Wiscasset selectboard candidate Richard Lutes

Mon, 05/20/2024 - 8:45am

Occupation: Retired

Education: 15+

Political History (Board, Committees, other): None

USAF, US Army Vet; Republican

Clubs/Organizations: ACA Kayak instructor; American Legion; American Radio Relay League Instructor

Considering the office you are running for, what do you feel are the three most pressing issues (350 words or less): Pressing issues in town spawn from one thing and that is money, more concisely the lack of revenue.

We as a town are living beyond our means. The departments have not worried about bad planning because the town will always bail them out. This planning makes the overall budget look obtainable. I would like every department that generates revenue to support itself minimally or provide needed revenue for other departments. If the department absolutely needs money from the town coffers that dollar amount should be removed from the next budget cycle.

Industry and commercial entities are currently not making progress. We need high value businesses like big box stores, assembly plants or warehouse systems because the town’s residents taxes are just expanding too much. The school budget grows by leaps and bounds all while losing students.

If we cannot manage to entice businesses we will continue to be the top real estate tax town with nothing to show for it except a withering infrastructure.  

The school system is easy to fix. Tuition our high schoolers or host a regional trade/tech school as well as a new conventional public school. We would help ourselves as well as our surrounding neighbors.

Any other thoughts on why you are running or what you can bring to the office? 150 words or less: 

To no one’s surprise, I am a conservative republican. Where I differ is that I believe that the business base should be paying the majority of the tax in town. The federal and state government like to take a larger and larger share of our money. I want to see it back in the resident’s pockets. Keep our residents and bring in younger families. Responsible town spending should ensure that extraneous line items are not added. Facilities that are not needed should be sold. The waterfront should have the yearly rents adjusted by revenue. Finally, departments that are not part of core government definition should be divested and made it’s own entity with no connection to town revenues.