Joseph Hanslip has been a member of Sanford’s City Council since 2005, and has served as Chair and Vice Chair. He currently serves as Deputy Mayor. Prior to joining the Council, he was a County Commissioner for York County, and was on the Board of Trustees of the Maine Community College System.
Mr. Hanslip was employed as a police officer before retiring early due to a permanent disability resulting from injuries received in the line of duty. He also worked part time in his family’s textile business.
He decided to run for another term on the City Council because he wants to continue to be a part of Sanford’s forward momentum. He loves Sanford’s blue-collar roots and “never say die” attitude.
He considers two of his strengths to be his well-rounded experience at many levels of government, and his numerous contacts at the state, county and local levels. He enjoys talking to people and feels he is good at getting people with differing viewpoints to work together.
Mr. Hanslip is proud of the actions the Council has taken to combat the spread of Covid-19 in our community. While not universally popular, he feels that enacting the mask ordinance and closing the parks were the right decisions to keep residents safe.
In addition to Covid-19, he sees a number of challenges facing Sanford right now. One of these is attracting and retaining a variety of businesses to provide employment. “Marketing Sanford and Springvale is key to this effort,” he said, adding that businesses who have stayed in Sanford should also be rewarded.
The addiction epidemic is another huge area of concern. He believes that a multi-pronged approach that involves law enforcement, rehab and counseling, and addresses the root causes of addiction, is the best way forward.
Among his specific goals for the future are continuing the efforts of the Land Bank Authority, which addresses derelict properties and irresponsible landlords. Improving or removing those buildings helps stabilize property values in the surrounding neighborhoods, while reducing the need for city services, he said, all of which helps keep property taxes under control.
When asked what could be done to revitalize Sanford’s retail landscape, Mr. Hanslip said we should look to other communities that have successfully rejuvenated their downtowns. Upgrading the appearance of our downtown area, marketing Sanford and Springvale, and working to attract specialty stores are some of the methods the city can use in this effort.