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Candidate profiles: Greenville Select Board

Anthony Ste. Marie

Occupation: Homemaker, Part-time consultant/contractor

Time in town: 13 years

Previously elected offices: None

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

The most important task for anyone who serves the people is to be exceedingly mindful of how easy it is to spend someone else’s money. From this fiscal and psychological foundation each dollar, taxed and spent, must be weighed for its benefits versus its costs and alternatives. As Selectman this would be my foundation and first priority, to ensure any and all dollars are spent as wisely and economically as possible.

Some issues of particular concern in Greenville are: legal matters, non-payment of property taxes, rising water/sewer costs and escalating technology costs. The first major issue facing Greenville concerns some businesses in town and their inability to meet predetermined regulations. This inability costs the town tax dollars in litigation and “cleanup.” A major objective for myself as Selectman would be getting these issues resolved quickly and professionally with as little litigation costs as possible. The second major concern is non-payment of taxes. Most of the time in local government this is the result of broader economic activity and often corrects itself as economies improve. There are situations, however, where the homeowner might actually be collecting rent and not paying taxes because it takes so long for the government to act against the property owner. Obviously these situations need to be handled appropriately and this behavior greatly discouraged. The other two issues regarding rising water/sewer and technology costs will require more education on my part however I am extremely eager to look for effective creative solutions to help stem the rising costs. I have a modest technological background and know there are cost cutting efficiencies available but need to understand how they align with state regulations.

Leon Proctor

Occupation: Retired from electronic engineering firm

Time living in town: 10 years

Previously elected offices: Greenville Estates Tenant Cooperative Board of Directors

Other qualifications: Positions of leadership in veterans’ organization — overseeing budgets, fundraising.

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

1) The town budget control is a top priority. One way to do this would be to have all departments work on lowering budgets, by allowing only a 2 percent or less increase for the next year. There always needs to be accountability and justification for department requests. Health and safety should never be compromised, but as we all have to have household budgets to survive, so must the town departments. We must also find a way to advertise this town, so that it will bring in new business to the town. There are too many vacant buildings that should be renovated and used for business. I will work on a strategic plan to find ways to make Greenville more attractive to outside businesses and welcome a committee to revitalize our downtown.

The issue of unredeemed taxes has to be addressed. I know the town is just starting to make some collections on this, but we need to do more and act quicker instead of waiting for up to 12 years for residents to get behind in their taxes. This means that other residents have to pick up the difference when homeowners do not pay their taxes and this is unfair to the homeowners who do pay their taxes. Whether you own a $250,000 home or a $40,000 mobile home your taxes need to be paid, if the town is going to live within its budget. I would like to set-up some type of a budget plan where residents could work out with the tax collector, so that they can pay a little each month as not to get into an arrearage situation. The only concern I have with “payment plans” is that if everyone were able to take this option there would be no revenue for the town. This subject needs to be looked at fairly for the financial future of our town.

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