Victoria Foley has announced her candidacy for Mayor of Biddeford in the Nov. 2 election. Courtesy Photo

BIDDEFORD — Victoria Foley wants to be Biddeford’s next mayor. She announced her candidacy in the Nov. 2 race on Wednesday, July 28.

Foley, 38, a former Maine legislator and former Biddeford city councilor, said Mayor Alan Casavant has “done a great job” increasing the value of the city’s downtown — something she said she wants to expand to the remainder of the city.

“We need to think about affordability of our city and how we grow smartly — that applies to all of the city of Biddeford,” she said.

Housing affordability is a challenging issue, one that other Maine cities are facing, Foley noted in a telephone interview on Wednesday that also touched on property taxes and doing more to keep residents informed about what is happening in the city.

“We need a conversation about affordable housing as a required part of new development,” she said. Foley said the city currently does not have a requirement that a percentage of new development be affordable, and understands developers have financial concerns around that issue.

“I believe we can productively work together to make sure new development aligns with the city’s goals to include making sure people can afford to live here,” she said.

Biddeford is “on a great trajectory, so far,” Foley said, but added that she is concerned about affordability for  longtime residents and for newcomers who have expressed concern about the property tax rate.

“We’re in a very attractive city to live in and we want to make sure we do it in a sustainable way,”  she said.

Foley, the director of marketing and communications for New England Cancer Specialists, said she advocated for a communications employee for the city during her tenure on the City Council and noted such a position has been instituted. The city now has more opportunities to get information to the people, with the establishment of a Facebook page, Twitter, and the electronic Biddeford Beat newsletter, she said. For those without electronic media, she said, information could be mailed or posted in popular locations where people congregate, and that other opportunities could be explored.

Foley is a former Maine legislator, and a former Ward 5 Biddeford city councilor, appointed in June 2017 to fill the remaining months of a term left vacant when the sitting councilor at the time, Bob Mills, moved from the ward. She went on to win election to the seat and served until early October 2018, when she resigned because she had purchased a home outside the ward boundary.

As a city councilor, Foley chaired an ad hoc committee to review the infrastructure needs of the J.R. Martin Community Center and gained public input on its community value, according to a news release. She currently sits on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Downtown Development Commission and is a subcommittee chair in the city’s Comprehensive Plan process.

Foley was unopposed in her 2018 bid to represent Maine House District 12 in the Maine Legislature. She withdrew from the 2020 legislative race as she contemplated a run for mayor, she said.

“It was important not to cost the taxpayers in a special election,” she said of her withdrawal decision.

Foley is married she and her husband, Kevin have a dog, Beignet. She said people are welcome to call her at 409-5115 or email her at: [email protected]

“Biddeford has a rich history and a deep love of community,” she said in the news release announcing her candidacy. “As we look to the future, we need to make sure there is room for everyone here, ensuring affordability, managing property tax rates, thinking about smart and sustainable growth, and developing even better ways to get information out to residents are all critical to the continued success of our city.”

Nominations petitions for mayor, City Council, School Committee and other elected positions in Biddeford are available at the City Clerk’s Office as of Monday, Aug. 2.

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