There is competition for all open positions for trustees of the Freeport Sewer District. Four candidates are seeking three, three-year seats and two candidates seek two, one-year seats, during elections Nov. 3. Voting will take place from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at Freeport High School.

The four candidates for the three-year terms are James Harriman, Sara Randall, Michael Ashby, who is presently the chairman, and Andrew Sachs, whose wife, Melanie, is Town Council chairwoman. Darrel Fournier, Leland Arris III and Clinton Goodenow Jr. are stepping down.

Though Goodenow is not running for the three-year post, he is a candidate for the one-year term, vying for the seat against Wilson Woodbury. The one-year term is the result of Garrett Simmons’ resigning his seat with one year remaining.

There are also contested races for Town Council and Regional School Unit 5 on the Freeport ballot.

The Tri-Town Weekly asked the same two questions of all six Freeport Sewer District candidates.

Three-year term

Michael Ashby

Age: 57

Occupation: Commercial shellfish harvester.

Political experience: Freeport Sewer District Trustees, two terms; Freeport Cable Board, two terms; Freeport Water District, one term.

Q: There’s a good deal of interest in the Sewer District trustees positions this year. What’s generating that, in your opinion?

A: That water stays clean for all. I’m the only ratepayer running. I want to make sure ratepayers are represented.

Q: Do you think the Freeport Sewer District is running well, or do you think changes are needed?

A: The sewer district is running well.

James Harriman

Age: 56

Occupation: Shellfish harvester

Political experience: None

Q: There’s a good deal of interest in the Sewer District trustees positions this year. What’s generating that, in your opinion?

A: I believe people like to be involved in places where it really affects their work. We all want clean water to enjoy. And to keep rates reasonable for the citizens of Freeport.

Q: Do you think the Freeport Sewer District is running well, or do you think changes are needed?

A: I think the district is doing a fine job and there is always room for improvement. It would be a pleasure to sit on the board.

Sara Randall

Age: N/A

Occupation: Consultant specializing in fisheries and natural resource management and policy.

Q: There’s a good deal of interest in the Sewer District trustees positions this year. What’s generating that, in your opinion?

A: I grew up here in Freeport on the shores of the Harraseeket River and I’m running for sewer board trustee to ensure that Freeport remains a beautiful and healthy place to work and live. I want to lend my expertise in aquatic research and environmental and economic sustainability to the Freeport Sewer District.

Q: Do you think the sewer district is running well, or do you think changes are needed?

A: From what I have read and heard, Freeport’s Sewer District is running better than it has past years under the strong leadership of its general manager. However, there are challenges associated with maintaining aging infrastructure with the limited resources available within a small sewer district. If elected, my goal is to find long-term solutions that keep Freeport’s coastal waters clean and user rates affordable.

Andrew Sachs

Age: 46

Occupation: Partner with a public safety and crisis management firm.

Political experience: Worked in and with government and quasi-governmental entities most of his career.

Q: There’s a good deal of interest in the Sewer District trustees positions this year. What’s generating that, in your opinion?

A: I cannot speak as to why the other candidates are interested in being on the board, but I can say why I am interested. Simply put, I want to contribute to our community, and the manner in which the sewer district operates moving forward will have lasting impacts on Freeport. Like many other towns and cities, Freeport has an aging sewer infrastructure that will require investment in order to ensure we can maintain a clean environment while not breaking the backs of ratepayers. Strategic planning for how those investments are made, the efficiency and effectiveness of how the district is managed, and our success at leveraging available funding sources to control rates being charged to our residents and businesses will make all the difference. My career in both government and the private sector can allow me to contribute in these areas, and I hope to leverage my knowledge and experience working with water and sewer infrastructure issues, navigating the regulatory and funding environment, and applying business acumen to our public infrastructure to benefit the community as a whole.

Q: Do you think the Freeport Sewer District is running well, or do you think changes are needed?

A: I am not on the board at present, but as far as I can tell, the Sewer District is by and large performing well. Experience tells me, however, that there is always room for improvement, and I hope to work cooperatively with the community, other members of the board, and the Freeport Sewer District staff to ensure it is being run as well as it can be. Some areas I hope to look into when on the board include: improving the efficiency of existing operations; strategic planning for both system maintenance and growth; ensuring the district is effective at identifying and leveraging funding sources so as not to over-burden rate-payers; improving communication with customers of the system and with the town of Freeport; working with others to assess the viability of extending sewer service down the Route 1A South corridor; and controlling costs.

One-year terms

Clinton Goodenow

Age: 54

Occupation: Fisherman and research analyst.

Political experience: Freeport Sewer District Trustees, one term.

Q: There’s a good deal of interest in the Sewer District trustees positions this year. What’s generating that, in your opinion?

A: I feel there are different groups with different interests. The ones concerned about pollution, odor control and the appearance of the Freeport Sewer District facility. There are the ones concerned about how the plant affects the ratepayers and where the costs come from. All groups are concerned about proper management of the facility.

Q: Do you think the Freeport Sewer District is running well, or do you think changes are needed?

A: I feel the sewer district is one of the best-run facilities in the state right now. It is a small plant run by a general manager, a superintendent, two employees and a part-time secretary. They work well together and are encouraged to continue their training in the wastewater treatment field and they all stay current with their training. In the past three years I have been a trustee, the board has been able to upgrade the tools needed to do their job. This along with the continued education has made their job more manageable. They have a great relationship with the neighboring sewer plants and assist one another as needed. This has helped make the Freeport Sewer District one of the best in the state.

Wilson Woodbury

The candidate declined to participate.

Micahel AshbyAndrew SachsSara RandallClinton Goodenow Jr.James Harriman


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