Across the region, community leaders and elected officials are setting business plans and getting ready for a productive 2017. And with that comes setting goals for their city, town, organization and themselves.

The past 12 months have seen new businesses open, people assuming new leadership positions and the changing of the guard in several cities and towns.

Ryan Lilly helped the VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2016, which included big celebrations at the Chelsea campus in September and November. Lilly said he has big plans and goals for the facility’s 151st year as it continues to change the way it cares for veterans.

Lithgow Public Library in Augusta opened a new multimillion-dollar building in August, so what does library director Betsy Pohl do for an encore? She hopes to continue to grow the library’s reach and provide additional service to teenagers, and the new building will help in both areas.

In Gardiner, economic and community development director Patrick Wright said he wants to improve communication outside of the community and to do a better job of managing his team of staff and volunteers.

Sen. Shenna Bellows, D-Manchester, was elected to her first term as state senator in November representing District 14, and she already has put her name behind several pieces of legislation.


She said she wants to partner with Senate Republicans to pass laws that have a positive effect on all Mainers.

Rep. Jeffrey Pierce, R-Dresden, re-elected in November, said the state needs to do everything it can to slow down the opioid crisis before it gets too far out of hand.

He also wants to see more money spent on improving the state’s roads.

Lynn Irish is rejoining the Hallowell City Council after not seeking re-election in 2015, and she has a lot of plans as the city prepares to undertake several big projects, including the Stevens Commons redevelopment and the reconstruction of Water Street.

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