2012-10-19 / In the News

Election 2012

House District 127 includes part of Scarborough. Paul Aranson is looking to unseat Amy Volk, who is finishing her first term as a state representative, at the general elections, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 6. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

House District 127

Paul Aranson

Age: 61

Position seeking: State Representative representing District 127

Phone: 329-7431

Occupation: Private practice of law, 1038 Main St. in Sanford 1991 to present, former district attorney, Prosecutorial District 2 (1982-1990)

Marital status: single

Children/family: Daniel Roberts and Maxwell Aranson

Highest level of education completed: University of Maine Law School (1977)

Name and location of school or university last attended: University of Maine

Organizations and activities: Drummer in Tony Band (1978-1987), cantor Temple Beth-El (1988-1998)

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

The three most important issues are education, the economy and our quality of life. All three issues are related, one to the other. The most important reason why young families move to Scarborough is the quality of its public education. I want to ensure that continues and improves by not undermining funding by diverting tax dollars to private schools, be they religious or other. We need to support and encourage our students at the K-12 and university level to concentrate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Qualified graduates and commensurate involved departments attract businesses for this state. As the state with one of the highest median ages, we need to expand our tax base with younger, productive and prosperous people.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I want to ensure that my children and yours will be educated in a system which will train them for this century’s jobs. I want our children to be able to stay in the State of Maine if they choose and be able to provide a livable wage for themselves and their families.

Amy Volk

Age: 43 Position seeking: Re-election to House District 127 Phone: 229-5091

Occupation: Current legislator, owner of Personally Yours, Mother of four

Marital status: Married to Derek Volk

Children/family: four children, ages 8-21

Highest level of education completed: B.S. human development

Name and location of school or university last attended: University of Maine

Organizations and activities: Member, Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development; member, State Workforce Investment Board; member, Avesta Housing’s Home Ownership Center Advisory Committee; board secretary for The Root Cellar; member, Moms in Prayer Scarborough; member, Church of the Holy Spirit Worship Team.

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

1. Matching educational and skills training opportunities to available jobs

2. Ensuring that every Maine child has access to a high quality education like the one Scarborough kids receive

3. Continuing to look at issues that prevent Maine’s business climate from being competitive with other similarly rural states.

Why are you seeking elected office?

When I ran for office two years ago, it was the first time I had ever run for anything. Truthfully, I had little knowledge about what the job of state representative entailed. Two years later, I can say that it has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent coastal Scarborough (District 127) in our state capital. I have enjoyed the challenge of learning about so many important issues that affect our lives and the lives of future generations. I thoroughly enjoy my legislative committee, Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development because we deal with such diverse issues affecting workers, business and even the university system. In Augusta, I have earned a reputation as a fair-minded legislator who strives to find middle ground in order to form consensus. My goal is always to “move the ball forward” rather than fall back on ideology. The 125th legislature can claim some major accomplishments. My colleagues and I kept many campaign promises as we reformed regulations, welfare, health insurance, the state pension system, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. We made important changes to our education system, lowered taxes and increased funding to K-12 education while paying down our debt. These decisions were not easy or always popular, but most were passed in a bipartisan fashion, as were five out of six budgets. However, there is more work to do. I look forward to continuing to work on issues that affect Scarborough in the 126th and hope to do so with your support.

House District 128 includes part of Scarborough. Democrat Jean-Marie Caterina is looking to unseat Republican Heather Sirocki, who is finishing her first term as a state representative, at the general elections, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 6. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

House District 128

Jean-Marie Caterina

Age: 57

Position seeking: House 128

Address: 311 Gorham Road

Phone: 318-3440

Occupation: owner of Caterina-Mac- Lean Group, real estate brokerage, 2002 to present. Currently affiliated with The Maine Real Estate Network

Marital status: married to Geoffrey MacLean since 1987

Children/ family: Caterina MacLean, 21, 2009 graduate of Scarborough High School, currently enrolled at the University of Chicago

Highest level of education completed: BA, political science, University of Maine, Orono; MSW, administration, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Organizations and activities: Scarborough High School Academic Decathlon Team volunteer, assistant election warden, Town of Scarborough, Co-owner of Red Brook Honey, sales teacher – Maine Home Works and Old Orchard Beach Adult Education, former treasurer, Chi Omega Alumnae of Greater Portland, treasurer, Scarborough Democratic Town Committee, member, Red Brook Conservation Committee

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

1.) Economic insecurity is the biggest issue in this state. Economic insecurity includes not just fears about losing a job, but also questions like, “Are my property taxes going to keep going up,” “Is the state ever going to bring spending under control,” “Are our public schools going to be OK,” and “Why can’t I afford medical care.” We need to look at why so many of our children need to leave the state to find good jobs. We need to examine why so many citizens are stuck in place in jobs with absurdly low wages and no benefits. We need to develop policies that create long term solutions.

2.) Maintaining quality public education is also an issue. We need to develop firstclass educational opportunities for our students and those who are under- or unemployed. Making sure we are developing future citizens and workers who are “nimble” in their abilities and able to shift with the changing nature of work is essential.

3.) Restoring common sense and decency in Augusta is the third issue. The voters with whom I have met are most concerned about the level of “meanness” that seems to be apparent in Augusta. They are not impressed by “my way or the highway” politics. They want to see constructive ideas regarding getting the budget under control and growing the economy without blaming others.

Why are you seeking elected office? Like my neighbors in Scarborough, I am tired of not seeing results. We need to work together to seek positive solutions to the tough challenges facing Maine people. Increasing job opportunities, improving infrastructure, and developing first class education and training for all Maine people should be front and center. In this way, we can support middle class families who are struggling under increased pressure and give people trapped in poverty the opportunity to improve their lives. I am running because the current tone of politics is not conducive to attaining great results. We need a balance of competing ideas that lead to the best solutions for Scarborough and Maine.

Heather Sirocki

Age: 52

Position seeking: State Representative District 128

Address: 32 Glendale Circle

Phone: 883-5609

Occupation: Receptionist/Registered dental hygienist

Marital status: married

Children/family: three Sons

Highest level of education completed: AS

Name and location of school or university last attended: Westbrook College

Organizations and activities: Current: Maine Dental Hygiene Association; member Casco Bay Dental Hygiene Study Club; member Westbrook College Alumni Board; appointed member Substance Abuse Services Commission; gardening, hiking, camping, reading; previous: booster chair Gym Dandies Children’s Circus; booster secretary Band Boosters; volunteer Academic Decathlon; treasurer Greater Portland Sea Scouts; superintendent Religious Education Blue Point Congregational Church; volunteer St. Maximilian-Kolbe Church.

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

1. Health and human services – Prioritize limited resources for our most vulnerable populations – especially physically and cognitively disabled individuals on wait lists

2. Promote business / job growth

3. Protect rights: As legislators, we introduce new laws, amend existing laws and repeal existing laws. To address concerns, it takes a variety of strategies including all of the aforementioned. For example: I support welfare reform. I worked to amend laws to help make government more affordable so we that can prioritize our limited resources to help the most vulnerable populations - the physically and cognitively disabled - many of whom are on wait lists.

I support repealing laws that over regulate businesses. I successfully passed legislation to allow independent practice dental hygienists the ability to take X-rays. I support safeguarding our environment with legislation that addresses health concerns, and I support privacy rights of the individual. I successfully passed landmark legislation to study the privacy and cybersecurity concerns of Smart Meters. And I have experience working with other agencies, like the Public Advocate’s office and the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Why are you seeking elected office?

Two years ago, the voters elected me to serve as their representative in Scarborough. Now I am seeking re-election, which means that I will be able to continue this important work. As part of a refreshing new team, I am a citizen legislator, not a professional politician. With a 100 percent attendance and 100 percent voting record, I take my job seriously.

Senator Olympia Snowe recently told me how proud she is of Maine’s current Legislature; with bi-partisan support, we accomplished more in a matter of months than many states had in years, and sadly, Washington, D.C. is mired in gridlock. Maine is leading the way. Senator Snowe noted that Maine’s largest income tax cut is especially important because middle class Mainers will pay 15 percent less, and 70,000 working poor will be removed from the tax rolls.

When I stepped foot in Augusta, we faced a challenging $1.3 billion budget deficit. We all pitched in and spent months of late nights working hard for the people of Maine. With attention to detail, and with open and rigorous debate, we balanced the budget. And more importantly, we enacted long overdue reforms, to address problems that had been re-occurring for many years.

My personal and professional background has taught me how much hard work and sacrifice is involved in achieving goals and making progress. Affordable and responsible government is vitally important. Common sense solutions – yours and mine – are making a difference. Call me with your ideas. I listen.

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