2017-11-02 / Letters

Don’t let former mayor tell voters what to do

To the editor:

With his feet firmly planted in the past, former Saco Mayor Mark Johnston wrote last week to remind us of his own importance and, ostensibly, to endorse his fellow old guard denizen who is running for mayor. However, the bulk of his remarks were dedicated, not to building up his candidate, but rather to maligning former mayor and current mayoral candidate, Don Pilon.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am Don Pilon’s wife. As such, some will assume that I am blindly biased and would be ill-advised to take issue with each and every story that Mr. Johnston twisted into lies about Don Pilon’s service to the city of Saco and its citizens. In reality, I lived every story; I know the facts. Surely voters won’t be taken in by tired, fabricated drama about office space (Don believes a mayor should be accessible, he’ll find a different way this time) and parking spaces (not his request) and trolleys (note that it’s still successfully serving Camp Ellis).

Let’s take the high road and explain what a good leader brings to the job, such as public service and business experience. Don was repeatedly elected and served Saco for the maximum number of terms in the Maine State House of Representatives and another term as mayor (all at significant financial detriment). He is a real estate broker who, in his role as mayor, was successful in facilitating (at no personal gain) the transfer of a tax-acquired property to a buyer. Those business and government connections and negotiating skills were paramount in multiple instances that benefited the city. He brings grassroots service as a volunteer firefighter and emergency manager, professional experience in broad-based insurance and investment, and nonprofit organization and management. Cities need those perspectives. Our mayor should have the knowledge and experience to ask the right questions when important decisions are at hand. A good mayor will value a city’s past, its culture, its diverse residents and business base. Using that foundation, the mayor will work with all resources available including city leaders, budgeted funds and citizen input and vision to ensure a solid future.

Mark Johnston’s political hold in Saco goes back to his first term (of seven) as mayor in 1989. While his tenacity cannot be disputed, it’s time for Saco to stop letting him pull the strings. I urge voters to join me in voting for Saco’s future. Vote for Don Pilon for mayor.

Linsey Pilon Saco

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