OXFORD — Three candidates are vying for the open selectman’s seat at the Tuesday, June 13 annual town election.
Mark Blaquiere, Dana Dillingham and Ernest “Ed” Knightly are each hoping to take the one, three-year seat being vacated by longtime selectman Roger Jackson, who has chosen not to seek re-election.
Each candidate for the contested seat was asked to provide some biographical information about themselves and to respond to three questions:
- Why are you running for the Board of Selectmen?
- What do you feel are the most important issues facing the town?
- What do you hope to accomplish as selectman?
Longtime School Board Director Ron Kugell and Water District Trustee Walter Frye are also on the ballot, both running uncontested for re-election to their three-year terms.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oxford Public Safety Building on Route 26.
Blaquiere is a captain/per diem Paris Fire Department firefighter, who is new to town politics but said he has been an active community member and has served the residents of Oxford for more than 25 years as a firefighter.
“I grew up in Oxford and my wife and I chose to raise our family here,” said Blaquiere when asked why he was running for the Board of Selectmen.
“The people of Oxford have become our extended family; the town is our home. I care deeply about how we treat one another and the decisions we make. I am a dedicated and determined individual with a vision of the future. Given the opportunity, I will continue to be
an advocate, listen to all ideas and concerns in an effort to address the needs of the town. We all call Oxford home and want to see our community achieve its best.”
Blaquiere said the most important issues facing the town is keeping Oxford affordable and meeting the needs of its residents while controlling spending.
If elected selectman and as a fellow homeowner and taxpayer who, Blaquiere said, understands and shares the residents’ concerns about the tax base and spending priorities, he hopes to “create an atmosphere of transparency and sensible priorities maintaining a stable tax base and fair assessment values.”
“While working to create that atmosphere, we also need to take a hard look at our facilities and infrastructures,” he continued. “Our continued commitment to our infrastructure is key to our town’s success.”
Dana N. Dillingham
Dillingham, a U.S. Army military police veteran who currently serves as captain/ jail administrator at the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, is a member of the Oxford Budget Committee and Oxford Planning Board.
He has also been active in the community as a youth baseball, softball, basketball and soccer coach.
“I am running for selectman to serve my community that I love, with the intent of keeping it a great place to work, live and play,” he said.
“I feel the most important issue in our town is controlling the spending,” Dillingham said. “We can not continue to out spend our revenues and raise property taxes year after year. Everyone heard that the Casino would keep our taxes down, and it has done a very good job of that. As a town we are starting outspend that. We need to budget based on our income and our needs, not spend based on every pet project, want and whim that comes up.
“I would like to see more transparency in what revenues are coming in to the town and where the money goes,” he continued. “Keep Oxford prosperous and affordable.”
Ernest (Ed) E. Knightly
Knightly is self-employed and works part time at the Oxford Transfer Station. He served three years as recreation director for Oxford, 10 years a rescue driver and served 24 years on the Oxford Fire Department before he retired.
Knightly said he wants to be elected selectman “to help better the town.”
He feels the most important issues facing the town is the “growth of the town.”
“I have no agenda at this time. To help townspeople with their concerns,” he said when asked what his priorities would be if elected.