FAQs & Q&As
In this section, I provide answers to FAQs as well as to candidate questionnaires from various local news outlets.
Bridgton News Questionnaire:
Q. 1 — What qualities, skills and experiences do you possess that make you the best candidate for the job?
I am completing two years as your state representative. I have been involved in the community for the last 30 years, and worked in social service settings for over 25 years. These experiences have given me beneficial insights into the needs of our children, individuals and businesses in our district. The ability to listen and communicate is essential to the process. Also important are principals of respectful conduct; characteristics such as accountability, transparency, honesty, and civility matter to me.
No doubt the COVID crisis had an immediate and unsettling effect on all of us. We lost our sense of normalcy, we experienced lock downs, some lost jobs, some lost housing and most devastating of all, some lost loved ones and neighbors to COVID.
In spite of the uncertain times we took action. Thanks to the resilience and determination of community members, we stood firm, looked out for each other, and adapted. We were in it together. I am proud of our community.
However our work can’t stop here. I have a vision for a bright and promising future for us and we seriously need to commit to addressing the other significant issues affecting us now. It will not be easy work. It requires community involvement and determination. The district questionnaire I circulated earlier in my campaign made me aware of the hard work that is still ahead.
What concerns people the most? Lots. We need to confront a variety of serious issues such as education, environment, infrastructure, access to healthcare, affordable housing and good jobs. While seemingly enormous challenges, they provide multiple opportunities for innovative and thoughtful solutions. I have worked hard for you, and if reelected I will continue my hard work with a commitment to bring positive changes to the people I serve.
For example, In the 129th legislature, I authored legislation to require accountability and transparency by CMP in their billing practices. I was lead sponsor for legislation that helped protect our lake environments from invasive plant species. I participated in co-sponsoring bills to provide property tax relief for the elderly, expand medicaid coverage, promote better access to healthcare and increase funding for the mental health and substance abuse crises.
The pandemic ended our legislative session early before much of our work could be completed. Most than likely, much of it will have to be continued into the 130th legislature next year. This is the time for proven leadership and experience. I hope you will agree that I am the best candidate to continue the work.
Q. 2 — As Maine continues to contend with and bounce back from the Covid-19 , what three areas should state government focus on and what possible solutions would you propose?
Adequate emergency response plans
Every branch of government and the associated departments must prepare a plan that adequately addresses public emergency situations so the public will be properly served.
Rebuilding a faltering economy
The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) should conduct a state-wide assessment by industry of the pandemic’s effect on them and seek specific industry solutions to rebuild the economy.
Develop a state-wide, state-of-the art broadband infrastructure.
We need to rethink our approach to improving broadband access in the state. It’s time to focus on making a system that significantly improves services to the rural areas. Our future should include service affordability and for effective services to be available for education from home, telehealth communication and working from home, regardless of population density.
Q. 3 — Where do you stand on the proposed Central Maine Power proposed transmission corridor, good or bad deal and why?
I am opposed to the current plan. We shouldn’t sell out our pristine environment and character based on a financial gain which primarily benefits some large foreign company at the expense of the Maine people.
Q. 4 — If elected, what items/issues would be priorities and what might be ways to address them?
Substance Abuse, and Mental Health
Adequate resources need to be channeled into these issues. Rather than relying on law enforcement to fix the problems, solutions that focus on education, prevention and rehabilitation will provide positive long-term results.
We have to take a serious look at how to reinvent education. The old brick and mortar style of education may need to change. The COVID crisis forced us to take an immediate look at the system but we may need to change to a system that incorporates new technology and innovative teaching strategies.
Q. 5 — What are the three biggest challenges Maine faces in the next three years?
Breaking the extreme partisan culture in politics.
Bring back jobs.
Make government more accountable and transparent.
Q. 6 — And how should state government go about addressing those challenges?
Partisanship: Unfortunately, over the last decade the style of political leadership has changed. Dominated by extreme elements in both organized political parties, the business of legislating has been relegated to neither side wanting to give ground, compromise or find resolution to deal with many issues. The role of the political moderate needs to be reestablished.
Jobs: The pandemic has decimated our existing job base. Careers and quality jobs have been eliminated and aren’t readily available to many working families. The state will have partner with businesses to reestablish growth, attract a talented workforce and create quality and well-paid jobs.
Reform government: State government needs to be more accountable and transparent to the people they serve. We should institute 4 year staggered terms instead of a cycle of every 2 years. There should be term limits of 8 years maximum in the House and Senate. No more career politicians.
Sun Journal Questionnaire
Are you satisfied with the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, why? If not, what do you think should be done instead?
Answer: Overall, the state has done very well dealing with COVID. I would require state departments to prepare emergency contingency plans and report those plans to the legislature. For example, the Department of Labor infrastructure was ill-prepared to deal with all the aspects of the unemployment crisis.
As the state tries to balance its upcoming budget in light of the reduction in tax revenue because of the pandemic, how would you decrease expenses or increase revenue?
Answer: Without adjustments, there is projected one-billion-dollar shortfall over three years. There is already a proposed 10% cut in government expenses. On the revenue side, we need significant assistance from the Federal Government. support small business, create jobs, draw from the rainy-day fund and possibly a temporary increase in the sales tax.
How does serving as a local politician in your respective party align to the larger goals of that party?
Answer: As an Independent (unenrolled), I am not beholden to any of the organized party goals. I do my best to represent the principles of my constituents and balance the needs of people while practicing fiscal responsibility for taxpayers.
What do you think is the most pressing matter that pertains to the next generation of Mainers who may be voting for the first time?
Answer: The most pressing matters include access to affordable higher education and offering incentives to keep them in Maine with good paying jobs and opportunities. Maintaining "the way life should be" culture.
Are you frustrated by the political sniping, exaggeration and even lies between the parties and their supporters that have threatened progress usually reached through respect and reasoned compromise? If so, what will you personally do to make the situation better?
Answer: The old style of political leadership has changed. Because of extreme party elements, legislating has been relegated to neither side wanting to give ground or compromise and find resolution on many issues. As an Independent, I will work to seek resolution by working with both sides by working from the middle spectrum and working with open-minded solution driven people.
If you are elected, is there anything in particular that you hope to accomplish? And briefly, why?
Answer: We need to address the broadband service deficiencies here in Maine. Too much of the state is underserved and unserved when it comes to access and quality of services. Broadband is the key component in addressing future issues like education, telehealth, access to healthcare, working from home, and expansion of the business sector.
Q. What are you running for?
A. I am running for a seat in the State Legislature – House of Representatives. I will represent District 69, which is comprised of Harrison, Bridgton and Denmark. The term is 2 years.
Q. Why are you running for office?
A. I am running for office because I have extensive leadership experience, great ideas, and a “can get it done” attitude, all of which will be of great benefit to the community.
Q. Why are you running as an Independent?
A. The current political environment is extremely challenging.
Uncompromising political and government officials have led us to gridlock and inaction. Lack of legitimate progress has caused anger, frustration and distrust on the part of the people who we were elected to represent. We need to restore the art of compromise, regain respect for each other and practice the values that have made this a great democracy.
I believe the best way to accomplish this is to take a stance as an independent and not be beholden to the system extremists and power brokers. I will not cast my votes based on party pressure but on the will of the people who elected me.
Q. I understand you are running as a CLEAN ELECTION CANDIDATE. What exactly does that mean and why should I care?
A. Being a CLEAN ELECTION CANDIDATE is very important to my election campaign. If you are concerned about big money and power brokers having too much influence over the election process then you should consider supporting the Clean Election Act and help support Clean Election Candidates who have pledged not to accept funds from Political Action Committees or Corporations.
Find out more by clicking here: Maine Clean Elections