Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By Matt Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org
Voters in Freeport's District 2 will choose between a retired Army nurse and a regulatory lawyer on Wednesday in a special election to complete an unexpired term on the Town Council.
Sarah B. Tracy
Joyce Clarkson-Veilleux retired to Freeport after a 24-year career, during which she oversaw a combat support hospital in Washington state.
Sarah B. Tracy, who grew up in District 2 and returned to Freeport to raise her children, is an attorney for the state's Public Utilities Commission,
The seat was vacated by Katherine Arno, who left the council to take a job out of state. The winner will serve until November 2014.
Voting will be held at Town Hall from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Both candidates are political newcomers.
Clarkson-Veilleux, 55, said she served as assistant chief nurse, helping operate a self-contained 17-acre hospital that works much like a small municipality.
Clarkson-Veilleux, a Desert Storm veteran, said her experience working with the command staff of her battalion, most recently at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, would likely help her navigate the council and town issues, including the budget process.
"You have to negotiate with different units and compromise," she said of her time in the military.
Clarkson-Veilleux said she was motivated to run for the open seat because she cares about the town and wants to help regain the public's trust in town government.
She vowed to pursue a charter change that would bring all large appropriations before voters.
Clarkson-Veilleux pledged to maintain openness and transparency during the upcoming budget discussions. "A lot of citizens have lost trust in their town government," she said.
Tracy, 37, said her experience in the legal profession and her deep and ongoing connection to the community make her the right choice to be a town councilor.
As a PUC attorney, Tracy said she is used to the rigors of complex fact-finding processes, and is used to weighing input from various groups.
Tracy said she expects the town's budget process to present challenges, and said that cuts in state aid will have to be considered along with the possibility that voters in June will approve a $16.9 million high school renovation project, which she supports.
"Its going to take a lot of effort to mitigate any impacts of the high school renovations," she said. "If I am elected, I would spend a lot of time digging into the budget, to make sure it's only the essentials, but also that our money is being spent wisely."
Tracy said she has volunteered for eight years to raise money for Freeport Community Services,.
Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at: