Former Biddeford Ward 4 City Councilor Bobby Mills Courtesy photo

BIDDEFORD — Biddeford City Council has been upended by the sudden departure of two of its members.

Biddeford City Councilor Bobby Mills (Ward 4) officially resigned on April 16 after being arrested and charged for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol earlier this month. And only a day later, city officials fielded another notice of resignation, this time from Councilor Julian Schlaver of Ward 5.

Schlaver was issued a summons for assault on April 13, according to police dispatch records. In a phone interview, Schlaver said the alleged assault detailed in the summons is a misdemeanor, and stems from an incident where he inadvertently touched a woman inappropriately while intoxicated. A summons can be served in lieu of an arrest warrant when a defendant is facing minor criminal charges.

At their latest City Council meeting, the body unanimously voted to accept Mills’ resignation and also approved a sped up nomination process for candidates interested in filling his vacated Ward 4 seat. The city will hold a special election on June 11, the same day as the state primary. Interested candidates can submit nomination papers to the City Clerk by May 6.

“I’m not a public figure. I’m a private citizen so I have nothing to discuss,” Mills wrote when asked for comment.

Mills announced his intention to resign from City Council and as York County treasurer two days after the incident, on April 9.


Ward 5 Biddeford City Councilor Julian Schlaver Courtesy/City of Biddeford

According to a detailed dispatch log from the Biddeford Police Department, a rear end collision took place late on April 7 between Mills’ vehicle and the vehicle of a North Waterboro resident in downtown Biddeford.

Mills “was arrested … (and then was transported) to Southern Maine Health Care. He was issued a summons at that time,” said Biddeford Chief of Police JoAnne Fisk on April 22. Fisk said she could not confirm who rear ended whom.

“The summons as it was served was a misdemeanor,” she added. She said she could not give additional comment on either charge.

A day after Mills’ resignation was accepted, City Councilor Julian Schlaver sent a message to city officials letting them know that with “great regret” he intends to resign as councilor for Ward 5 and from all his other committees and appointments.

“Unfortunately, this weekend, I had too much to drink, and what was meant to be a friendly gesture at the end of the night did not come across that way,” he said via telephone on April 18. He added that he was sorry for the incident and because of it he felt it was necessary for him to resign from City Council.

City Council must convene and vote to confirm the resignation before it’s finalized.


Schlaver declined to say more, citing the desire to protect the anonymity of the person he’s accused of assaulting.

The police log of the incident offers more details. Schlaver was at Round Turn Distilling when, according to a bartender, he assaulted someone there and exited without paying his tab.

Mayor Marty Grohman said he had a phone call with Mills on April 9 where he told Mills that he thought it would be best for him to step aside. He had a similar call just over a week later with Schlaver on April 16. Grohman said he was made aware by the city manager that Schlaver and Mills had each had an interaction with law enforcement the morning after both summons were issued.

From Grohman’s perspective, it was important that they resign in order to keep the “integrity” of the City Council intact. He pointed to the “tons and tons” of work the council has before them, saying that the resignations have been an unfortunate drain on time and resources during a busy budget season.

City Council must convene and vote to confirm Shlaver’s resignation before it’s finalized, which Grohman said will happen during the City Council’s meeting on May 7.

Per City Charter, if a council seat is vacated within 180 days since the last election (the municipal election on Nov. 7, 2023, in this case) then an election must be held within 60 days  to replace that person. May 7 is just past that 180 day cut off. So unlike Mills, Schlaver will be replaced by a mayoral nominee who will be confirmed by City Council.


Grohman said that he and Council President Liam LaFountain had already heard from multiple interested candidates.

Bobby Mills has a long history in Biddeford’s local political scene, and Julian Schlaver is a relative newcomer.

Mills was first elected to represent Ward 5 on City Council in 2007 and held that position until 2017. He was re-elected to City Council, this time to Ward 4, in 2021. He was treasurer for York County between 2018 and his recent resignation.

Julian Schlaver has served on the City Council since he was appointed to lead Ward 5 in January 2023 by former Mayor Alan Casavant.

Ward 5 encompasses Biddeford’s downtown area, including the strip of Main Street between Alfred Street and Elm Street where City Hall is located, as well as the Pepperell Mill Campus. Ward 4 starts at Alfred Street and stretches south.

Schlaver’s professional life is enmeshed with the downtown. He co-owns the boutique Suger on Washington Street with his wife, fashion designer Roxi Suger. Suger also has a location in Portland’s Old Port. According to his LinkedIn page, Schlaver has also been the managing owner of Painted Numbers LLC, a property management and holding company, since 2018.


As of March of this year, Bobby Mills was employed with the Lodges Care Center — a residential care facility in Springvale — according to a post on his personal Facebook page. An administrative assistant with the care facility declined to confirm on April 19 whether he is currently employed there.

Delilah Poupore, executive director of the downtown community and business development organization Heart of Biddeford,  said that she was “shocked” to hear about their resignations.

“It’s important to me that personal lives get to stay personal, so if they need to prioritize family or wellness or handling something else right now, I (support) that,” she said.

Because Ward 5 covers downtown, there is a permanent position for the city councilor representing that ward on Heart of Biddeford’s board, said Poupore. She said she will miss having Schlaver in that board member position, saying that he offered both valuable business expertise and acted as a conduit with City Council.

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