Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, February 14, 2013
Two candidates vie for Deer Isle’s first selectman seat
For the first time since 2007 there is a contested race for the first selectman seat. Second Selectman Twyla Weed is challenging 45-year veteran of town government Neville Hardy.
In Deer Isle, voters will head to the town hall to vote in elections between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 4. Town Meeting will reconvene at 2 p.m. at the town hall to act on the remaining warrant articles.
Neville Hardy for first selectman
With more than 40 years as a selectman, Neville Hardy has experience on his side. First elected as third selectman in 1968, in 1970 he was elected first selectman and has served since then as first selectman. Having served so long, Hardy said he knows what needs to be done.
Hardy said his favorite part of the job is helping the public out.
“I like the job, and you’ve got to do something, I guess,” said Hardy about why he was running.
If elected, he plans to keep “doing what we’ve been doing,” said Hardy.
Governor Paul LePage has proposed a plan to end revenue sharing with towns and cities for the next two years. When asked what would happen to the town’s budget should that plan be approved, Hardy said that the plan would impact the town, but the town would “have to cut back” to adjust.
Hardy said part of the reason he’s liked his job is that he’s always had “two good people to work with right along. I’ve had a lot come and go,” said Hardy about second and third selectmen he’s worked with, “but we’ve always worked together.”
Twyla Weed for first selectman
A former planning board member, a tax compiler for the town for more than 30 years, a member of the Island Community Center board and more, Twyla Weed has long been involved in public service. Weed has served for 13 years as second selectman and said the idea of running for first selectman has been on her mind for awhile.
“I figure it’s 2013 and my 13th year,” said Weed. “Maybe 13 is my lucky number.”
Whether Deer Isle residents vote her in or not, Weed wants people to know that someone is interested in being first selectman when the time is right.
If elected, Weed said one of her top priorities would be working with the new property on Little Deer Isle where the bridge meets the island, the site of the former Sister’s Restaurant.
The biggest challenge coming down the pipeline is “what the governor is passing down to us and how that will affect the town,” said Weed. Weed does not know exactly what that might mean for the town, as the budget is still under construction.
In terms of her relationship to current First Selectman Neville Hardy, Weed said the two of them have worked well together for 13 years. “We learned long ago to agree to disagree,” she said.
Weed’s overall goal is to keep Deer Isle a “place people like to continue living in but also be in the modern world.”
Paul Gray for road commissioner
With the exception of one year in the last decade, Gray has served the town as road commissioner. He is a fisherman, is married and has one child.
Gray could not be reached for an interview by press time.
Becky Knowlton for town clerk
As town clerk, Becky Knowlton handles the vital records for the town—birth and death certificates, marriage licenses—as well as elections, clam and fishing licenses and even genealogy records.
“I love working with people,” said Knowlton. “I love this town.”
Knowlton said the only part of the job she doesn’t like is when someone’s genealogy request doesn’t turn up any records.
“I’m really starting to not just know people, but develop relationships with them,” said Knowlton. Knowlton has been town clerk for six years. “Every year that goes by it gets a little more personal.”
Lorraine Weed for treasurer and tax collector
Weed has served as treasurer and tax collector for “about 30 years,” she said. She loves working with the public, and with her coworkers at the town hall.
“I like working with Neville [Hardy] and Becky [Knowlton],” she said.
Weed especially enjoys keeping her mind active by solving problems and helping people. Her job includes keeping tabs on all the tax payments, tax liens and notices, as well as handling “all the money matters” of the town as its treasurer.
The hardest part of the job is when new regulations—and new paperwork—comes along.