SACO – Incumbent Mayor Marston Lovell is being challenged by Councilor William Doyle for a four-year term as mayor of Saco.

Both are concerned about erosion in the Saco Bay area, especially along the city’s coastal Camp Ellis neighborhood, but differ in other areas.

Lovell, 73, said he wants to forge a new deal with Saco’s neighbors to resolve erosion issues in the entire Saco Bay area. A resolution unanimously approved by the Saco City Council a week ago would do that, he said.

The resolution, which will be presented to Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach and Biddeford for their sign-on, asks Gov. Janet Mills “to seek sufficient federal legislation to require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remedy the problems of sand erosion and sand accretion along Saco Bay at no cost to any municipality or the state of Maine.”

Lovell said the current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan covers only a half-mile of beach around Camp Ellis, and “ignores other parts of the beach.”

He said the beaches are a major tourist attraction.

“An act of Congress needs to be passed and signed by the president,” Lovell said.  “If Congress orders (the Corps of Engineers) to do it, they will.”

Doyle, 39, is on board with the resolution, but he also believes it is time to “unshelve” the Army Corps of Engineers plan to address Camp Ellis and get movement on that – without Saco being on the hook financially for maintenance and repairs. Doyle said he’d revisit a plan for a regional dredging program. He said dredging won’t solve the problem, but it would help.

“We need to move forward and have some action,” Doyle said.

Doyle is winding down his second term as the Ward 3 councilor. He is the regional director for the National Correctional Employees Union, representing correctional workers in Maine and New Hampshire.

Lovell served six years as a Saco city councilor and three years as a York County commissioner. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserves, the National Guard and was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers. As a civilian, he worked in the medical field and in accounting, and later owned a business writing computer software and advising businesses on computer hardware.

“Saco is undergoing unprecedented growth and there is a lot of pressure on city infrastructure – more (people) want to be on sewer and water lines, and there are more cars on city streets and highways and I am concerned with dealing with that,” Lovell said.

He said there are traffic issues associated with growth and that those issues are in the hands of the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority.

Doyle is finishing his second term as a councilor.

“My goal is for smart growth, looking long-term rather than Band-Aids,” Doyle said.

“As mayor I want to vigorously steward Saco’s growth by fostering new opportunities  for economic diversity – more public-private partnerships to bring new business to the community, and to transition Saco from a bedroom community to a destination community,” Doyle said.

The Route 1 corridor could be a location for businesses like banking and insurance companies, which would bring good jobs to the city, he said.

Tammy Wells — 207-780-9016

twells @mainelymediallc.com


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