2015-09-03 / Letters

Change could be coming to Saco City Hall

To the editor:

We have an opportunity to move Saco forward with a positive vision, innovative solutions and a commitment to community-based service.

I have sat by and watched city council race after city council race, where individuals serving multiple decades run unopposed or without strong competition. As someone who believes in debate, vetting and brainstorming ideas, unopposed races tend to spur little-to-no excitement or energy. This is an important factor in not only holding those in office accountable, but as a benefit to all to be more involved in the process of local governance.

My stepfather, Alan Minthorn, has decided to throw his hat into the ring. He has turned in his petitions gathered from local residents and will be officially on the ballot come Nov. 3 for Ward 5 city councilor.

Even if you don’t live in Ward 5, the decisions made on the council affect everyone throughout Saco, so every race is important to pay attention to. This election is about our city’s future. It’s about voting for someone, not against anyone. I have a great deal of respect for the incumbent. His decades of public service should be noted and recognized with distinction. Public service requires sacrifice and no matter the side of the aisle, no matter the disagreements, I can appreciate those who step up.

That being said, Alan will make a great councilor. I’m not just saying that because he is family. I take my endorsements very seriously. I only get involved in campaigns that I truly believe in. I believe that Alan can lead on the council to make the changes we desperately need. It also helps to have individuals on the council that I can work with at the state level for a one-two punch of policymaking that benefits you and your family. Teamwork makes it happen.

After living in Saco for more than 12 years, Alan feels like it’s time to give back to this community that has given so much to him. Fresh ideas and a new perspective are needed now more than ever. His background includes: a decade of classroom teaching and union leadership; telecommunications sales and system engineering; and two decades in the insurance industry. From his days as an educator working to empower the next generation of leaders to his days leading a Rotary Club helping neighbors less fortunate, to today as a small business owner, Alan has real-life experience needed and the fresh energy and vision to get the job done right in city hall.

Our current trajectory of property tax increases is simply unsustainable. As he goes door-to-door talking with residents, there are common questions, common issues. Many have asked “What am I getting for my taxes?” The follow-up question often is, “What are you going to do to improve this?” Alan will help make Saco a destination for businesses and families. He sees the need to fill our business parks as well as our commercial office spaces. Businesses pay taxes and create local jobs. We all know we have to transition from our mill town foundation to building a platform for the long-term financial viability of our community needs. Alan feels we need to find opportunities to implement better or best practices, collaborate on ways to reduce costs, and make Saco a destination for locals and tourists alike. This can only be done with a new, creative vision, or we are guaranteed to have more of the same. Bringing Alan on board to work for us will get us one step closer to that reality.

It’s time we say yes to economic growth; yes to lower taxes; yes to supporting Saco’s next generation; yes to cheaper and cleaner energy; yes to moving Saco forward. It’s time to elect Alan Minthorn as our next Saco city councilor. You can learn more about his background and ideas for our city at MinthornForSaco.com.

Rep. Justin Chenette (District 15) Saco

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