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Are changes coming to the Town of Gorham’s leadership? Councilor chimes in

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

Three positions are up for grabs this fall on the Town Board, which has been a hotspot for controversy over the last several months. Those three positions on the Town board up for grabs include Town Supervisor, held by Fred Lightfoote currently, as well as Board Members Jake Chard and Brian Case.

“Those three will be up to the people to decide who they want to lead the town,” said Councilor Jake Chard. “It’s an election year so anything can happen.” Chard would not confirm if he is running for supervisor.

Chard did say, however, that it is an exciting time to be part of local politics, especially in a town with such passionate residents.

“I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now,” Chard added. “It’s interesting. This is my eighth year. I remember not even four years ago we’d have two or three people show up to a meeting. Half the time, once the reports were done by the town department heads, everyone would leave. And that’s when the actual business took place. Now, as you have seen, we can have anywhere from five to a dozen plus people at the meetings. It’s amazing to see people come out. Sometimes your beak gets a little warm by the fire, but that’s what people are there to do. That’s what people should be doing. It’s a great time to be involved.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

What’s on the horizon for the town of Gorham?

With the start of a new year, several other changes are on the horizon. The town board passed the budget after a few contentious board meetings. A new wastewater project is starting in a few months. In December, the board passed a short-term rental law which will take effect this year. They’re working on a solar law. And residents voted down a proposal for a new highway building.

“We know changes have to be made to the building whether it’s a leaky roof, or whatever other code issues might be changing,” Chard explained. “The building is 40 years old, so we’re in the process of getting into the evaluation on that as well as looking at building a new building.”

There were a couple of issues that popped up last year, according to Chard. The biggest one, he added, was incorrect water bills.

“We just had an audit done to figure out where that error came,” he added. “We’re still looking through it all to figure out. That’s one of the things we really wanted to address for the bookkeeper position that we’re hiring for. Making sure we can have someone there who can catch those mistakes, and make sure that doesn’t happen again.”