Four candidates for three seats on Dexter Town Council
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Dexter residents will vote on town council candidates, choosing three for 3-year terms each among four candidates. The four are incumbent Andrew Bermudez,
Marcia Delaware (a former councilor), Jonathan Hanson, and incumbent Heidi Kinney.
The following questions were posed to the four candidates. Answers were edited for length and clarity.
Name: Andrew Bermudez
Party affiliation: Independent
Why are you running for office? I am running for a second term with the hopes to continue helping Dexter move into a better place for all residents. We have a fantastic manager who is also forward thinking and leads by action and not just words. Being able to serve along with someone like this is a privilege.
Education: Bachelor of Science
Employment: Lead pastor, First Baptist Church of Dexter
Family: Wife, Amanda, married for almost 21 years. Three children, ages 14, 11 and 9.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Access to affordable broadband for all residents. Continuing the improvement of our road infrastructure. Investing in our town buildings, such as the town hall and town office.
Name: Marcia Delaware
Age: None given.
Party affiliation: I am a Democrat but in the council race that really isn’t an issue.
Why are you running for office? I completed two 3-year terms and by charter had to sit out a year due to term limits.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? One of my main focuses is the budget as I believe it is a council duty to go through it line by line and question requests, always thinking about the taxpayer who pays the bill but needs value for his dollar like looking long term for paving projects and putting money into infrastructure reserve accounts.
My second priority is the town employees. Being one in the past and married to one who was a municipal employee for more than 30 years, I have good insight into what it will take to retain the good employees we currently employ. Dexter has the best town manager I have worked with since I started in the 1970s, and a town office of caring people with years of experience. We have valued public works and police officers and a full roster of volunteer firefighters and I would always have their needs foremost.
I see Dexter with a more positive attitude and hopeful future with this administration and these employees and I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to work with all of them.
Name: Jonathan Hanson
Party affiliation: Independent
Why are you running for office? Running for council to help and give back to the town, to try and foster our growth, and help make our town better for the youth and elderly.
Education: I have degrees in electrical systems installation and maintenance, and electrical controls technologies, and a working background in residential, commercial, industrial electrical and alternative energy.
Employment: I worked for an electrician for five years before starting my own business, mainly working with large-scale wind and solar farm design and construction. I moved to Dexter to follow a passion, and we opened Echo Lake Lodges, and Puffers Place. Both do well, and we have plans to grow both businesses together.
Family: I have three children, two who went to Dexter, one still attends. My mother, Tracy, recently passed from cancer, was, and still is, a major motivation and supporter for Puffers Place.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? If elected, I would like to work on having more activities and programs for both youths and seniors. I feel it is our responsibility to give both a great deal of attention as one has paved the way for us, and the other has a long hard road on which they need support, and will one day do the same for us.
Secondly, through business development and alternative means, solar possibly being one, I would like to shift the tax burden away from the residents who are already facing immense difficulties keeping up.
Thirdly I would hope to improve the small town ideals and unity. There are many people who do much to help out, and few who do much more than their share. Finding a way to bring back the one hand washes the other mentality would greatly improve the quality of living in our beautiful town.
Name: Heidi Kinney
Party affiliation: Republican
Why are you running for office? I truly enjoyed my last term, and I feel that I have a lot of unfinished business pertaining to my goals for the town.
Education: I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and an Associate of Science degree in Legal Secretarial Services.
Employment: I am the human resource manager at Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, a waste-to-energy plant.
Family: My husband and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We have two boys who are married and five grandchildren.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities? To continue with the revitalization of the town. It’s been baby steps, but very encouraging to see new businesses in town.
During my three-year term, I am proud to say that two of those years, we did not raise property taxes. This past year, due to rising costs of fuel and electricity, we did have to increase taxes by 2 percent. My priority will be to balance the budget while keeping the taxpayers hard-earned dollars in mind.
Another priority will be to get broadband to the unserved and underserved in our community. I believe this shows a commitment to our children and parents as well as businesses looking to relocate to our town.