BIDDEFORD — Monday was the first day registered Biddeford voters who wish to seek political office in the Nov. 3 general election could take out their nomination papers.

As of Wednesday, three people had filed nomination papers for mayor, seven for City Council, five for the School Committee and one for the Charter Revision Committee, according to documents provided by the City Clerk’s Office.

Some of the candidates have just recently come into the public eye as supporters of the group of men who in the last several months have alleged sexual abuse at the hands of two retired Biddeford police officers.

Daniel Parenteau, Toni Sipka and Robert Provencher have filed nomination papers for mayor.

Provencher, a 73-year-old lifelong Biddeford resident, has also filed nomination papers for City Council and the Charter Revision Commission. The commission does not currently exist but voters will be asked in the election if they would like to form one.

Provencher, who has never run for an elected position, said Wednesday that he would like to get involved in city politics because he is concerned that currently, city officials do not place enough value on citizens or city employees such as police officers, firefighters and public works employees.

“I’m concerned about the citizens of Biddeford,” he said. “I think they deserve better.”

Provencher said he is frustrated with the way the sexual abuse allegations as well as ongoing contract negotiations between the city and the unions representing its public safety and public works employees have been handled.

If elected, Provencher said he would pursue several changes, including changing the way the city administration is organized and hiring a new law firm to represent the city.

Daniel Parenteau, a 52-year-old business consultant and lifelong Biddeford resident, announced last month that he is running for mayor.

Parenteau, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2013, told the Journal Tribune in a July 23 interview that he is running for mayor because he is “concerned about the trajectory of the city.” Like Provencher, Parenteau said the sexual abuse allegations and contract negotiations have only heightened those concerns.

“I think that there’s a lot of work to be done in terms of making the municipal government more citizen-centered,” he said.

The mayoral candidates will attempt to unseat incumbent Alan Casavant in the upcoming election. Casavant, 62, was first elected as Biddeford’s mayor in 2011 and announced in April that he will seek a third two-year term, but as of Wednesday, he had not yet filed nomination papers.

In an email Wednesday, Casavant confirmed that he is still planning on running.

“I am proud of my ac-complishments and have been blessed with an excellent council,” he said.

Casavant added that with the unrest the allegations of sexual abuse have caused, he fully expected Parenteau and Provencher, who have both been very outspoken on the matter, to “throw (their) hats in the ring.”

Sipka did not return a phone call seeking comment by press time.

As of Wednesday, Councilors Bob Mills and Michael Swanton had filed nomination papers to run again for City Council.

Others interested in council seats include Debra Lauzon, Doris McAuliffe, Laura Seaver and Carol Boisjoly, while Timothy Pierce, as well as incumbents Heather Mills, William “Bil” Moriarty, Dennis Angela and Lisa Vadnais have filed nomination papers for the School Committee.

Nomination papers are due by Sept. 3.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]



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