2017-11-02 / News

Newcomers vie for Ward 1 seat

In Saco’s Ward 1, David Precourt will not seek reelection. Marshall Archer and Matthew DiCianni will run for the two-year seat. Below are their survey responses in alphabetical order.

Name: Marshall F. Archer

Age: 35
Address: 1 Waycott Way
Phone: 653-2173
Occupation: Doctoral student,
job coach, university facilitator and
landlord
Family: Spouse Alexa Archer,
daughter Sadie Archer 1-and-a-half
years old
Education completed:
UNE: Masters in Social Work in
community management; current:
Capella University Doctor of Social

Work in administrative management

Organizations and activities: Former election warden, Saco Ward 7; board member: Saco Maine Street, New Leaders Council, Betsy Anne Ross House for Homeless Female Veterans; advisor, Southern Maine Agency on Aging Vet To Vet program and volunteer Meals on Wheels; officer, commander, AMVETS Post 1 Biddeford, AMVETS Service Foundation Member. treasurer, Saco Democratic City Committee; former, national advisor to Veterans of Foreign Wars, District 10 Commander and Department of Maine VFW executive member, Veterans Specialist Truman National Security Project, U.S. State Department Cultural Exchange Delegate to China via American Council of Young Political Leaders.

Top three issues:

1. Economy. Southern Maine has been benefiting from an improving economy. Saco is in a unique position to benefit from economic development. Our industrial park is underutilized with open lots. With proper marketing and updated infrastructure, Saco can be a great host to a myriad of industrial and technological expansion.

As a current board member of Saco Main Street I have seen many new businesses invest in our community. I would like to take my experiences as a board member, my relationships with several Main Street businesses and as a councilor to increase collaboration with the city and our community partners.

2. Taxes. Taxes are a part of everyday life. However, taxes can be controlled responsibly. I believe the proper analysis of spending is crucial to appropriate governing. I will take my experiences as a doctoral student, and a graduate of the University of New England Master’s of Social Work in Community Practice and Organizational Management to logically analyze the city budget and RADs (request above directives). Taxes need to be an investment in our community, if the investment does not correlate with a payoff; a rational and collaborative discussion needs to be conducted to make hard decisions.

3. Infrastructure. Saco’s current economic prosperity has led to an increase in traffic. This has resulted in adding an additional 15 minutes to my commute. These delays equate to a round trip increase of 2.5 hours a week or 125 hours a year. As a parent of a 1-and-a-half-yearold and a husband, I personally could use the extra 100 hours to spend with my family. I know that the citizens of Saco may have the same concerns. With open discussions with city and state officials and the Maine Turnpike Authority, a solution can be discovered.

Why are you seeking elected office?

From an early age, I have felt called to serve my country, and I believe in the process of democracy. I will do everything in my power to improve the quality of life for Saco’s citizens. In my four years of service in the Marine Corps, the presiding officer of several Veterans Service Organizations and as social worker for veterans I’ve learned the importance of listening and then to act on the concerns of those I’ve worked with. As a city councilor, I intend to offer the same level service to those of Saco as I do with my professional life.

What should Saco residents expect of their city councilor?

As your councilor, you can count on me to make sure that the community needs are met. Personally, I am committed to providing a thoughtful and analytical approach to Saco’s tax distribution. While recognizing that taxes are a part of everyday life, I believe that those in a position to spend taxpayer’s money must have a fiduciary responsibility to those that they serve.

Currently, the city is experiencing vast economic growth from a multitude of various markets. While the efforts of the current administration are commendable, I personally have experienced the unintended consequences of increased traffic surrounding Ward 1 citizens’ commute. At present, the congestion at Industrial Park Road and North Street and Garfield and North is on the brink of transitioning from a general nuisance to a complete gridlock.

City councilors must seek not to be content with a general description of the problems of the city but must analyze the benefits and consequences of each action required by the council. Councilors must base their decisions on not what is good for the city today but forecast what their decisions will mean in the future.

What is a city councilor’s greatest responsibility to Saco residents?

Councilors must take accountability for their actions and be responsive to the needs of their constituents. In my many years of positions of leadership, I have found that the best assets in my decision making derive from the collective knowledge of the people. A councilor must be a leader to the residents, to take in full consideration of the needs of the people, analyze facts and make a decision based on the best interests of the city and its longevity. With this responsibility, a councilor must not be afraid to make the hard choice and in times of conflict must remain professional, tactful and remain respectful to the opposition. In the end, a councilor is a neighbor, a citizen of our great community, a person who takes great pride in their city and wishes for the city and their citizens success. The most significant responsibility of a councilor is to be collaborative, to collaborate with the city administration, to collaborate with the people and lastly to collaborate within themselves. A councilor needs to put the needs of the people before the needs of a few.

Name: Matthew DiCianni
Age: 38
Address: 22 Blake Ave.
Phone: 292-9300
Occupation: Client solution executive, AT&T
Family: Wife Johanna, daughters Addison and Piper
Education completed: B.A. Political Science
Organizations and activities: Sebago Lakes Region
Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Strive
Advisory Board

Top three issues:
1. Taxes
2. Relationship between citizens and the city
government/school board
3. Sustainable growth

Why are you seeking elected office?

I’ve chosen to run for city council to present a fresh perspective, bringing new ideas and insight to the council to help Saco reach the potential I know it has. I’ve been watching over the last few years all of the great things the city is trying do with the downtown area but feel there is more we can do to make Saco a vibrant and thriving community where people want to go, fulfilling its Main Street Community title. I’m originally from New Jersey and have lived in Maine for 20 years. I’ve been a resident of Saco for the last 12 years with no direct involvement in city government. This lack of bias and connections to local organizations will make me a neutral party in making decisions that will be best for the future of the community. My decision making will not be clouded by previous relationships or past involvement in community organizations. I will be able to makes decisions that are free from conflict and are within the best interests of the city.

What should Saco residents expect of their city councilor?

Saco residents should expect their city councilor to be open to new ideas, responsive to their concerns, transparent on issues of concern, all the while advocating for their constituents and able to make tough decisions.

What is a city councilor’s greatest responsibility to Saco residents?

A councilor’s greatest responsibility to Saco residents is to be responsive to issues facing residents, listen to concerns and act accordingly. The city councilor should educate members of their wards as to what is going on in the city and be an ambassador in community helping bring people together.

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