On Nov. 5, incumbent John O’Hara, the lone Republican on the Westbrook City Council, faces Democrat Veronica Bates for the two-year at-large seat. The candidates were asked to answer the same questions about their candidacy. O’Hara declined to participate.

Veronica Leigh Bates

Age: 40

Occupation: Freelance editor

Political Experience: Westbrook School Committee

Q: What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the City Council and how would you resolve them?

A: 1. Absentee landlords: I would like to do research in collaboration with my peers in order to see what can be done about properties in decline due to owners with no interest or desire to maintain their properties.

2. Burgeoning student population: Work with schools to find out what they need from the city and then work on a plan to help them attain their goals/needs.

3. Downtown: It needs to be revitalized. Too often downtown is seen as a pass through. We need to eradicate what is left from urban renewal. We need to infuse downtown with a culture that will be a draw to outsiders, but more importantly, our own residents. Wayside Drive is now beautiful. Our Main Street needs to be just as attractive.

Q: Why do you want to serve on the City Council?

A: I want to serve on the City Council to be a part of what makes Westbrook so wonderful. I have lived in many Maine communities in my life and Westbrook is the first that has truly felt like home. I want to help Westbrook grow and change in a positive way. Change is inevitable. I want to help guide Westbrook in the right direction.

Veronica Leigh Bates

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