Westport Island’s two candidates on the June 8 ballot for second selectman answered Wiscasset Newspaper’s questions on their traits, experience, etc. that will aid their service as selectman; what their top priorities would be if elected, and why; and anything else they would like to get across to voters. The newspaper told candidates their complete response could total up to 500 words.
“If I were elected my overall aspiration would be to promote, encourage and motivate other islanders my age to volunteer. I am a big believer in the Unbuntu philosophy, ‘I am, because we are.’ The philosophy centers around the concept that a human can’t truly prosper in isolation. Living on an island, this becomes so true.
“My past involvement on the Kennebunk school board, the Morris Farm board of directors and the Maine Arborist Association board of directors has given me the experience of working with a group towards a common goal.
“Upon my first visit, I fell in love with Westport Island, after the first year living on the island I became emotionally invested. It’s my island, it’s my home. I deeply respect Westport Island, and all of the wonderful people who also call it home.”
“I have decades of experience as a manager, locally at Bath Iron Works, finally retiring in 2016 from Deloitte Consulting, where I advised clients as different as the Bank of America and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But prior to getting an MBAand entering management, I also worked as a carpenter, teacher, cook, and merchant seaman. I’m good at picking up new things, listening and learning from people, and getting along with most. With 30-plus years of managing projects, I can lay out a plan and drive toward its successful completion, and managing a budget is second nature, though Maine municipal accounting is going to take some getting used to!
“In the context of Westport Island and the select Board role, I’ve spent the past five years actively growing my knowledge of town business and the personalities that make Westport a great place to live. Serving on five town committees has helped. Westport relies on its volunteers, and I will support and encourage them.
“My top priority in joining the select board will be working to implement the recommendations of the 2019 Comprehensive Plan, and to preserve and protect the town’s essential character and natural resources.
“The plan is our tool to manage the inevitable changes our Island will face from the pressures of development. Protecting our water supply from depletion or contamination is critical. Most new residents came to Westport Island for its rural atmosphere and neighborliness – and low property taxes – and it will take work to protect these qualities.
“We also need to keep the Island up to date. Broadband internet is essential, for people working from home, for small businesses, for education, and increasingly, for medical services. I’m hoping we’ve got that Plan objective done, with the ConnectMaine Broadband grant submitted last month. We need adequate sources of water around the Island for the Fire Department to fight fires. We will need to upgrade our town office and fire station to be compliant with standards, and that will take years to plan and fund, and some skill in obtaining grants to minimize the cost to the town taxpayers.
”I would be honored to serve the town as a selectman. I’m the seventh generation Tarbox to live on Westport Island, and live in the restored 1784 original house built by the first generation. None of my line has served in this capacity. I joke that there are 40-plus Tarboxes on Westport Island, but I’m the only one still above ground. Before I join the others, there is a lot of work I’d like to do for the town.
“And, no, I don’t have any connection to the Squire Tarbox Inn – though I love Pizza Night.”