November 5, 2013

Crowded field vying for seven Biddeford City Council seats

A mix of political newcomers and former councilors seek office.

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Lessard, 50, previously served 10 years on the City Council, including six years as council president, before he left city government to focus on his family. His concern about the city’s tax rate and whether Biddeford is being run efficiently enough prompted his run for office. He wants to ensure tax rates are competitive to spur business growth and job creation.

“We’ve slid and gone in the wrong direction. We need to make the city more efficient,” Lessard said. “Our tax rate puts us at a disadvantage when companies come to the city to do their business. They can set up business across the river or in other places and the cost of their taxes is lower.”

Parenteau, the only newcomer in the race for at-large seats, is a 50-year-old business strategist and consultant who wants to be “an advocate for moving Biddeford from good to great.”

A fiscal conservative who wants to approach the budget with a long-term plan, Parenteau also is focused on the city’s economic development activity.

“Historically, the City Council has not played a strong enough role in guiding economic development,” he said. “Without question, (the council) should play an extremely active role in guiding and shaping the city’s economic landscape. This is critical to how Biddeford controls growth and executes on creating things like tax stabilization and general economic prosperity.”

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:ggraham@pressherald.com

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