Alna voters will replace two of their three selectmen at the polls Saturday, March 27. The town has two candidates for second selectman and two for third selectman.
Second Selectman Doug Baston and Third Selectman Greg Shute did not run for reelection.
The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fire station.
Linda Kristan is running for second selectman. She had considered running for town office previously, but she said the time was never right for her until now.
Kristan moved to Maine from Connecticut in 1987. She originally settled in West Paris, where she lived for nine years. She is a retired special education teacher and has also worked in retail, security, and insurance.
She lived in Richmond for 17 years and served on the planning board there before moving to Alna.
Kristan believes her patience and compassion would make her a good selectman.
“When you’re working in the field of special education, you have to listen and be patient and empathetic,” she said. “You have to work in consensus thinking, because it’s not about you.”
She said that the town should determine the selectmen’s priorities, because the job requires listening to residents and responding to their needs.
Kyle Levasseur is running for second selectman. He saw the opening seat as an opportunity to get more involved in the community. “I don’t want to just be a bystander,” he said.
Levasseur is from Turner and moved to Alna three years ago. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps immediately after graduating from high school and served four years as an infantry assaultman. He did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and earned the rank of corporal.
“I’m young, so I have energy,” Levasseur said. “Something I’m passionate about is helping the community, and I think it’s important to have a mix of people with experience and people with new ideas.”
If elected, Levasseur wants to be transparent. He wants anyone in town to be able to come to him with an issue and know that they will be treated fairly.
Chris Cooper is running for third selectman. He has spent decades serving the town of Alna in various forms, including as first selectman for a 12-year tenure that began in 1977.
After his service as first selectman, Cooper spent a year as town treasurer. He has been the town constable for 10 years. He is also the town’s unofficial handyman and landscaper, consistently serves as moderator at town meetings, and has built the current and past incarnations of the town’s food pantry.
Cooper’s first priority in office would be to calm and reunite the town. “It’s no secret that the town has been in turmoil for the past year and a half,” he said. He wants to provide support for First Selectman Melissa Spinney.
“I’m not running out of any overwhelming desire to drive the town in one direction or another,” he said. “If my candidacy has a purpose, it’s as a caretaker for a year or so, to help people realize what it’s like to live and work in a town where people aren’t at each other’s throats all the time.”
Charlie Culbertson is running for third selectman. Community service has been important to his family for generations, and he wants to continue the tradition by serving the town as selectman.
Culbertson is the son of a U.S. Air Force pilot and lived on Air Force bases through high school. After graduating from college, he joined the U.S. Geological Survey, where he worked for 41 years before retiring last spring.
He worked in water quality, studying groundwater and stream water. When he moved from San Francisco to Alna in 1999, he started focusing primarily on arsenic levels in domestic water supplies.
“Being a town selectman requires considering multiple views — often conflicting, difficult opinions,” Culbertson said. “My experience from being a career scientist has taught me to be a critical thinker, pay attention to details, and be a team player.”
Culbertson is proud of his volunteer work with the Lincoln Little League’s Challenger Division, which gives children with developmental disabilities an opportunity to play baseball.
If elected, Culbertson would prioritize helping local residents who face food insecurity.