I was asked to reflect on my six years on the Scarborough Town Council. During the past six years, I have witnessed remarkable changes in Scarborough. Our town has many points of pride: civically engaged citizens; a working waterfront; pristine natural resources; preeminent public safety professionals; a tremendous school department. 

 Our son graduated from Scarborough High  School in 2019 and had an exceptional educational experience K-12. Thank you to the teachers, coaches, and staff who contributed to his positive experience.

In 2017, I had the unique opportunity to spend a Friday evening riding patrol with a Scarborough police officer. The experience was life changing and enhanced my immense appreciation for the risks our public safety professionals take to keep Scarborough citizens safe. 

 As I leave office and look forward, Scarborough, like much of America, is at a crossroads which presents opportunities and challenges. I think the following issues are critical decision points that will affect the future look and feel of our community: 

 Growth 

Growth will continue to have a huge impact on the infrastructure and culture of our community. I find it ironic the communities we often discuss as inspirational models — Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, and Yarmouth — don’t allow tax-incented commercial and high-density housing which has dominated our recent growth. I encourage citizens to stay abreast of the types of growth proposed for future projects and please share your thoughts with future Town Council members. 

 Financial Stability and Sustainability 

During the next several years, there are proposed significant investments in our infrastructure which include: a consolidated primary school; library expansion; community center; additional credit enhancement agreements. These items will more than double our current debt (already the highest per capita in Maine at around $5,000 per person) which will have a potential tax impact of 10-15 percent on property owners, unless we find offsetting revenue sources. It is imperative Scarborough establishes a robust and strategic multi-year financial planning model to minimize the negative impact on our community and taxpayers. 

Civil and Respectful Community Dialogue 

 There has been a concerning change in our community dialogue which closely mirrors what we are observing on a national level. For some, it has become acceptable to vilify and insult people who don’t agree with you. Public comments, social media posts, and emails can lack civility and respect for differences and individuals. We are losing the art of conversation and listening to understand each other. Our elected officials are investing hundreds of hours, and countless evenings away from their families, in trying to understand issues and do what they think is in the best interests of the Scarborough community. 

 In closing, I want to thank the community members who have supported me and taken the time to share their diverse viewpoints, advise and challenges, in a thoughtful and respectful manner. I’ve met many interesting and wonderful people, and I’m grateful for the journey. 

 Disclaimer : “The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council’

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: