Southern Aroostook County Commissioners race features two experienced candidates

2 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Voters in southern Aroostook County will be asked to cast a ballot for one of two people looking to represent their community on the Aroostook County Commissioners board.

County Commissioners are tasked with managing all facets of Aroostook County government, including the county Jail and unorganized townships. The three-member board is made of a representative from southern, central and northern Aroostook County.

Independent incumbent Paul Adams of Houlton is being challenged this year by Republican William Dobbins, also of Houlton, for the right to represent District 1 on the county board. The position is a four-year term.

The Houlton Pioneer Times posed identical questions to both candidates. Their responses are below, with the candidates listed in the order they will appear on the ballot.

Paul J. Adams

Age: 74

Party Affiliation: Independent

Why are you running for this office?  I have been a County Commissioner for more than 30 years and I have lots of experience in all facets of County government. I believe our current slate of commissioners have done an excellent job in leading The County in a positive direction. If reelected, I would like to continue this legacy.

What is your education? Graduate of Houlton High School and have a bachelor’s degree from Ricker College.

What is your employment? Retired from a 40-year banking career and presently serves on the Board of Aroostook County Commissioners.

Family/residence:  Engaged to Susan Golding. I live in Houlton.

What are your top three priorities if elected? First, to partner with local communities to reduce taxes by joint services such as regional assessing. Second, to increase funding for law enforcement and support more deputy patrols in rural Aroostook County. Third, to support the County ARPA program to provide critical infrastructure funding to municipalities and non-profits for capital projects, broadband expansion and programs to assist county residents.

William Dobbins

Age: Not provided

Party Affiliation: Republican

Why are you running for this office?: Having served as a selectman for the town of Hodgdon, I believe my broad experience with the public as an administrator will enhance my contribution to all district communities as a commissioner. Also, I am committed to serve the citizens of District 1 for the length of the term.

What is your education:  A bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1975. Subsequently received my master’s in education and certificate of advanced studies in superintendency, both from the University of Maine in Orono.

What is your employment? Currently semi-retired, serving as a part-time superintendent of Schools for Caswell, Limestone and Vanceboro Public Schools.

Family/residence:  My wife Wilma and I currently live in Houlton.

What are your top three priorities if elected? As County Commissioner, I would have three priorities: be present and transparent with all decisions and issues relating to the residents of District 1; see that the Aroostook County budget is balance and prioritized, keeping in mind the tax burden it requires of the local communities; and assist local communities to have necessary services like police, ambulance, and fire in these difficult economic times, both from a budget stand point and lack of qualified workforce.