On November 2, Sanford/Springvale voters will elect two City Councilors to three-year terms. The candidates are Becky Brink, Victor DiGregorio, Ayn Hanselmann (incumbent), Fred Smith and Michael Termath. Incumbent Luke Lanigan is not seeking re-election.
Becky Brink has been a resident of Sanford for 45 years. She holds a BS in Education as well as a Master’s degree in Administration. She had a successful career in public education, which included nine years as Principal of Sanford Junior High School. She has experience in grant writing as well as contract negotiation. She currently manages her family’s chiropractic office.
Ms. Brink has a lengthy history of community involvement, which has included serving on the School Committee, Budget Committee and Economic Development Committee, and as a Town Meeting Member. She currently serves on the Fire Station Feasibility Committee. She has been an active member of local service organizations including the Jaycees and Rotary International.
While there was not one specific issue or incident that prompted her to seek election to the City Council, she said Mayor Mastraccio encouraged her to run for the open seat due to the depth of her experience and educational background.
If she is elected to the Council, Ms. Brink’s first priority will be to work to keep homeowners’ property taxes from going any higher by attracting businesses to Sanford to share the tax burden. Through her work on economic development issues, she has come to understand that small businesses are the most beneficial to a community. She would like to institute policies that would help create mentors for small business people, and feels that advertising Sanford’s advantages, particularly our school system, will also attract small business owners with families.
Another of her priorities would be helping to educate people on the culture of poverty and how it affects Sanford in particular. “When we had churches, schools and businesses working together, we had more community involvement” on the issue, she said.
With regard to the shortage of affordable housing, she feels it is more of a federal and state issue, but said that attracting more business to the City will increase revenues that might allow for more housing development.
She did not comment on the recent discussions about zoning of adult-use retail marijuana stores, but said they should be limited to certain areas of the City.
Ms. Brink feels that downtown revitalization is key to Sanford’s future prosperity, and that the Council should look at creative solutions to issues like parking and outdoor dining. She feels that the City could do more to work with potential business owners to accomplish their goals: “The mentality should always be, let’s see what we can do to help you work it out.”
With regard to property taxes, she emphasizes that having more industry and small business is the pathway to lowering what homeowners pay. She is concerned that recent publicity on the idea of eliminating the state income tax fails to mention that it would increase property taxes. “When you take one away, you have to raise that money somehow,” she said.
Candidates Night will be held Thursday, October 7. All candidates for City Council, School Committee and Water District Trustee are expected to participate. The event will be streamed live on WSSR-TV (cable channel 26 and YouTube) and recorded for later viewing. More info here.