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The three candidates to fill the vacant seat on the City Council were asked to submit a statement of 500 words or less on what they think are the three greatest challenges facing Sanford and how they would address those challenges as a member of the City Council. They were asked to be as specific as possible.

While I think our city is well on its way to success, I think we can make more progress by focusing on our key challenges. As a City Councilor, I would focus my attention on (1) reducing the tax burden on our citizens and businesses by enticing more businesses to settle in Sanford, (2) boosting our economy by drawing people to visit our city through positive attention to our community assets through social media, and (3) facilitating easy access to government services and transparency of city government actions to citizens by revitalizing our website.

By enacting policies that entice businesses to settle in Sanford, we can lower taxes on citizens while also increasing tax revenue to provide services. One of our biggest concerns as citizens of Sanford is rising taxes. Everyone feels the negative effects of rising taxes, and it hurts our ability to live our daily lives. We work hard for our money and paying more taxes for the same level of services is not acceptable. We need to bring in more people and businesses to lower the tax burden on each person in Sanford. Otherwise, we need to decrease our spending to lower the tax burden, but then we will receive fewer services. We need to bring businesses to Sanford, who will later bring more people to lower taxes and provide services. I would propose start-up incentives for businesses to come to Sanford to compete with other cities who have access to the interstate. With more businesses and people, we can provide services while also lowering the tax burden. 

Through promoting our city’s attractions with social media and advertising, we can draw more attention to our city and bring people to visit. This will lead to a burst of activity for our local economy. We have wonderful attractions for people to enjoy but they sometimes appear as local secrets. We have a great baseball field at Goodall Park, new athletic fields and auditorium at the high school, and a wide variety of businesses that offer great food and entertainment. Focusing our efforts on advertising Sanford using social media and marketing, we can boost our economy. I know City Council has started this process, and I would continue to promote new and inventive ways to market our city.

Revitalizing our website to facilitate access to government services will make services and information easier to access and make government more transparent for our citizens. It is hard to process the sheer amount of information on the website, and you must dig through it to find the right department and get information. Additionally, it is hard to find out what is happening in city government without viewing meetings on YouTube or reading news articles summarizing meetings. With more user-friendly features, like a “Frequently Asked Questions” page and a “Contact Us” prompt, we can give the people easy access to answers and information. Also, with summaries of government meetings posted online, government action will be transparent and easy to access.

Nathan Hitchcock

The candidates have each been invited to speak for five minutes about their backgrounds and qualifications at the next City Council meeting on June 7.

Election Day is June 14, 2022. Got to sanfordmaine.org/voterregistration for more information, or to request an absentee ballot.

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