Katherine Wilson

Katherine Wilson

Age: 69

Occupation: Owner of Kathy Wilson’s Pet Grooming

Times Record: Why are you running for office?

Katherine Wilson: I love Brunswick. It is my hometown, having been born here on Longfellow Ave and living in the same house I grew up in. Over the years, there have been many changes, some good, some not so much. I want to a part of Brunswick growing in the right direction for Brunswick’s people old and new. We cannot forfeit one group over another.

John P. Portela

John P. Portela

TR: What are the top three issues you’ll have to deal with if elected?

KW: A) Keeping education at its excellent level and standard without taxing citizens, especially seniors, out of town. Education and taxes are very closely tied.

B) Help build and guide the business community to grow. Improve the climate for new businesses that will benefit citizens in convenience, jobs and an improvement in the tax base. I have been in business in Brunswick my whole life, 24 years with my father at Wilson’s Lunch Trucks and the Duck Inn, and the past 20 years as The Natural Pet and Kathy Wilson’s Pet Grooming. I know what it is like to survive as a business in Brunswick and hope to be able to be a strong advocate for others.

C) Keeping Brunswick on top with solid waste disposal and recycling. I believe there is more we can do to extend the life of our landfill, safely and economically.

TR: What skills or strengths do you bring to office?

KW: I have spent most of the last two years attending Council meetings to learn as much as I can . I have served two years as the outer Pleasant street resident representative on the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC). and almost a year on the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee (BPAC). I have been successful in business, as a self-employed person my whole working life. I come from a farming family right here in Brunswick, and grew up with a deep appreciation for all walks of life. I love people and am a pragmatic problem solver

I am very down to earth and am told that I have a lot of common sense, which I see as a plus for Council service.

TR: Why should voters choose you?

KW: I have done my homework about how the town has been governed and managed by attending Council meetings and meetings of many different town committees and boards – 95% of all ZORC meetings, for instance. I also have reached out for information from Town Hall staff, current and former Town Councilors, School Board members, and others such the men who manage our landfill and the people monitoring Brunswick Landing hazardous waste clean-up. I am the kind of person who listens and believes a middle ground can and should be found in most all issues and plans. I believe I have the personality to build consensus that will keep us moving forward to benefit all of Brunswick.

Age: 65

Occupation: Shipbuilder

Political background: Appointed by the last 5 Governors to various boards and commissions such as the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board, Maine Health Data Organization and Maine Commission for Community Service. Candidate for the State Senate in 1996.

Times Record: Why are you running for office?

John Portela: The seat I am seeking is being vacated, which provides an opportunity to serve. Brunswick is a special place to live and work. I want to add my voice to those who want to see Brunswick prosper. I believe we all have a responsibility to participate in our democracy.

TR: What are the top three issues you’ll have to deal with if elected?

JP: It appears the major issues facing the town in the near future include but are not limited to the following. Rezoning will impact our neighborhoods and the ability to stabilize the property tax. Our school system is among the best in the state. We need to insure that it remains strong while not placing additional financial burdens on the town and it’s citizens. We must insist on a decision making process that can move us forward and not be held hostage to indecision. Another important issue is economic development. We must work with MRRA to help it fulfill it’s potential to become an economic engine and stabilize the Cooks Corner area. Our assets need to be used and managed strategically, rather than a shotgun approach, to add value to the tax base.

TR: What skills or strengths do you bring to office?

JP: I am a good listener with good communication skills. I am practical but can think outside the box to solve problems. I have been a negotiator and financial manager. I understand that decision making requires gathering information, valuing different opinions and taking action.

TR: Why should voters choose you?

JP: I understand that people have different points of view based on their backgrounds and interests. I have worked with a wide variety of groups to seek a path forward for the common good. Whether it is helping to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement in the private sector, working with diverse stakeholders on state boards and commissions or advancing our charitable impulses to help others in need through nonprofit organizations. I have always believed in rolling up my sleeves and being about the work that improves our communities and society.


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