2017-11-02 / News

Ward 3 incumbent faces challenger

Barbara Colman will challenge incumbent William P. “Bill” Doyle for the Ward 3 Saco City Council seat. Doyle is finishing his first term on city council. Below are survey responses in alphabetical order.

Name: Barbara E. Colman
Age: 56
Address: 45B Stockman Ave.
Phone: 289-9989
Occupation: Office manager

Family: Single, mother to a son
and a nephew
Education completed: Associates
degrees in accounting and secretarial
science; BA in accounting
Organizations and activities:
Worked 13 years at Maine Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU of Maine);
worked five years for SU7- Saco/
Dayton School Department and two

years for city of Saco processing
payroll and benefits; member of Saco Citizens for
Sensible Government

Top three issues:

1. Transparency of processes, procedures and projects. January 2016, Saco acquired Unit 91 (located in Saco mills) for non-payment of taxes. Council sought an update on the bid process for Unit 91 this summer. The public and councilors were lead to believe bids existed. There were no bids submitted. The funds spent for Unit 91 in the contingency account was $155,984 per the June 2017 financial report. In 2016, the contingency line was over by $130,718. I would expect greater accountability from our administration. Council is responsible to spend these dollars in an appropriate fiscal way. The council is the policy and oversight team of the city.

2. Revenue from commercial development is lacking. Saco prohibits the building of large box stores. I am not advocating major retail stores come to Saco. An example: a store located closer to the Saco/Scarborough line like Market Basket, Home Depot and some specialty stores. It would be an economic boost to this area of Route 1.This would provide opportunities for employment, shopping convenience and an economic boom for small family owned stores in the area. Shopping in this area could relieve some traffic issue downtown and provide growth in an area untapped.

3. Every day, opportunities to learn present themselves. Information is power. A solid educational foundation is a gift.

Any knowledge acquired and used to accomplish tasks, create ideas and move our children’s learning experience forward are possible because of our educators. As a child’s educational knowledge expands, one teacher may foster a student to obtain the unattainable. Education is not just about dollars and cents. It’s much more and it is important, to remember that we are educating our future leaders.

Why are you seeking elected office?

My parents moved to Saco after my birth. I am a lifelong resident. As a teenager and as an adult, I saw my parents’ struggle to pay their yearly taxes. Still to this day, many citizens face this similar issue. How would I begin addressing the tax issue? Examples would be information helpful to make better and informed decisions. Service contracts need to be reviewed and disclosed; full accounting of major projects such as the transfer station and Stackpole Bridge; and, timely monthly financial reports in an understandable format.

Address the budget process itself. The budget process has to be reviewed. Detailed information on the line items of the city budget is not presented. To logically look at a budget, details are required. Details help create a more efficient and effective budget process. I recommend a zero based budget approach for city and school. Submit additional details to support expenses from the various departments. Priority items should be added to the budget. This approach applies to both the city and school. Each budget should be presented in the same format for consistency proposes.

The city of Saco had three years of significant surplus funds. Is $1.3 million high? Yes. How much could the mil rate have been lowered by utilizing some of the excess revenue? The city administrator’s RAD/budget calculator is a great tool. The city now has a new finance director. Let’s take this opportunity to sync information in a similar format for the city and school department.

Candidate did not answer final question as instructed.

Name: William “Bill” Doyle
Age: 37
Position seeking: Saco City Councilor, Ward 3
Address: 48 Ross Road
Phone: 207-590-8931
Occupation: Labor Relations Representative
Family: Amber Hansen and Darian Hodgdon
Education completed: Bachelors Degree (Paralegal
Studies), Associates Degree (Criminal Justice)

Organizations and
activities: Saco City Councilor
Ward 3, (15-17).

Top three issues:
1. Growing the commercial
tax base, and building upon the
assets that make Saco great:
our strong community; great
schools; and our natural and
built resources.

2. Being a steward of taxpayer
dollars to ensure families, seniors, and young people can
afford to be part of our community now and in the future.
3. Promoting a positive environment at the city council
where diverse voices can be heard, transparent decisions
made, and all are respected.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I have had the honor and privilege to serve as the Saco Ward 3 City Councilor for the past two years. While it’s been challenging at times, I have enjoyed my time as councilor and believe we have accomplished a great deal. With that said, we have much more to do in the next two years. The coming years will bring important and transformative changes to our community. I am committed to promoting an open and transparent process to guide us forward over the next two years. I had the luxury of growing up in Saco and understand first hand what drives people to our great community. As we grow and raise a family in Saco, I hope to continue on as councilor and give back to the community which allowed me to grow into the person I am today.

What should Saco residents expect of their city councilor?

Residents should expect councilors to promote our community in all facets. Councilors should be well informed and prepared for meetings, workshops, or community events. City councilors should make themselves available to constituents for questions either in person, on the phone, or by mail/electronic mail. Residents should expect their councilors to listen and be a conduit for their voices to be heard. While expectations can vary from one person to another, the common theme is councilors should be visible in the community, vigorously advocate for their constituents, and be attentive to the needs of their respective ward.

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

A councilor’s greatest responsibility to their residents is to be open, honest, and transparent. We make decisions which affect the lives of residents everyday, so we have a duty to read, present, and question all the information as we have it. Councilors also owe a fiduciary responsibility to the residents. We need to be respectful of the taxpayers collected revenues and expend those revenues in a manner conducive to their best interest.

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