PLACE OF RESIDENCY: Bath

PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat

PREVIOUS ELECTED EXPERIENCE: have completed 2 terms as state representative

What do you think the legislature should do to reduce energy costs in Maine?

Energy costs will come down only by incentivizing conservation and moving to renewable energy sources. We need to move away from being so dependent on fossil fuels. The legislature can help remove barriers to developing renewable energy so it is more readily available to combine with fossil fuel energy.

What can be done to help aging seniors in Bath age in place or secure safe, affordable housing?

In addition to the Governor releasing the Senior Affordable Housing bond that the voters of Maine approved to help address this issue statewide, in Bath we have an innovative approach that can serve as example throughout the state. Bath Housing Authority has initiated a public-private partnership with a Foundation to inventory homes senior citizens and determine what improvements need to be made for safety and longterm aging in place. Bath’s Comprehensive Plan has already identified elements essential to an aging in place community. It needs to be woven together and prioritized so funding can be sought — as the Bath Housing Authority has done. The State needs to support affordable senior housing, in Bath and elsewhere, so that residents who can no longer afford to maintain their homes or cannot afford rising property taxes have an option.

What challenges are facing the Greater Bath area that must be addressed by the next legislature?

As I have been knocking on doors and meeting with constituents, many people have expressed concern over rising property tax. Like most cities in Maine, Bath is struggling with meeting its budget in light of the recent cuts to Municipal Revenue Sharing and loss of State funding for schools. Cutting these programs simply shifts the financial burden to the municipal level in the form of raising property taxes. The new legislature must find a way to strike a balance between the financial needs of State and local governments in a time of stagnant economic growth. I have also heard the concern over drug abuse and opiate addiction. We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem. The new legislature — with feedback from professionals — must develop strategies that include prevention, treatment and recovery.



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