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.
Michael Termath has lived in Sanford/Springvale for a total of 12 years, first from 1999-2006 and permanently since 2016. He has an Associate’s degree in criminal justice from McIntosh College, and has also studied respiratory therapy at Mt. San Antonio College in California. He has served the United States Army / National Guard for twenty years and as a civilian employee with the U.S. Postal Service for the past five years.
Mr. Termath coaches youth soccer in Sanford and Shapleigh. He has volunteered with local organizations and events, including the PTA at Margaret Chase Smith School, the Great Pumpkin Festival and Holly Daze Parade.
The main issue that prompted him to run for office, and his biggest priority, is economic development. He wants to help bring good-quality, high-paying jobs to the community, and would like the City to work more closely with the Planning Department and the Chamber of Commerce to facilitate that. “City Hall needs to work hand-in-hand with the Chamber of Commerce, instead of trying to defund the Chamber, which has been the Council’s top priority that is driving away crucial investors,” he said.
Economic development goes hand-hand with his second priority, which is reducing property taxes. “Too much of the tax burden is on top of the shoulders of single-family homeowners,” he said, adding “business growth in Sanford will help offset the cost in the long run to our homeowners.”
He cites elimination of the Pay-As-You-Throw trash bags as another priority of his campaign. He would like to see the City move to a system whereby each homeowner deposits trash and recyclables in special containers that are picked up each week by a truck with automatic side loaders.
With regard to affordable housing, Mr. Termath feels that the City needs to do more to house homeless residents and veterans with PTSD. He is proposing that the City convert the former Lafayette School to apartments, and work with investors to create affordable housing in vacant mill buildings. “If the City is serious about this, they can cut through the bureaucratic red tape and get it done,” he adds.
He offered no comment on the issue of retail sales of adult-use marijuana in Sanford.
He believes downtown revitalization should be a priority for the City. “When shoppers come to downtown Sanford, all they currently see is blight,” he said. He recommends a program or task force to help incentivize small business start-ups in the City. In particular, he feels clean up of the Midtown Mall area should be a priority.
On the issue of spending, Mr. Termath believes the City needs to pick up the pace of the road construction that was approved by voters in 2019. He feels that more roads need to be completely reconstructed, rather than just resurfaced, which will cost less in the long run, and keep them in better shape for years to come.
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.