Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Leslie Bridgers firstname.lastname@example.org
Both of the contested races for seats on the Windham Town Council feature a former councilor trying to unseat a current one.
Donna Chapman, who served on the council from 2007 to 2010, is challenging Kevin Call, who is seeking his second term representing the town’s South District.
Peter Anania, the council’s North District representative, is running for an open at-large seat against Robert Muir, who was on the council from 2003 to 2009. The at-large seat is currently held by Scott Hayman, who is not running for re-election.
Roy Moore, a local chiropractor and owner of Seacoast Fun Park in Windham, is running unopposed to fill Anania’s North District seat.
All seats are for three-year terms.
Anania, 58, who has served two years on the council, said his goals for the next term range from providing public access to the historic Chute Cemetery to improving the streetscape in North Windham.
Generally, he said, he’d like “to help the town continue to move forward in providing infrastructure that it needs as a growing community.”
Anania said the council was not as active when Muir was in office as it has been more recently.
“I think this is a renewed, rejuvenated council and I’d like to see that continue,” he said.
Muir, 66, believes the council needs “to be more receptive to citizens’ needs and how spending affects us all,” he said. He’d like to give the average citizen a louder voice, he said.
He touted his knowledge of “the workings of town government,” especially the budget. Muir said he would “look at any expenditure as if I were spending my own money.”
After residents last year soundly rejected paying for a $38 million sewer project in North Windham, officials were left to come up with a new plan to protect the town’s groundwater.
Both Muir and Anania said they are against raising taxes to pay for sewer system improvements.
Muir would like to see “an independent, third-party review of existing data” on the condition of the groundwater before discussing how to move forward, he said.
Anania said the council should consider new technology that’s now available “to provide for effluent management without the cost that was originally proposed.”
Chapman, 54, would like to see the Portland Water District pursue federal funding to help pay for sewer system improvements, because the project would help protect Sebago Lake and the region’s drinking water supply. If that doesn’t come through, she said, “I would like to look at alternate systems and suggestions.”
Among Chapman’s goals, if she’s elected, would be to create a comprehensive town plan that reflects the desires of both residents and business owners in town.
“I listen to the people and let their voices and opinions matter,” she said.
Chapman said she believes the citizens of Windham would be better served if she is elected.
Call, 47, the incumbent, believes sewer system improvements will take several funding sources, including tax-increment financing districts and likely tax dollars, too.
Overall, Call’s focus as councilor would be to “maximize town services with the least amount of tax dollars.” He doesn’t have a specific plan to keep costs down, other than to “spend wisely,” he said.
Call said he is an even-keeled and level-headed councilor and has helped position Windham in a positive direction.
He thinks the town needs “to continue down the path we’ve taken,” he said.
Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: