SCARBOROUGH – Six candidates are vying for three seats on the Town Council, including one left vacant when a councilor resigned this summer.

Karen D’Andrea resigned her position because of work commitments, opening up a two-year term. Councilor Carol Rancourt cannot seek a fourth term because of local term limits and incumbent Jessica Holbrook is seeking re-election.

The four candidates seeking the two three-year terms include a current town councilor, a general contractor and two candidates with backgrounds in business and finance.

Holbrook, a hairstylist and mother of two, is seeking her second term on the council because she feels she brings a different perspective to the board. She is a fifth-generation Scarborough resident from a working-class family, she said.

Holbrook said much of her focus has been — and would continue to be — on the budget because it seems to be a top concern for residents. The key is finding common ground and making sure services aren’t cut to the point the town can’t function, she said.

“Every department feels they’re needy. It’s balancing what you have to pay for and what you need against what you want and what would be nice to have,” she said.

Paul Andriulli, a self-employed general contractor who has lived in Scarborough for 26 years, said he wants to give back to the community by serving on the town council. He feels the town council needs to look closely at the wish lists of town departments and focus on what is really needed.

“A common sense and realistic approach can go a long way,” he said.

Andriulli believes the town can keep property taxes in check by attracting new businesses to town to expand the tax base. He would like town officials to start looking at a way to develop a downtown area, perhaps off the Haigis Parkway, that would be ideal for small independent businesses, he said.

Chris Coon, the director of strategic analysis and systems at Maine Medical Center, is a political newcomer who thinks his financial experience will be helpful in developing the annual budget.

He said he feels strongly the town needs to focus on a long-range financial plan to avoid high tax increases.

As a relative newcomer to Scarborough, Coon said he would bring a fresh perspective to the council. He would treat the position as a second job and be respectful of and responsive to residents, he said.

“I think councilors should be as available as possible for constituents,” he said. “We’re their advocates and we should represent them to the best of our ability.”

Edward Blaise, who retired from IBM after 30 years, is seeking a seat on the council because “the town is out of control fiscally.” He would like to see more cooperation between the School Board and Town Council in creating the school budget and to implement an incentive program for employees who find ways to save the town money.

“To me you’ve got to change the attitude and focus on people in town government to be more in tune with trying to save money, just like a business saves money or a family saves money. The government has to try to save money,” he said.

Blaise said his business experience will allow him to approach his role as a town councilor “from a dollar and cents point of view.” He also believes it is important to make it easier for businesses to relocate to Scarborough and foster better communication between town officials and residents.

William Donovan and Katherine St. Clair are vying for the two-year term to replace D’Andrea.

Donovan, who recently retired after practicing commercial law for 40 years, sees the budget as an area that needs careful analysis.

“I’ve felt for a long time the middle class is bearing a heavy burden on taxes,” he said. “If people’s salaries aren’t going up, it puts these people in a difficult position to pay ever increasing property taxes.”

Donovan said he is encouraged by how councilors support town officials in creating a welcoming and supportive business environment. “I really appreciate the concept of broadening the tax base through a business-friendly atmosphere in town,” he said.

St. Clair, a stay-at-home mother who is an active volunteer with March of Dimes, said she decided to seek the council seat to give back to the community and make sure it remains an affordable place for families to live. Taxes are the first thing people want to talk about as she campaigns around town, she said.

“Everything in the budget needs to be looked at. With new faces on the council, it’s an opportunity to go through it line by line,” she said. “Scarborough just raised taxes 7.5 percent. We can’t count on that every year. It’s tough on people. We need to look for ways to do things better.”

St. Clair said she would like to see the council do a better job involving the community in planning for future development.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of community involvement with the council and I want more of that,” she said. “We need to hear the voices in town to make good decisions.”

Races for three open Board of Education seats are uncontested. Incumbent Jacquelyn Perry, who has served on the board off and on since 1978, is on the executive board of the Maine School Boards Association and represents that group on the commissioner of education’s task force on school choice.

Donna Beeley, who is retired, is seeking her first term on the board. She holds a master’s degree in education and earned a certificate of advanced studies in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine. Christopher Caiazzo also is seeking his first elected position. He is the father of two school-age children and a business manager for Clyde Bergemann Bachmann in Auburn.

The Scarborough ballot includes one local referendum question which, if approved, would allow the town to borrow up to $900,000 for a new fire truck. The new aerial ladder truck would replace a 25-year-old truck at the Black Point Station.

Fire Chief Michael Thurlow said the station’s current ladder truck has old technology and some corrosion. If the purchase is approved, the fire department would start the bid process on the new truck immediately and expect to have the truck by next winter, he said.

Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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