2017-11-02 / News

Former councilor challenges incumbents in OOB

Old Orchard Beach Town Council Chairman Joseph Thornton and Councilor Jay Kelley will both seek reelection this fall. Challenging them is former own Councilor Roxanne Frenette. Two two-year seats are available. Below are survey responses for each candidate.

Name: Roxanne Frenette
Age: 56
Address: 102 Ross Road
Phone: 229-3503
Occupation: Occupancy specialist at The Pines in
Ocean Park
Family: Husband Michael of 33 years, son John,
daughter Annabelle
Education completed: Associates degree
Organizations and activities: OOB Town Council
2002 to 2008, also finished term of ousted member in
2013; member and chairman of the Saco, Biddeford, Old
Orchard Beach Transit Committee 2002-2011.

Top three issues:
1. Keeping Old Orchard Beach affordable for our seniors
and young families.
2. We need a fair and equitable sewer user fee.
Currently, every resident and business is charged 10.2
percent of their property tax bill as a sewer user fee. The
sewer user fee that we are paying goes to the general
fund. There should be a designated fund for these monies
strictly for sewer lines and the sewer treatment plant.
Approximately 500 homes do not have town sewer. Until
we have a fair and equitable sewer user fee there is no
hope that those without will ever get access to the sewer
line.
3. Funds need to be put aside for future municipal
facilities repairs in capital improvement funds.

Why are you seeking elected office? I want to be part of the solutions to the needs of our residents. When I ran for town council before I was a third generation resident. I am now grammy to the fifth. I have a vested interest in Old Orchard Beach being a viable option for my grandchild to bring up their children here of OOB.

What should the Old Orchard Beach Town Council’s top priority be?

Keeping Old Orchard Beach affordable so that seniors and young families can afford to live here.

How can the town council improve upon its previous work?

I am not saying the boys have not done well. Things could always be better and I would like to be a part of the team.

Name: Jay L. Kelley
Age: 65

Address: 51 Wild Dunes Way
Phone: 423-3388
Occupation: Retired fire fighter
Family: Wife of 34 years, Tracy,
and two Sons, Brian and Tyler
Education completed: 2.5 years
of college (University of Maine at
Fort Kent)
Organizations and activities:
Current member, OOB Town
Council, 2012 to present;
current member, Biddeford Saco
Country Club; current member,

International Association of Approved Basketball
Officials; member, Old Orchard Beach Masonic Lodge;
member, Old Orchard Beach Fire Police; 36-year member
of Old Orchard Beach call force, retired captain.

I am not sure I would call them issues. What I would
like to see is for this town council to:
1. Continue making progress on the infrastructure, such
as roads and sidewalks, and to continue to upgrade our
sewer lines and our waste water treatment facility which
is seriously outdated.
2. Make sure our public safety departments (police, fire
and rescue) have the necessary equipment to carry out
their jobs effectively.
3. Attract more year-round business to our town, which
in turn, would raise our tax base and generate more
revenue.

Why are you seeking elected office? As a sitting member of the town council. I want to continue the positive direction that this council and administration have been working toward to better serve all of the residents of Old Orchard Beach.

What should the Old Orchard Beach Town Council’s top priority be? The town council’s top priority should be to continue moving the town forward in a positive and prosperous way, and to promote our Town’s greatest treasure (miles of sandy beach), all while trying to maintain a tax base that’s affordable to all residents and business owners. Another priority we may be faced with in the future are our schools. Two of the three schools are aging and will need to be addressed in the not so distant future. We need to work closely with our school administrators to come up with a solution that is good for our residents as well as our students.

How can the town council improve upon its previous work? I wouldn’t say that we need to improve. The current

town council all have the same priorities and values for the future of the town of Old Orchard Beach.

Name: Joseph P. Thornton
Age: 33
Address: 4 Hemlock St.
Phone: 749-776
Occupation: Public Safety Emergency
Telecommunications, manager
Family: Single
Education completed: H.D. Cheverus
High School. A.S. Law Enforcement,
Southern Maine Community College B.S.
Emergency Management - Jacksonville
State University. Master of Public
Administration - Norwich University.
Organizations and activities: Town
council member June 2013-November
2014; town council vice chairman

November 2014-
2016; town
council chairman
November
2016-current;
Saco Biddeford
Old Orchard
Beach Transit
Committee
Member, 2014-
2016; Old
Orchard Beach

School Building Committee Member:
2016-current.

Top three issues:

1. Infrastructure needs. It is clear to every single resident of Old Orchard Beach that there are several important infrastructure needs that need attention. Sewer projects, road maintenance, and possibly most pressing, the waste water treatment plant, need to be addressed. I hope to continue to represent you, and bring common sense, practical, and realistic planning and budgeting to address these critical needs for our community.

2. Fiscal responsibility. I have worked with the town administration and an excellent group of councilors. With our unified approach to budget control, we have been able to restrict the municipal tax increase to very small percentages. Comparing these increases to surrounding communities, Old Orchard Beach has increased, but much less than our neighbors. It is without question the most important responsibility of a municipal elected official to control the increase of taxes. While state and federal taxes continue to rise, I am committed to ensuring that Old Orchard Beach remains an affordable community for our diverse population to thrive in.

3. Comprehensive Plan. The updated comprehensive plan currently being designed is the most powerful tool for the council, as it outlines exactly what the people of Old Orchard Beach want, and should be the foundation for the positive changes to come. The comprehensive plan committee is nearing completion of this important document, and I hope to represent you, and the community as a whole in ensuring it is adopted, and put into immediate use.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I have worked in municipal government for nearly 15 years in public safety. Combining that experience and my education as a Master of Public Administration and Government Continuity, I wish to continue to bring honest, open, and fair leadership to Old Orchard Beach along with fresh, new, and effective thinking. Being involved in the community has always been a passion of mine in both my professional and personal lives. My passion to live up to being a “man for others” is what fuels my desire to serve the people of Old Orchard Beach. I promise to continue to bring open, honest and fair leadership to the people of Old Orchard Beach.

What should the Old Orchard Beach Town Council’s top priority be?

I believe the number one priority of the town council is to protect resident and business tax impact. Old Orchard Beach has a diverse population of people from all backgrounds and financial status. It is one of the reasons I love the community so much. Controlling the tax increases is crucial for most of our residents. There are certainties in life, and one of them is the inevitability of rising prices. As a council, it is our responsibility to ensure that the impact of rising prices, and Government spending is controlled at a rate that is fair, and achievable for our residents. I will work tirelessly to ensure all tax payers of Old Orchard, that they will never be faced with the question of, “has it become to expensive to live or do business in my own community.”

How can the town council improve upon its previous work?

The current council has invested significantly in the first phases of several infrastructure projects. The repairs at The Ballpark, the beginning phases of upgrading a controlling order at the treatment plant, and the upgrading of municipal buildings. Continued support and work towards the upcoming phases of these projects should remain a priority for the town council. Remaining current on town infrastructure is essential for the fiscal security of our community. Putting off projects to future generations of tax payers will only serve to cost them significantly more, and increase our tax rates significantly.

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