Four candidates for one Dresden selectman’s seat April 7

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 5:00pm

Four candidates are running for first selectman to fill out the rest of Trudy Foss’ term that ends in June 2021. Foss resigned.

Dwight Keene, 68, will be looking for a second run as selectman. He served as second selectman completing a three year term in 2019.

Keene has college degree in accounting and management. He has managed convenience stores, worked 10 years as a truck driver and is an educational technician at Dresden Elementary School.

His first term saw the hiring of a full-time administrative assistant and the shift from elected to hired office staff. “We have made sure that they are better qualified,” said Keene of the hired staff. As second selectman, Keene reported the workings of the transfer station to the board. “We work as a team,” said Keene.

Keene’s major concern for the town is the lack of volunteers to serve as first responders. He said the fire department fulfills that function but membership has fallen off. “We are understaffed. The attitude is ‘leave it to Fred,’” he said.

John Rzasa, 71, served two one-year terms as first selectman a decade ago. The high school graduate served 22 years in the U.S. Navy as a counselor and recruiter. Upon retirement he has worked as a security officer in different capacities. He is currently a bail commissioner.

Rzasa said if elected he will continue questioning programs that impact the tax rate. “We have to pay closer attention to the mill rate,” he said. He would also see better how tax money is spent. “I would like to know where the money goes.”

He said he was concerned about the fiscal implications of the Regional School Unit 2 budget if Richmond withdraws.

“We should listen to the people,” said Rzasa.

Donald Gleason Jr., 63, has been a Dresden resident since 1985. He holds a master’s degree and has worked with multiple businesses and institutions globally in developing computer systems. He is an Eagle Scout. Locally, he has served on the former conservation committee and was its chairman.

“There is a need for greater transparency,” Gleason said of town government.

He would like to see more homes connected to the internet. “Only 37 percent of residents have internet access,” said Gleason. He said the town should be more aggressive in getting households connected online.

Gleason would also like better accessibility to the purchase of transfer station tokens. “The town should make it easier.”

He would also like to see taxes lowered.

Gleason raises miniature donkeys at his farm off Gardiner Road. He takes care of three rescue dogs.

Multiple attempts to reach candidate Sabrina Doray were unsusccessful.

For absentee ballots, contact the town office. The polls will be open 4-8 p.m. April 7 at the Pownalborough Hall with staggered access to protect against the COVID-19 virus.