates vying for the two seats open for three year terms.
Stephen J. Hathorne
Paul Larrivee Jr.
Karen Gilles

Stephen J. Hathorne

Occupation: Medical delivery technician
Education: Gray New Gloucester High School
Community organizations/ service: Vice President , New Gloucester Eagles
Interests/ hobbies: Wine & Food

Q: Why do you want to serve on the select board? What experience and expertise do you bring to this role? 
A: I had pleasure of serving as a selectman for New Gloucester from 2015 -2018. I look forward to filling that role again . I feel the Board is in need of strong leadership, an open mind , a person of integrity. I plan to continue being up front, honest, transparent. My family moved here 1947 on the woodman road, this town will always be home. This also gives me depth to what was, and what should be. I strive to find middle ground!

Q: What are the three most critical issues facing the town, and how would you like the board to address them? 
A: 1. Spending . We need serious review of some of our budgets. Adding 3% to a budget yearly is not wise management. We need to look at government surplus, vehicles in particular. Being thrifty when ever possible , weigh needs over wants. 2. Fire Department. Our department has changed greatly , without a foundation of dedicated volunteers. We have lost a piece of are community that needs to be refueled ! Maybe by extending an olive branch to the old guard or a junior scout program to instill interest of our next generation New Gloucester firefighters. I fully support our new fire chief and his department! However this change as been hard on community and the department . 3. Speech/ information. The ability to speak at a selectman’s meeting has been very limited. Most town’s people have complained at the lack of listening of the board , self agenda. We need to (GREATLY) improve openness!

Q: The town has experienced considerable staff turnover, including in town managers. In light of this, what should the new town manager’s initial priorities be and how would you support them in their role? 
A: Foremost the entire board needs to make joint decisions together and give manager direction. Past practices only the chairman and vice chair have been allowed to act in that role. The other selectman are kept in the dark, without knowledge ! Single communication between chairman and manager must stop ! The entire board was elected to govern, not just chairman.

Paul Larrivee Jr.

Occupation: Licensed Forester, Owner 207 Forestry Consulting Services, LLC
Education:1995 Graduate of Gray-New Gloucester High School. 1999 BS in Forestry from the University of Maine Forestry School, Orono.
Community organizations/ service: Gray-New Gloucester Boy Scout Troop 135, Maine State Tree Farm Committee, Cumberland County Chair of Maine Tree Farm, New Gloucester Budget Committee
Interests/ hobbies: Hunting, fishing, snowmobiling with my family.
Family status: Married over 20 years to my wife Laura. Two sons, one attends GNG High School and one attends the middle school.

Q: Why do you want to serve on the select board? What experience and expertise do you bring to this role? 
A: The function of the select board is to represent the interest of the citizens in issues that are relevant to the town. New Gloucester also defines the select board as “Assessors and Overseers of the Poor.” I want to serve the citizens of New Gloucester to bring a new perspective to the select board. I am hardworking, team oriented, caring, ethical and do my research and homework on issues. I live my life by setting a good example and being a positive part of the community.

Q: What are the three most critical issues facing the town, and how would you like the board to address them?
A: The three most important issues facing the town are increased cost of services, increasing cost of living and town staff turnover. The board needs to examine ways to maintain and/or reduce operating costs of our town departments. Examining opportunities to work with neighboring communities to consolidate services should be a priority. The select board should recognize that property tax increases cannot be the only way to fund town services. Working to be small business friendly encourages investment and increases revenue. We cannot continue to increase property taxes on our elderly and most vulnerable. Addressing staff turnover will take good leadership from the select board and the town manager. A positive working relationship between the board and the manager will help with staff morale.

Q: The town has experienced considerable staff turnover, including in town managers. In light of this, what should the new town manager’s initial priorities be and how would you support them in their role? 
A: The new town manager’s initial priority should be to spend time getting to know the community. Meeting with members of the town committees, volunteer groups and other citizen groups to understand their objectives will benefit the town manager and the community. Having a town manager who is integrated in the community and encourages all employees to be part of the community is important.

Karen Gilles

Occupation: Registered Nurse, Administrator of Pine Tree Home Health Care Inc.
Education: Bachelor’s in the Science of Nursing
Community organizations/ service: Chair of the Select board, former vice chair, current or former liaison to the following: CIP, Pine Land, Chandler Brothers, comprehensive plan, safety, and budget committee. Former board member of Maine Council on Aging and Gray New Gloucester Development Corporation.
Interests/ hobbies: Spending time with family, loving goats, and teaching dance.
Family status: Married to Brian Gilles for 15 years with two daughters Hannah and Alexis.

Q: Why do you want to serve on the select board? What experience and expertise do you bring to this role? 
A: It has been an honor to serve the Town of New Gloucester for the last three years. I have held various levels of leadership roles professionally and within the town that has developed the necessary skills needed for this role.

Q: What are the three most critical issues facing the town, and how would you like the board to address them? 
A: Balancing the town service needs with being fiscally responsible is a challenge for all municipalities. I believe utilizing the comprehensive plan and being fiscally responsible is a key to success in local government. The town will ultimately experience growth as the pressures of the surrounding towns increase. We will be able to manage this growth with utilizing our comprehensive plan and other plans such as the Upper Village Plan. Thanks to our many land stewards New Gloucester will not lose its unique rural character that is beloved by all in New Gloucester.

Q: The town has experienced considerable staff turnover, including in town managers. In light of this, what should the new town manager’s initial priorities be and how would you support them in their role? 
A: We are blessed that our new town manager is very experienced. I believe that allowing her to acclimate to the town and learn our history, processes, and policies is imperative. With her experience I believe that we will be able to have a team approach to developing priorities with the entire board. The teamwork approach is imperative on the Board of Selectmen.