2016-10-21 / Community News

Election 2016

Meet the candidates

Scarborough Town Council

This year’s town council race includes four individuals vying for two three-year seats: retired health care financial professional Marjorie DeSanctis; retired attorney William Donovan; real estate agent, server and consultant Kathleen Foley and human resources and labor relations consultant Annalee Rosenblatt. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order. The election will be taking place Tuesday, Nov. 8 at Scarborough High School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Name: Marjorie DeSanctis

Age: 68

Phone number: 730-2242

Position seeking: Scarborough Town Council

Occupation: Retired healthcare finance professional

Family: Married to Fred Phillips with two daughters and three grandchildren (ages 18, 19 and 25)

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration and Finance, Fellow in Healthcare Financial Management Association. (similar to a CPA for the nonprofit healthcare field) Husson College in Bangor.

Organizations and activities: Chair of Scarborough Housing Alliance, Secretary for Scarborough Democrats, Member of Maine Natural Resources Council, Past President of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Maine Chapter, Former lecturer at University of New England for Project Management and Strategic Planning, Prior board member and Treasurer for Camp Ketcha.

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

1. Pursue economic growth and Tax fairness

2. Support strengthening our schools

3. Promote clean energy and our environment

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

As a 20 year resident, I have interest in town government and attend meetings as much as I am able. Now that I am retired, I hope to lend my skill set to the council. My entire career has been in finance, most of it in nonprofit and healthcare. I have practiced and taught project management and strategic planning. I worked with the planning board chair in Orrington Maine to write the comprehensive plan prior to moving to Scarborough. I believe I have a lot to offer.

Over the past several years I have taken the time to review the budgets presented, looking at line item detail. My goal will be to ensure that tax dollars are invested wisely and support a fair and balanced approach to establish school and municipal funding priorities. Maine’s future depends on strong schools and well educated students. Maine is a beautiful state and Scarborough needs to take care of our piece.

The current council is doing a good job and moving in the right direction, trying to be more transparent and open to public input. I would be honored to join this group and support further improvements for the residents of Scarborough.

Name: William Donovan

Age: 69

Phone number: 883-9168

Position seeking: Scarborough Town Council

Occupation: Retired attorney

Family: Married to Molly, three children

 Education: Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School

Organizations and activities: Presently chairman of the Scarborough Town Council and previously served on numerous public boards and committees prior to moving to Scarborough

Top three issues: (in order of priority)

1. Deliver low, predictable tax rates

2. Support quality schools

3. Solve problems through consensus building. Respect everyone. Be civil and courteous at all times.

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

Low, predictable tax rates are essential for the prosperity of the town and to treat all residents fairly. I have fought for controlled tax increases. In the 3 years before I began, tax rates averaged over 5 percent. In the last three years they have averaged 2.5 percent. We must sustain this goal.

Quality public education is the cornerstone of our society. Without quality schools we, as a community, cannot produce the citizens of tomorrow to meet a changing world. Quality schools are also the single most important factor in maintaining property values and thus present the best value for the taxpayers of Scarborough.

A spirit of cooperation and compromise must be carried on. As chair, I received the council’s full support for revamping our communications plan to keep the public better informed. We have also emphasized civility within the town council to promote respectful debate.

Seniors n

eed a person to champion their interests. A tax attorney friend and I wrote the new property tax relief ordinance for low income seniors. A unanimous council agreed it was sorely needed given the State’s cuts.

We need to continue Scarborough’s conservation efforts. I have worked diligently on trash management issues.

Name: Kathleen “Katy” Foley

Age: 46

Phone number: 730-2081

Position seeking: Scarborough Town Council

Occupation: Real estate sales/ server/consultant

Family: Partner of 14 years Ami DeRienzo and 21 nieces and nephews

Educaton: Master’s of Business Administration

Organizations and activities: Maine Network Partners Fellow, Chair of the Dog Owners of Greater Scarborough PAC, Scarborough Kindness Project

Top three issues: (in order of priority):

Open government that promotes inclusion, transparency, and positive community dialogue to restore trust in local government. This also would serve to establish a culture of kindness and civility that leads to increased community engagement.

Fiscal responsibility that supports strong schools and the service needs of a diverse population while keeping taxes low and reducing the town’s debt.

Affordable housing for folks who want to live and work here including teachers, fire fighters, police officers, social workers, and seniors.

In your own words, why are you seeking elected office?

When I was a middle school teacher I taught my students that if they had issues, complaints, or questions about the way things were then they also should be prepared to be a part of the solution. This is a fundamental and core belief of mine and running for town council is one way I can practice what I preach and walk the talk. The only way to truly know and understand what our town councilors face for challenges on a daily basis is to step up to the plate and serve, to walk a mile in their shoes, to dig in deep to the various issues they deal with. They have a very tough job. I believe we all have a duty to serve our community and fellow man and this is one way I hope to be able to do that.

I’ve had concerns about the polarization and divide I have experienced in our community. I don’t believe that party politics should play such a big role in our local affairs but rather hold the conviction that the council should be a non-partisan team of leaders with a diverse skill set. As an Independent I believe I can bridge the gaps that exist and bring better balance to our town council. Last but not least, I love our town and want to see us be a community that others respect, enjoy, look to as a model of what the kind of community they’d like to live, work, and play in!

Name: Annalee Rosenblatt

Age: 72

Position Seeking: Scarborough Town Council

Phone: home 883-9025, cell 415-1560

Occupation: Full-time labor relations and human resource consultant; part-time field interviewer for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Family: married to Eric, two children Matthew 35 and Sarah 33

Education: Master’s degree and Certificate of Labor Studies from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree Arizona State University.

Organizations and Activities: Scarborough Board of Education member: served two terms (2001-2004 and 2006-2009) and served as Board Chair in 2006. Scarborough Charter Review Commission member: served in 2000 as Vice-Chair and in 2010 as Chair. Scarborough Comprehensive Plan Committee member: served in 2005. Scarborough 350th Committee member: served as Chair. Scarborough Chamber of Commerce current member of the Board of Directors and past President. Scarborough Kiwanis Club: long-time member and past Chair. Scarborough Special Education Parents Organization founding member. Mainely Character Scholarship Board member, former chair, Junior Achievement at Wentworth and South Portland Schools, Scarborough substitute teacher and adult education teacher.

Professional Organizations: Labor Employment Relations Association – Maine President for second term, National Public Employment Relations Association – Past President, American Business Women’s Association – Portland – Past President State Civil Service Employees Appeals Board - Chair for four terms, Maine State Board of Arbitration and Conciliation – Management Members two terms, United States Selective Service Board for Cumberland County – Past Chair, Current Vice Chair.

Top three Issues (In order of priority)

Maintain a balance between municipal/school budget demands and tax rates that are affordable and sustainable for all residents.

Strive for measured growth of the town’s resident and commercial base while maintaining the small-town feel, cohesive neighborhoods and traditional land and marine uses.

Create a community environment that values all age groups and fosters interaction and understanding among them.

In your own words why are you seeking elected office?

Running for town council comes natural to me. I have no specific agenda. I want to be the voice of the citizens who are concerned about the growing size of town government, the budget and the tax rate. The current debt rate of our town is the highest in the entire state of Maine at $5,600 per capita. There is an additional $48 million in projects and wants of the town on the table, which does not include the schools. The incurring of future debt must be considered in light of retiring debt and the needs versus the wants of the town. I want to be an integral part of that discussion.

The Comprehensive Plan is going to be updated. The comprehensive plan committee must include a broad base of participation as it did last time the plan was reviewed. All stakeholders must be represented and there must be no preconceived notion about how that plan ought to look. The plan must look at the current balance between the business and property tax payers to determine if that is any longer a realistic balance as well as other growth issues. I want to be a part of that plan.

The council must comply with the charter, both in words and intent. I want to be the conscious of the council so that each purchase over $400,000 that is not specifically exempted by the charter being openly discussed as to why or why not, such expenditure should not be put to public vote as required by the charter.

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