2016-10-27 / News

Hollis residents compete for seat that covers part of Saco


Donald Marean Donald Marean Printed below are responses to a candidate survey form from candidates for State Representative House District 16, which represents Hollis, the southern part of Buxton, and a small part of northern Saco. The incumbent, Republican Donald Marean, will face Democrat River Payne. The Courier prints responses within each race in alphabetical order by the last name of the candidate.

Name: Donald G. Marean

Age: Senior 

Address: 233 Bonny Eagle Road, Hollis Occupation: Retired

Family: Wife Linda 56 years, three children, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren

Education: Standish High School

Organizations: Vice chairman, Board of Agriculture at University of Maine, Orono; director of Grow Smart Maine; past master, Buxton Masonic Lodge; corporator, Gorham


River Payne River Payne Savings Bank and New England; Expo; Animal Welfare Advisory Council; board member, Maine Farm Bureau Horse Council; trustee of American Horse Council, Washington, D.C. I have served in the Legislature for four terms but not concurrently. Served 2005 through 2008 then returned in 2013 to present. The four years in between 2008 and 2013 I worked in Augusta as a spokesperson for agriculture and conservation issues. I also spoke on behalf of the harness racing industry and the horses.

Top three issues:

Health care, education and drug use. All three of these issues are works in progress and I am confident the 128th Legislature will continue the effort on each. All of them have received additional support and funding from the 127th but we will need to continue pressing for adequate funding and revised legislation to accomplish each. Each issue is best overseen by the committee of jurisdiction with expertise in that area where they will review and report out legislation to be considered by the entire legislative bodies.

Why are you seeking office?

I am running again to continue work on the many efforts that I have worked on and made progress on for the past several years. Issues that include, to continue to lower the Maine income tax, continue to lower welfare costs by making programs stronger that promote welfare to work. Drugs and enforcement need more funding and personnel both of which we increased but not to the level they need be.

If you could change one thing about House District 16, what would it be and how would you do it?

I live in Hollis and represent the northwest corner of rural Saco where we find agriculture and open space. If I were making suggestions they would relate to the protection of these two very important segments of Saco. I am not comfortable as an outsider making any suggestions on how to run the city of Saco. As far as

changes to the rest of House District 16, which includes all of Hollis and a large part of Buxton, I will leave that up to the two local boards of selectmen and the residents. If I can help in anyway by being a legislator I am happy to help and expect to as their elected official in Augusta. If those changes require legislation I am only to happy to work with the city and towns as well as the other legislators representing these communities.

Name: River Payne

Age: 46

Address: 825 River Road, Hollis

Occupation(s): Nurse; chair of Hollis Select Board.

Family: Two children

Education: BA in political science from Binghamton University, New York, MA in media from NYU, BSRN from USM

Organizations and activities (including past political experience): I am 46. When I was 19 I began to understand that women’s health issues affected everyone, and I needed to participate. I have been involved ever since, from educating citizens on nuclear waste in 1989, to BPA in 2014.

Top three issues: 1. As a nurse, I became directly politically involved in 2014 when Maine chose to deny the MaineCare expansion. This planned expansion was meant to cover those who fell outside of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage. Our economy was harmed by this decision, and continues to be harmed from the fallout of this decision; but most importantly, over 70,000 Mainers lost health care. Were health care an inherent provision of our social infrastructure, many issues we find ourselves currently struggling with would simply not exist. Most health care is received too late and at too high of a cost. It should not be this way. 2. Education. I feel we are obligated to ensure that our children have a concrete education. They have incredibly difficult decisions ahead that will require thoughtful, creative and sustainable answers. Education is prevention. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Well educated children grow up to make good decisions about our state’s well-being – infrastructure, policies and their own life choices because they have the wisdom to better understand the long term affects of their decisions. 3. Natural resources. Maintaining Maine’s sacred beauty is crucial to our state’s physical and financial health. It is probably the most important thing a legislator can do, because it is more than just a policy, it is real.

Why are you seeking elected office?

When our state denied the MaineCare expansion, along with many other caring individuals, I began visiting Augusta. I’ve been politically active since 1989 on multiple issues, but I hadn’t truly researched how our individual legislators voted on issues. During this time, I realized that my individual vote really could make a difference. Since that time, I have become a selectperson in my town, and currently serve as chairman for the Hollis Board of Selectmen and the general assistance administrator. In this role, I literally can see when the state is shifting a financial burden onto the town. As your state representative, this is something I will work to reverse. Also, I am a woman. The more involved I become, the more apparent it becomes to me that women’s voices were not at the table when certain decisions were made. It is incredibly hard to step out of our already difficult situations and speak up. But I assure you, there is little more important than your woman’s voice right now.

If you could change one thing about House District 16, what would it be and how would you do it?

Citizen involvement. I am absolutely dedicated to getting more people involved in our democratic process, which is community. Here in Hollis, we have just had our second Community Day, and brought hundreds of people out. The more of us that are involved, the closer to a true Democracy we become.

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