News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 2, 2017
Three hopefuls campaign for Castine selectman’s seat

by Monique Labbe

With less than a week to go before local elections in Castine, the three candidates vying for an open seat on the Board of Selectmen have been busy campaigning.

Patrick Haugen has been a resident of Castine for the last 16 years. He has accumulated no shortage of community involvement during that time and has served as a Castine Cougars Little League coach, has assisted with the George Stevens Academy sailing team, was a driver for the Bagaduce Ambulance Corps and has served on the Utility Board and as the chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

In addition to volunteering in town, Haugen also served as the news editor of the Castine Patriot, and finally as the coordinator of the Graduate Program at Maine Maritime Academy’s Loeb Sullivan School. Haugen recently retired from that position, leaving him with “time and energy” to now serve the town in an official capacity.

In his most recent job, Haugen said his technical and organizational skills became well honed, and that he was versed in admissions, public relations and program management.

“In addition to the time and energy, I also have relatable hands-on experience for the position of selectman,” said Haugen. “In my previous life I served three terms as a councilman in Babylon, N.Y., serving over 200,000 constituents.” Haugen was also the head of Parks and Recreation during his time living in Babylon, where he helped draft the first master plan for the town.

Arthur Layton is running on a platform to keep the Castine economy stimulated and thriving on a year-round basis while still preserving the town’s unique, historic atmosphere.

Layton has been a resident of Castine since 1975. A lifelong journalist, Layton has worked for the The Ellsworth American, Bangor Daily News, Bar Harbor Times, Belfast Republican Journal and the Rockland Courier Gazette. He has also served as a contributor to the Bucksport Free Press. Additionally, Layton was also an editor and contributor to The Castine Visitor, a publication of the Castine Historical Society, for five years.

Layton has noted that it is important for the town to capitalize on its history, because that “history is in its character, and to a large extent Castine property values rest on that.”

Both seasonal and year-round residents have a financial and emotional stake in the community, and “their voices should be heard alike,” he added.

Another reason Layton is running for selectman is to find ways to keep residents living and working in town, as many workers are currently commuters living outside of Castine.

“An economy bolstered by an expanded year-round base would eliminate many ills, including tax rises that can be linked to population depletion,” he said.

Colin Powell’s interest in civic leadership came from his time spent as a beat reporter for the Penobscot Bay Press newspapers, where he covered school boards and Castine events.

A resident of the Shore Road in Castine for the last decade, Powell noted that becoming a part of the Castine community sparked an interest and involvement in town government that he had previously not felt an opportunity to do prior to moving to Maine. Between sitting in on town official meetings during the year and attending town meeting, Powell said he began to gain an understanding of how important the relationship between residents and the Board of Selectmen could be.

As a family man with three young children, Powell represents the youth townspeople have voiced concern about a lack of in recent years, as much of the population, year-round or seasonal, has been older. Powell has been involved at Adams School as a soccer coach, and at Unitarian Universalist Congregational Church, where he serves as the governing board’s vice president.

Powell said he hopes to bring his enthusiasm to the Board of Selectmen, and provide an energy to the future of the town.

Colin Powell
Photo courtesy of the candidate
Arthur Layton
Photo courtesy of the candidates
 Patrick Haugen
Photo courtesy of the candidates