The candidates, who want to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Larry Bonneau, are Allen Ross, William Gelzinis, Judy Wilbur Craig, Frederick Banks and Jack A. Parker.
Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Council chambers. Residents should take note of the new location for voting.
Each of the candidates spoke Monday about the uncertainty of Dexter Shoe Co. and its continued operation in the community, in the wake of plant closings in Skowhegan and Milo. Aside from the schools, the company is the town's biggest employer.
Allen Ross, who serves on the board of appeals, said he would work to encourage industry to relocate to Dexter to help the tax base and to provide jobs.
His biggest fear, he said, would be the loss of the shoe manufacturing company. "I'd be a dedicated town servant" if elected, Ross said.
William Gelzinis, a military retiree, said he had served on several local boards and was familiar with the operation of the town. He said he was "very concerned" about Dexter Shoe, which, if the company closed, would create chaos in the town's taxation situation. He said the Town Council was in good shape but would need to be stronger in the future.
"I have no ax to grind in this, nothing to gain by it," Gelzinis said.
Judy Wilbur Craig, chairman of the Dexter Downtown planning committee, a member of the Dexter Development Corp. and sits on the Incubator Without Walls Council, wants to continue her local efforts to help small businesses. The owner of a consulting firm in her name, she also does Web design and maintenance.
"As a lifelong resident of Dexter, I feel I have Dexter's best interests at heart," Craig said. She said the town needs to preserve its past but must look toward the future as well.
Fred Banks, who owns a tree farm, said he wanted to contribute something to his hometown. He said town officials have made great strides over the past two years to improve the economy, but there is still more to do, It would help the town's tax rate if more businesses and industries located in Dexter, and he said he was willing to work to help stimulate the economy.
Businessman Jack A. Parker said there needs to be a strong, strategic, focused plan that would attract new businesses to increase employment opportunities in Dexter.
The town has to become more business-friendly and be prepared to offer incentives to recruit companies to the area, he said. "If you are looking to vote for a candidate that will make a strong commitment to make Dexter an even greater place to work and live, then I would be honored to have your vote," Parker said.
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