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Why I’m running for Town Selectman(person) in Grand Isle, Maine. That is a great question, and I’m sure people are wondering why this has seemingly come out of the blue, it honestly hasn’t.

I’ve been thinking of running for Selectman for a long time. One of the main reasons I did not was because my sister, Lisa Beaulieu was an employee there. Conflict of interest and I would never put politics before family. Enough said on that subject.

I’m an avid follower of politics from small town USA to the larger, what some people think to be more important, elections. My father was a town selectman, one of the three who initiated the pullout from SAD 24 (saved money in the long run and allowed the children of Grand Isle to go to Madawaska schools) and I don’t think I heard anyone complaining about that push. My mother was also a selectman for several years and during that time the town had a very good surplus in the bank.

The main reason I didn’t run this year was because I’d understood, through the grapevine, that Gordon was running again. I’ve always admired and thought well of Gordon so I didn’t bother taking papers out. He was the incumbent, has a wonderful reputation in town as a former business owner. I’m 35, I have many years to run for office. At least, that was the thought a few months ago.

And now a little about myself before I continue.

In the last year, I’ve begun working for AMHC in Grand Isle, our program is called GIFT and we learn a lot of things up on that hill on Creamerie Street. It is a wonderful job that teaches you patience and that anything can be done. Another thing I’ve learned is, if you’re going to complain, then you should have a plan as to how to fix what you are complaining about. Or at least try and help the process along. I’ve found that a lot of people are complaining and not stepping up, but they need a voice and I think I’m that voice.

I’m also a non traditional college student at NMCC, I’m a B+ student, (even managing an A here and there). I have been accepted into the rigorous nursing program at NMCC and will be in the Madawaska Co hort this fall, we are forging a new path for students in the Valley by being the first class held in Madawaska, with clinical hours being done at NMMC. I like forging new paths and doing something new.

I’m a proud home owner with my partner of 6 years, Julia Cyr. We purchased Roger Bechard’s home three years ago, we only wanted to live in Grand Isle, moving anywhere else was not an option. Our home happens to be located on the very street I grew up on as a child, next door in fact, on Notre Dame Rd. In those days it was merely known as ‘Banana Road’. I grew up here, I am a native, while unpacking the trucks on our moving day, old friends passed by and yelled, “Welcome back!”. These are the people I want to represent. I speak French, I speak English, I support our businesses as best as I can whenever I can.

I also worked at the town office when I was a senior on high school and for a year after graduation, I set up the computer program that now houses our water, sewer and tax bills. I worked almost two years at the town office, I know how it works, I know the ins, the outs and the politics behind it all. I’m not someone who knows nothing about how the town runs, I’ve been there before, and I’m hoping to be there again in a whole new capacity.

A few weeks ago I learned that Gordon was not running and thought we’d have a nice write in candidate. It never happened. I didn’t step up.

Peyton Place had arrived in Grand Isle. Two town employees (this is all rumor and gossip as far as I know, but it did prompt me to think about my position of not stepping up before.) were seemingly (again, rumor) having an affair. One of whom is married, the other, Gordon’s daughter, a town employee.

I’m not running on the platform of ‘lets fire these people’. Absolutely NOT! I am, however, running on the platform of honesty, from the position of being a professional and being accountable for your actions. To holding everyone, myself included, accountable for the things we do in life and that actions have repercussions. If, and this is a large IF, these goings ons were happening on town property, during the time when they were on town time, then yes, there will be actions taken.

I think so, being inappropriate is one thing, waste the tax payers money while you get your groove on, is another. But that is a very small reason as to why I’m running.

In the last few years, people who are over qualified for jobs have been overlooked for others, perhaps as qualified as those overlooked, yet the choices seemed odd.

Town employees no longer know if they are salary or hourly employees.

Our roads are plowed by 8am, instead of by 6am.

Why is the town office closed two days a week yet the employees are working, does this save us money or save the workers from working as hard?

These are all things I’d like to investigate in my tenure as selectman and perhaps more as they are brought to me.

We should be looking at alternative ways to make our town work, from grants to internal ways of saving money. Are we headed for a recession? I think we are in it. We are a small town, and this is where it hits the hardest and hurts the longest, we have small voices but those voices should all be heard. I might not have as many years of wisdom under my belt as Gordon does, but I have something he doesn’t.

We,
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as a town, have been looking out the same window with the same people in the driver’s seat for too long. It is time for a different view and a different way of thinking and I think that I’m the kind of person that can do that. No, I take that back, I AM the kind of person that does that. The world is not black and white, it is a vast array of colors and it’s time to do something new and fresh. Start looking for, not only ways to save, but ways to become more productive with what we have, all the while taking care of the people that are here, in our town.

Do we continue to complain or do we do something about it?

It is a humbling thing to sit in front of a computer and write something that sometimes makes you want to pull out your hair. Sometimes, I do, pull out my hair that is. A few years ago, I was standing at my kitchen sink, and a phrase rushed through my brain, The Girls Next Door. You see, our neighbor always called my girlfriend and I that, albeit in French. That night, said girlfriend, was working until 8pm and I was home alone. I sat down at my computer, a hulking black Dell, and typed the words, The Girls Next Door on a fresh document page. Then, nothing happened. I tapped my fingers and figured I’d lost what was left of my already addled mind. Then came the music, something hard and heart pumping, 12 Stones. Then a vision, a moment in written time, a glass of red wine shattering on a wood floor, and so that was the first scene I wrote for what is now a 300+ page novel.

Firstly, the scene was crap. I know nothing about grammar, in fact, I’ve never met Mr. Grammar, he and I must be allergic to each other. I sent the file to a friend, Kate M, who is an Australian girl who used to read my fan fiction. After her sending me a lengthy email and begging for more, I began to write it from the beginning. Then I finished it and posted it on a site that is no longer with us, The Moral Dilemma. I miss that site. I digress. Well, if every single reader didn’t want to kill me, and I mean that, some threatened to find my lil corner in the woods and string me up by my toes. The ending sucked. So it sat, and sat, and sat until I realized how I could change it, and make it that much better.

Then, Michelle J stepped into my life, my editing friend who will tell me how crappy, how right, how wrong, or just how silly, or how good it is. The journey is never taken alone, sometimes its with a multitude of people. Below is version one. Then, after that, is the last version. The one that is now sitting in the overly capable hands of Jennifer Graham, who, for some reason I still cannot fathom, volunteered to do a copy edit. I can see the red pens running out of ink on this one. So, below is the first scene from The Girls Next Door, both versions. Warning: There is violence.

Emily was in her loft apartment, sitting on a leather chair, curled up with a bag of potato chips, a large glass of wine and was reading the book by Elizabeth. It was good, it was great. This girl was going to be huge if given half of the chance. Emily was ready to place a call to her editor and have him read it, but she thought she should pass it by Elizabeth first.

It was, of all things, a very good murder mystery. With a strong romantic undertone and even had jabs of humor. She was in awe, the girl had captured her instantly from the first paragraph. Emily stuffed more chips into her mouth, thinking that she was going to have to do extra sit ups in the morning for her digression.

She was half way through the 300 page book when she heard a knock at her door. She blinked not having heard the elevator. Or the lower bell, but then again, the door wasn’t locked it never was. This was Hope’s Corner after all.

She reluctantly put the book down. Patting it with a grin, some people would try and steal a students idea, she never could think of doing that. She was very well and happy to help spread the wealth. She took a sip of the wine as she walked to the door, the glass dangling sexily from her fingertips.
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