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3 Fort Kent Town Council candidates vie for 2 seats

FORT KENT, Maine — Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Fort Kent Town Council.

Voters will decide which of the three — Corey Pelletier, Brandon Dayton or Andrew Caron — will get a seat during the town’s annual election on Monday, March 22.

Dr. John Bouchard, council chairperson, has chosen not to run for reelection. Councilor Corey Pelletier will defend his seat, which is expiring in March. Former candidate Andrew Caron and newcomer Brandon Lee Dayton are also seeking election to the council.

The Fort Kent election will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, March 22, at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Frenchville Road. The annual Fort Kent Town Meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m. at the same location. 

All of the candidates were asked the same questions. In alphabetical order, here are the candidates and their responses:

Andrew Caron

Party affiliation: Republican.

Age: 46

Why running for Town Council: To try to sustain the taxes the way they are instead of raising taxes.

Education: I graduated from Fort Kent in 1992.

Employment: I own a redemption center. I worked for the town, at Northern Maine Medical Center, at Forest Hill Manor. I worked on a farm; I was brought up on a farm. 

I know business. I know where to save money.

Family: Wife Jill and two kids — Toby, 16, and Allie, 14.

Top three priorities if elected: To sustain taxes and keep the tax base the way it is. I want to see how they make their budgets. 

Brandon Dayton 

Party affiliation: n/a.

Age: 29

Why running for Town Council: Fort Kent is a charming little gem hidden in the crown of Maine. In my time in Fort Kent, I have met some incredible people. Some who have helped me shovel my car out of the snow when I got stuck. Some who have shown me the art of ice fishing. Others who meet with me to chat in French. Fort Kent is not lacking in kind-hearted people. I am running for town council to give a fresh/independent perspective. 

Education: I have a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, French and Italian from Indiana University Bloomington. I also have a master’s degree in International Education from the Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid, Spain. 

Employment: After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I still hadn’t figured out this crazy thing we call life. So, I decided to uproot myself and teach English in France. What was meant to be one year turned into five. I also made the jump from France to Spain. After my stint abroad, I came back to the States in search of a “real” job. I currently work at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. My work mostly revolves around helping students through the application process. I also assist international students obtain a student visa and get to campus.  

Family: I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city of more than 1 million people. At the age of 13, I moved to Edinburgh, Indiana, a small town of roughly 4,000 people. I am the oldest of five siblings (all boys except for the youngest who is the only girl).

Top three priorities if elected: Education, infrastructure, pro-new business.  

Corey Pelletier 

Party Affiliation: Republican.

Age: 32

Why run for Town Council? I am seeking to retain my seat on town council because I would like to see the great work we have done over the past three years continue into the future. The town of Fort Kent is on the right path for success and growth; leadership stability and proficiency is paramount. The learning curve for a new town councilor is steep and I am just now hitting my stride.

Education: Fort Kent Community High School (2006), also studied at UMFK.

Employment:  I work as a Commercial Loan Officer at NorState Federal Credit Union. Myself, along with my brother, own multiple rental real estate properties throughout Fort Kent. I also co-own a landscaping company, where we do anything from lawn mowing, snow removal to tree service, power washing and anything in between that has to do with property maintenance. In the past I have owned and operated a bar/restaurant and worked in retail for more than 10 years. My various life/work experiences have proven instrumental in serving on town council. I understand the need to keep taxes low and cut useless spending. I also understand the need to upgrade aging equipment, properly outfit our First Responders, and continually invest in our town’s infrastructure. 

Family: I was born and raised in New Canada about 9 miles south of Fort Kent. Town politics is in my blood, my father Rodney Pelletier has been the town manager in New Canada for 25 years. Growing up, (prior to the community center being built) he used to host town meetings in our kitchen, I would sit in the living room and listen to budget articles being passed and mill rates being set. I now live in Fort Kent with my beautiful wife Autumn, and our two dogs Titan and Layla. 

Top three priorities if elected: My first priority is to continue working with an amazing group of individuals who dedicate their time and effort to serving our wonderful town. I want to continue to find ways to reduce cost in places that we have control. A good example is our trash, the town taxpayers pay by the ton, reduce the tonnage, you get a cost savings to the taxpayer. Recycling is another topic that I’m passionate about and it goes hand in hand with our trash cost, the more we recycle the less trash we have. Another big priority for me is promoting our town. We have a lot to offer and we’re on the right track to do more outreach. We are fortunate our town manager shares this vision and has great, innovative ideas to promote Fort Kent. I just think it’s important to do everything we can to attract people to move to our town. The more people we have paying taxes, reduces the tax liability to everyone. 

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