BIDDEFORD — We’re well into fall and Election Day is gradually creeping closer and closer. This year, Biddeford will see a number of city officials run unopposed for city government seats, with only a few newcomers trying to enter the Biddeford political landscape.

MAYOR

Mayor Alan Casavant is currently running unopposed for reelection. Casavant, currently in his third term, has been serving since 2011. The mayor and Biddeford resident has been credited with instilling a renewed focus on the city’s downtown and increasing economic development efforts.

In a recent phone call, Casavant said he’s determined to continue down the path Biddeford has been on for the past few years, a path he believes is prosperous.

“It’s a continuation of all the policies that we’ve instituted over the last six years,” Casavant said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished … Biddeford’s primed to be so much more than it is in this juncture in history, and it’s just a question of maintaining the will of moving the community forward, and that’s why I want to do another two years,” Casavant said.

CITY COUNCIL

Every sitting city councilor will be up for reelection, but only two seats are being contested. Those seats are in Ward 1 and 2, where incumbent Michael Swanton vies with Kathleen Russell for the Ward 1 seat, while Council President John McCurry goes up against William Moriarty for the Ward 2 seat.

Russell, who ran unsuccessfully for the same seat last year, said she is very concerned about taxes in Biddeford and wants to address the idea of the city being a service center.

“We need to have a discussion about it,” Russell said. “Do we want to be a service center and how much is that costingeach homeowner to be a service center.”

She added that she’s worried about Biddeford schools and how the schools are affecting property values.

“If our schools aren’t doing well that’s going to impact property values,” Russell said.

Moriarty, a former School Committee member, ran for City Council twice, in 2005 and 2007. He said getting control of the city budget is crucial and something he’d pursue heavily if elected.

“We need to make sure the city is responsible with the money they have,” Moriarty said in a phone call. “When I was a School Board member, we always took into account what the next year will bring, we planned ahead. … The school budget side always came in with little to no increase, whereas the city side continually increases.”

Councilor Swanton has been serving on the council for three terms. He said he looks forward to continuing the city’s efforts of developing the dowtown and helping with the tax burden for residents.

Councilor McCurry was unavailable for comment before press time. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Seven individuals will be selected from eight candidates to serve on the School Committee. According to city documents, School Committee members run at large, though only two School Committee members from a ward may be seated. There are three candidates running for Ward 3, and the top two vote-getters will be seated, in addition to all other names on the ballot.

Those vying for the Ward 3 seat include Crystal Blais, Jerry Tremblay and Lisa Vadnais. Both Crystal Blais and Lisa Vadnais are currently serving on the School Committee. Jerry Tremblay is a newcomer.

— Staff Writer Ryder Schumacher can be reached at 282-1535, or via email at [email protected]

 

 

 

 


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