One seat open, one declared candidate in Hebron

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HEBRON — What has been a quiet annual town election process in recent years, may heat up again as a long-time Selectman Jim Reid steps down and at least one candidate steps up to take his place.

Voters will be asked to elect town officers when Annual Town Meeting gets underway Saturday, March 17.

Incumbent Selectman James Reid has announced he will not run for re-election after four terms in office in order to get some “new blood“ onto the board, which includes two other long time board members, Chairman Richard Deans and board member Dan Eichorn.

Beth Olsen has announced her candidacy for the position.

In Maine, elections occur in two ways: by either nominating officials from the floor of the meeting and voting by a show of hands or paper ballot or secondly, by declaration of  candidacy prior to town meeting through a nomination paper process. Candidates must obtain the proper number of registered voter signatures on their nomination papers and return them to their town clerk’s office for verification before their name can be placed on the ballot. Voting is then done by secret ballot in the voting booth.

Hebron operates under a three-person Board of Selectmen and is one of only a handful of local areas towns where candidates are nominated from Annual Town Meeting floor. They may chose to speak to voters at that time or not.

Because candidates must be nominated from town meeting floor, it is possible that someone may step up to challenge Olsen.

Although he has declined to comment on a candidacy, Josh Hounsell, who has been involved in town politics with the Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Road Committee and other organizations, has said he would consider running for the seat if no other candidate stepped up to the plate.

Olsen currently serves as Oxford’s Town Clerk. She is a graduate of Husson College with a degree in accounting and computer programming. grew up in Greenville and lived in the Jackman area for 30 years. The mother of two sons, including one who is serving overseas on deployment and a second who owns a contracting business, Olsen has been active in the communities she has resided in including serving as Town Clerk in Moose River for five years.

She previously served on a school board, organized a volunteer arts and music program for the Jackman school system, was general manager of an adventure sports company for many years, and was part of a family-owned concrete business for 10 years. A Maine Guide, Olsen also served with and was president of the Down East Sled Fog Club.

In addition to a selectman/assessor, voters will elect a SAD 17 director, currently held by Lewis Williams; two members of the Budget Committee, currently held by Harold “Bunky” Hall and Peter Rearich and a Moody Library Trustee, currently held by Jane Hatch.

Annual town meeting gets underway at the Hebron Station School on Station Road at 10 a.m. Following the election, voters will work to dissolve the remainder of the 57-article warrant.

ldixon@sunmeidagroup.net