2016-10-20 / News

C Election 2016

Familiar names vie for legislative seat in OOB


Michael Coleman Michael Coleman Printed below are the responses to our candidate survey form from candidates for state representative for District 13, which represents Old Orchard Beach. The incumbent, George Hogan, a Democrat, will face Michael Coleman, a Republican. The Courier prints responses within each race in alphabetical order by the last name of the candidate.

Name: Michael Coleman
Age: 56
Address: Saco Avenue, Old Orchard
Beach
Occupation: Professional driver and
self-employed
Family: Married with two children in
Old Orchard Beach schools
Education: University of New
Hampshire, majored in business
administration, minored in economics
Organizations and activities
(including past political experience):


George Hogan George Hogan Former town councilor, Lobster Dip for
Special Olympics – five consecutive years.
Worked on several issues coming before
the Legislature over the past few years
including submitting oral and written
testimony to legislative committees.

Top three issues:
1. Heroin addiction is killing people.
We need a balanced approach including

education to prevent,
treatment so addicts
can return to a
productive life and
tougher enforcement
on traffickers. Our
Legislature made a
mistake eliminating
the possibility of
felony charges for
possession of small
amounts of heroin,

even for repeat offenders. We can use the

criminal justice system as a tool to guide
addicts into treatment but there must
be serious consequences if they don’t. If
addicts enter treatment and stay clean
for a period of time they can have their
charges reduced or dropped. My opponent
wants more methadone clinics.
2. Our state’s K-12 educational funding
system is failing our community. Our
school district has a high percentage of
kids on free or reduced lunch and ours
is a Title I district. That means we have
many kids needing special attention. Even
though the state passed a referendum 12
years ago requiring the state to fund 55
percent of the costs of local schools, our
district receives less than 12 percent of
its school budget from the state. My plan
would change the complicated formula,
which shortchanges our students and
taxpayers with a uniform per student
subsidy statewide.
3. Whenever possible our welfare system
should focus on helping clients gain or
regain self-sufficiency as quickly as their
circumstances permit. All able bodied
adult recipients should perform some

service in return for their benefits or be
in a career training program. For far too
long the focus was on helping clients sign
up for as many programs as possible. That
leads clients to a culture of dependency.
Our priorities should be on helping those
who cannot help themselves, not on those
who won’t.

Why are you seeking elected office?
Old Orchard Beach and Ocean Park
deserve a legislator who will actively
work for the residents and taxpayers of
our town. A legislator must be accessible
to truly represent the people. I pledge
to hold regular office hours right here in
town where the citizens may meet with
me and let me know what’s on their mind.
We don’t need a career politician. It’s
time for a change. Our students, teachers
and schools are not getting their fair
share of support from the state. Unlike
my opponent, I have a plan to address
this issue. He submitted a blank bill with
no specifics regarding school funding.

We have many seniors in town who live
on fixed incomes. We cannot raise their
property taxes because the state is not
picking up its fair share. My plan includes
true fairness statewide.
Heroin is ravaging our town and our
state. We should emulate Scarborough’s
Operation Hope statewide. An addict
seeking help should be able to walk into
any police station, ask for help and not
face charges if they surrender any drugs
and paraphernalia. This can also help our
police gain information on the activities of
the traffickers.
We should embrace alternative energy
sources as long as they are efficient and
cost effective. Our high energy costs are a
deterrent to economic growth. Expensive
boutique power sources will not help us
add good paying jobs to our area.
I ask for your vote and will work
diligently to be worthy of your trust.

If you could change one thing about
Old Orchard Beach, what would it be
and how would you do it?
I would like to see us dramatically
reduce opiate and opioid abuse in our
town. A balanced approach is what
is needed. Education is an important
tool in prevention. The DARE program
is a key component. The importance
of education is also why I’m hosting

“Heroin, A Community Forum for OOB”
at Town Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7
p.m. The more information in the hands
of our kids and the rest of the public, the
better. Treatment for those trapped in
addiction is a vital component to help
solve this problem. The answer is not
more methadone clinics, as my opponent
advocates. We must be careful not to
substitute addiction to one drug for
another. That will not solve this problem.
Our town is a major tourist attraction.
We all know a methadone clinic will not
help that image. Finally, enforcement is a
critical factor in this battle. The criminal
justice system can be a powerful tool to
guide addicts to treatment. We also must
treat traffickers harshly. Dealers are in it
for the money. If they expect a long prison
sentence and heavy fines for bringing
that poison into our town and state it
will deter that behavior. Our police are
already joining forces with other police
departments, the Sheriff’s Office, the
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and
federal law enforcement to work on
this issue. We ought to support these
partnerships. Dealers don’t respect town
boundaries.

Name: George Hogan
Age: 74
Address: 17 Seacliff Ave.
Occupation: Retired
Family: Five adults
Education: One year, Boston
University, one year, Gorham State

Teachers College
Organizations and activities
(including past political experience):
Candidate left blank

Top three issues:
1. Opiate addiction – the opioid problem
is not going away soon. We have to
establish an educational system starting
at a young age. That would include
federal and state efforts. As important as
state and federal involvement is it is what
comes out of our homes that is just as
important. Parents have to be very much
involved in this problem stressing the
rights and wrongs of social interaction of
their child. In other words be aware and
vigilant in their child’s lives.
2. Getting fair share of revenue due
our community. In recent years local
communities like the Biddeford, Saco
and Old Orchard Beach areas have not
been treated well in receiving their fair
share of revenue sharing money and
aid to education as well. For example,
Old Orchard contributes much to the
state in the way of sales tax revenue
and should be receiving more than we
currently receive. Education money to
the community of Old Orchard is well
short of the mark as well. Old Orchard is
considered a minimal receiver and is a big
loser in this area.
3. Expansion of Medicaid. There are
many needy people in the state that
do not have medical coverage. Many of
these 80-odd thousand are returning

veterans. The state would pay very little
for this increase in Medicaid coverage.

The federal
government
would pick up
the cost as they
recognize the
need

Why are you
seeking elected
office?
I have been on
the committee of
transportation
and have direct
contact with (the
Department of

Transportation). Recent reconstruction
of the Union Avenue and E. Emerson
Cummings Boulevard is an example of
how I might have an input on our local
roads. If re-elected I intend to ask DOT to
take a look at our halfway section to see if
they can fix our summer traffic problems
in that part of town.

If you could change one thing about
Old Orchard Beach, what would it be
and how would you do it?
There isn’t much I can think of that I
would like to change in Old Orchard. I
have lived here my entire life, educated
here and raised my family here. It’s a
great little town. Changes will come
through evolution, but for now it is just
fine.

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