Maura Herlihy is a current member of Sanford’s City Council, serving her fifth term. She was Sanford’s first Mayor and has also served on the Budget Committee and the School Construction Committee. She was an active member of the Downtown Legacy group, helping bring the Summah Daze, Harvest Daze and Holly Daze celebrations to Sanford.
Ms. Herlihy is a graduate of Sanford High School and Mount Holyoke College. She is the managing owner of Townhouse Properties.
Her decision to run for another term on the Council was the result of wanting to see through some ongoing projects, including road work and school building projects. “There are a lot of wonderful things happening, and about to happen,” she said.
She feels one of her strengths as a Council member is her ability to work with others to come up with solutions to challenges. She is good at getting along with people and respects the opinions of others.
Regarding Covid-19, Ms. Herlihy said she hated that the council had to enact the mask ordinance and close the parks, but felt it was necessary. She added that dealing with the pandemic has been the most frustrating thing she has done as a City Councilor, especially having the kids not able to attend school or play sports.
Besides Covid-19, Ms. Herlihy feels the biggest challenge facing Sanford right now is bringing in young, well-educated families to provide the workforce needed to attract and grow local businesses. The upgrades to Sanford’s school system over the past two years are the base on which to build, she said, but adds that good housing is another critical element needed to draw new families.
Among her goals for her next term, if reelected to the Council, are working with the Maine Sports Resort and Conference Center project (formerly known as York Pines), which is now attracting potential investors. She is excited about a few new large building projects which are in the pipeline to bring new housing to Sanford, and is also anxious to see the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport continue to grow.
Ms. Herlihy said attracting new retail business to Sanford and Springvale is “difficult but not insurmountable.” She called a vibrant downtown area critical to the success of this effort. The city should provide the tax benefits and resources businesses need, she said, but added that bringing the right demographics to our community will draw retailers, enabling our community to compete with Biddeford and Rochester as a shopping destination.