Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, April 17, 2014
Voting April 22
Tie vote spurs run-off election for Deer Isle road commissioner
by Faith DeAmbrose and Jessica Brophy
After an election, a recount and then a tie, the two candidates for Deer Isle’s road commissioner post will again be on the ballot for an April 22 run-off election.
Since the March town meeting, former Road Commissioner Paul Gray has been acting as interim commissioner pending the results of the run-off election.
The Island Ad-Vantages is republishing the candidate interviews previously run in its February 13 issue to help voters weigh their options.
The run-off election will take place on Tuesday, April 22. Polls will be open at the town hall from 2 to 6 p.m. Absentee ballots are available from the town clerk during office hours.
Mark Cormier has held a Class A drivers license for 27 years and has been running equipment and machinery since he was 16. “I’ve always been involved with that kind of work in one way or another, my whole life,” said Cormier.
Cormier, who is the chairman of the Deer Isle-Stonington School Board, said he’s used to working with budgets. “I’m used to working as a school board member to do as much as we can with as little as possible,” he said. “It’s a juggling act, as always, to keep the taxes down.”
Cormier said things are done “really well” currently. “In general, I think the public is really happy.”
What Cormier would like to see would be a long-term improvement plan for the town roads that moves beyond paving and repaving. “Without addressing the substructure, you can keep doing that over and over again,” he said.
“A lot of our roads are old horse paths, and they weren’t built as roads,” said Cormier. “Paving is a short-term fix, and I’d like to see the town each year take a small section and do the substructure work that will last years and years.”
Ken Eaton has been on the road crew in Deer Isle for several years and before that worked on the town of Stonington’s road crew. “I’ve been around dump trucks and plowing for a long time,” he said.
Eaton thinks the road crew has done a good job under Paul Gray’s oversight, and he hopes to run the crew much the same way. Eaton is familiar with the town’s equipment and operations.
The biggest challenge for Eaton personally will be learning to be the person whose phone rings all the time, he said. “I’m not much of a people person, so that will take some getting used to,” said Eaton.
“It’s good working with Paul [Gray] because you know what to expect,” said Eaton, who continued that he hopes to be the same kind of road commissioner.