2018-10-11 / Front Page

Councilor steps down

By Abigail Worthing
Staff Writer

Amy Clearwater Amy Clearwater BIDDEFORD – There is a new face on the Biddeford City Council, as Victoria Foley, councilor for Ward 5, has stepped down, and Amy Clearwater steps into her place.

Foley, who has represented Ward 5 for the past 14 months, announced during the Oct. 2 council meeting her intention to vacate her seat, as the home she recently purchased with her partner lies just outside the borders of Ward 5.

“I will be stepping down from this seat, effective at the end of this meeting. It’s for a happy reason, as my partner Kevin and I have found a great home, unfortunately it is just a few blocks outside the Ward 5 boundary,” Foley said. “It has been an honor to serve with this council.”

Foley is running unopposed to be the state representative of District 12, a bid that will be unaffected by her move, as the new home is within the parameters of the district.

“I’m looking forward to working for the city of Biddeford in Augusta, addressing the needs for the community from a different seat,” Foley said during an Oct. 8 interview.

Foley will continue to serve on both the Downtown Development Commission and the Mayor’s Community Center Ad Hoc Committee.

Stepping into the Ward 5 seat is Clearwater, originally from Readfield, Maine, who has been a Biddeford resident since June 17.

Clearwater and her wife, Alexa Potkin, moved to Biddeford because they wanted to be part of the growing community.

Clearwater has been active in local government since her move, and already serves on the Downtown Development Commission, which she will continue as councilor.

“When we were looking to move back to Maine from Brooklyn, we wanted to find a home that was in a place that was both affordable and in an area with a lot of growth,” Clearwater said during an Oct. 8 interview. “I wanted to get involved as soon as we moved here, and Victoria really helped me. I’m honored to be stepping into her shoes.”

Clearwater is a vice president at Citi- Bank, working in the markets and services department as a proposal developer, and works remotely from home, a historic house in the downtown that she and her wife share with her mother and their two rescue dogs, Fergus and Archie.

“I hope to help bring further strength and new businesses to the downtown, with new people and new ideas. I know we can build on that,” Clearwater said.

Clearwater will be confirmed to the council on Oct. 9, after Courier deadline, during a special meeting.

As it is stated in the charter that the mayor must appoint a replacement in the event of a resignation, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant appointed Clearwater.

The decision was met with support by Foley.

“Amy is great, and I know she will serve Ward 5 well,” Foley said. “Leaving the council is bittersweet, but I leave with the knowledge that the city is in capable hands with a group of really talented people.”

Foley has already been removed from the city website, with Clearwater’s information in its place.

Following her Oct. 9 confirmation, Clearwater will have her official council portrait taken, which will be added to the website.

Clearwater will serve on the council until Dec. 2019, when all councilors will be up for reelection.

“I have been pleasantly surprised with the council, as they are a very professional group. They don’t hold grudges, they don’t cast spite votes,” Clearwater said. “They are respectful members of the community.

They might differ on ideas, but they all have the best interests of the city at heart.”

Foley will continue her work on the committees which she already sits, and, barring any unexpected write-in candidate victory, will be working for Biddeford as the state representative after the election on Nov. 6.

According to Clearwater, there will be a period of transition as she becomes acclimated into the council, but said she is willing to do anything needed to help the city of Biddeford.

“I’m excited for this new challenge and opportunity,” Clearwater said. “And I’m excited to see what Victoria does in Augusta.”

Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at news@inthecourier.com.

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