The difference between the White House and a Maine sewer district

Sam Smith – Taking a short break from national politics, I spent some time today reviewing the candidates for a local election here in Maine, namely members of Freeport Sewer District board.

Among the candidates:

· Michael Ashby is a clam digger who wants to make sure “we have clean water for everyone.” And he plans to take care of sewer odors.

· Andrew Sachs is a disaster consultant who has never held public office but has done a lot of volunteer work. He has also collaborated with many water and sewer districts on various grant proposals.

· Sarah Randall is an environmental consultant whose specialties include management of fisheries.

· James Harriman is a shell fish harvester who says, “the sewer treatment plant affects my work quite a bit. “ He added that being on the board would be a good way to determine if he wants to go into politics.

· Clinton Goodenow Jr is a fisherman and clam digger as well as treasurer of the Maine Clammers Association and is ending a three year term on the sewer district board. He notes that a lot of new people are running and “Sometimes bringing in all new people work well because they’re all bringing in new ideas, but it also slows thins down as they try to get going. I’d like to stay another year and help them stay on track.”

I haven’t decided yet for whom I’m going to vote, one reason being that they all sound pretty damn good and know something about the post they’re seeking. Following national politics, I’m often not presented with this problem and so am a little out of touch with how to handle it.

There is also the tendency of politicians in my town to not say nasty things about their opponents or untrue things about their pasts or try to get voters to hate some of those in the race.

So I’ll talk to folks I respect and get their opinions, think about it, and then go do the best I can on November 3. As I do so, however, I’m going to be wishing that some of those running for the White House on the Republican side were as wise about it as these local candidates are about our town’s sewer district.

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