State Senate District 26
Saying he is honored and humbled by the confidence placed in him by voters over opponent Ryan McDonald, Maine Senator Bill Diamond is poised to begin his 21st year of elective public office. The Eagle spoke with the popular Windham Democrat as he celebrated quietly at his home Tuesday night. Following three terms in the Maine house, several years as secretary of state and seven terms in the senate, the Eagle asked about the likelihood of a run for governor in 2018.
“You know, it all comes down to impact on family. I have eight grandkids and to do that would be a mean a really solid commitment. So right now, I can’t say for sure.” But he did not rule out the possibility.
Diamond said a great many of his constituents “…never got out of the recession and are working multiple jobs.” He promised to work on ways to make the economy stronger.
Diamond serves on the legislature’s transportation and government oversight committees.
Senate District 26 includes the six Cumberland County towns of Windham, Raymond, Casco, Standish, Frye Island and Baldwin.
House District 24
Democrat Mark Bryant defeated Republican challenger Benjamin Martin in House District 24 which covers the northern part of Windham. Bryant, who has served five non-consecutive terms in the Maine House, expressed sincere thanks to his constituents Tuesday night and said he looks forward to making a difference in the lives of people in Windham and the State of Maine by working with legislators on both sides of the aisle. He said his constituents have expressed concern over the issue of population growth in Windham, which is taxing resources and impacting land conservation.
Bryant, who supported a referendum proposal to raise Maine’s minimum wage, said job creation is also at the top of his list this term.
“I’m honored and humbled (by this victory),” said Bryant. “And I want my constituents to know that I don’t take them for granted.”
House District 25
First elected in 2014, Patrick Corey has served one term in the Maine House. He ran uncontested in District 25, which covers the southern part of Windham.
Corey said he enjoys working with constituents as bills run their course through the legislature, and strongly urges people to contact him about any issue, any time.
Corey’s work on the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee included a bill to protect outdoor shooting ranges. He opposed Maine’s ballot initiative to require background checks for privately sold firearms.
He said he hears often from constituents who are concerned about “high taxes, all taxes: Income, sales and property taxes…and the cost of higher education.” Locally, he said people are worried about seemingly uncontrolled growth in Windham and want to preserve the local heritage and rural character. He hears constituents ‘concerns about people working together in Augusta and plans to work in a bipartisan manner to maintain civil discourse.
District 66 which is all of Raymond except southwest corner
As small business owner, Fay said she will work for the issues that the voters are passionate about.
“I am honored and excited to be the next representative for Maine House District 66. I had so much support from people with lots of different ideas and that gives me hope for the next two years.”
She defeated incumbent Mike McClellan for the seat in the Maine House and plans to work with him to discover some of the things he feels are important to folks in the district, she said.
“I have had so many important conversations with voters over the last 6 months, and the issues raised are the same ones I talked about during the campaign...good paying jobs, education, rising healthcare costs and property taxes, addiction and access to effective pain management.”
She thanks her strong supporters. “This campaign was a total team effort. There were lots of people involved and I value the time and energy of each and every one. I am honored to have been elected and I can't wait to get started.”
District 67 (portions of Raymond, Gray, Casco)
Susan M. Wilkinson Austin
Austin defeated challenger Rachel Lyn Rumson for her seat in the state house of representatives. She has served five non-consecutive terms and has been on the business, labor, commerce, research and economic development committee since she first started her political work. It is her hope to continue on that committee.
“It’s a nice day after,” she said after only having a few hours of sleep. She plans to go back to Augusta with the same can-do attitude. “I’ve always been very collaborative so we can start out on the best foot we can,” she said. “Then we can get good things done for the Maine people.”
She is waiting to see if she has legislative work to do in Gray with two sections looking to secede from the town. She will also work with Frye Island and its ongoing educational debate with SAD6.
Her goal is to, “Do the very darn best job I can do every day. I’m inclusive, not exclusive.”
Windham Town Council, South District
Current chairperson of the Windham Town Council, has served from 2007 to 2010 and then was elected in 2013. Her goal for this term is “to continue the bipartisan working relationships of the council, in order for us to maintain lower taxes and still develop Windham into a Community that respects the opinions of its residents and can work together to make a Windham an even better place to live, work and play.”
She is excited to work with the new council member Jarrod Maxfield. “Jarrod brings a different perspective on how to empower communication to help get information out into the community on agendas and important projects. I am excited to work with Jarrod and his ideas on streetlights and moving forward on some of the 21 Century Downtown Plan.”
The councils’ top priorities moving forward as Chapman sees it are, “We truly need a public works garage, how to keep costs down and yet provide adequate services for the public. To move forward on a sewer that does not cost the taxpayers solely and protects the watersheds in North Windham for future generations.
Windham Town Council, North District
Newcomer Jarrod Maxfield ran unopposed for the North District seat on the Windham Town Council, formerly held by Roy Moore who did not seek re-election. It is his first publicly elected position. He owns Necessary Technology in Portland.
Maxfield said the catalyst for his decision to run was when a friend purchased commercial property in Windham.
“It should have been an exciting time for him, but instead he encountered only challenges and obstacles. He wasn’t asking anything from anyone,” Maxfield continued. “Just making an investment in the town. That needs to be encouraged (not discouraged),” he said.
Currently a member of the town’s energy advisory committee, Maxfield supports the 21st Century Downtown proposal and the town’s new comprehensive plan. Regarding the North Windham shopping district, he said, “we need to do something smart up there: A modern wastewater treatment plan, nicer streets and nicer restaurants. I’d like Windham people to spend money in Windham.”
Windham Town Council, At Large
Bob Muir was re-elected to his at-large position on the town council. As with all the council candidates, he ran unopposed. Muir has served for four non-consecutive terms on the council. Muir said taxes are a priority,… “especially for the elderly on fixed incomes.” He said it can be “difficult to adjust the town budget to the town’s rising costs.” And he feels he is often the voice of residents who are hesitant to complain or address the town council.
“We’ve got a very good council right now and I’d like to continue our good work for the town.” Muir praised Jarrod Maxfield. “He’s a good addition to the council.
Muir also supports integrating the 21st Century Downtown proposal into a new comprehensive plan.
“It will improve the looks (of the area), movement of traffic and be pedestrian friendly. Connectivity of neighborhoods in the area could be tricky, he added. “Neighborhoods like to stay self- contained.” But he observed it will be the job of the council to work out these and other problems.
Regional School Unit (RSU)14 Board Director
Coming off a “three year learning curve,” Colby said he felt he could contribute more readily to the board during his next term.
Colby, a security sales engineer, said his first years taught him great respect for teachers.
“Anybody who says teachers don’t work hard just don’t know anything about the profession. (Especially considering) everything we throw at them, they are great people and everybody (in RSU14) is doing a great job,” he said.
Regarding the question of capital improvements versus new middle school, Colby said, “Pay me now or pay me later. Considering our growth and the age of our current facilities we’re going to have to accommodate our needs.”
Regional School Unit (RSU)14
Scott McLean will be the newcomer on the RSU14 School Board. With a 10-year-old in the district, McLean said he hopes to make a positive difference for kids in the district. A production administrator for Lucas Tree, he said he’ll take his new position on the board “day by day.”
McLean said he is particularly interested in the newly established homework evaluation team. The group will research the efficacy and the amount of homework that should become policy in the district.
Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, District 2
Still another uncontested race was for a seat on the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. Susan Witonis will serve a second four year term. She said her focus is on public safety and favors as much practical regionalization as possible, citing the regional dispatch service in Windham and contract deputy services through the sheriff’s office as examples of successful models.
An important part of the job, said Witonis, who represents nine towns including Raymond and Windham, is making sure that rural areas are fairly represented in the funding formula for the county budget.
Work continues, she added, in the search for a sports tenant at the Cross Insurance Center, adding that she is hopeful that could happen within the next year.