FREEPORT — Michael Ashby and Sally Leland are hoping to keep their seats on the Sewer District Board of Trustees in a three-way contest Nov. 4.
The challenger in the race is Jerry Kennedy, who has a history of serving the town.
Ashby, who is also on the Water District Board of Trustees, did not respond to several telephone requests for an interview.
Kennedy has lived in Freeport 50 years, is married, and has three children, the youngest of whom attends Freeport High School. Kennedy is now retired, but previously owned a glass business. He is currently on the Freeport Appeals Board.
Kennedy was a member of the School Board for six years and has coached several sports teams in town. He doesn’t have experience with the sewer district, but believes he is qualified for the position.
“I think that as a concerned citizen, that’s the background I need to have,” he said.
Kennedy said he likes the work the sewer district is currently doing, but that he’d like to help make a few changes.
“I’d like to see the infrastructure updated,” he said. “There were a few breaks this year.”
Kennedy said he’d also like to see the sewer system develop as the town grows.
“The more Freeport expands, the more the system needs to expand, so we need to keep our waste resources protected,” he said.
Kennedy said the sewer district plays a major role in keeping the environment safe for people and he’d like to contribute to keeping the system updated and working properly.
“Most people don’t always think of what goes on (in the sewer system), but I think it’s important to have a clean environment for our health and safety,” he said.
Along with keeping the residents of Freeport protected, Kennedy said his main goal is simple.
“I’d like to see that the harbor stays clean,” he said.
Leland has lived in Freeport for two years, but isn’t new to Maine. The corporate travel director used to work as a teacher in Brunswick. She is married and has two children.
Leland volunteers at the Freeport Community Center and is a member of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and of Friends of Casco Bay.
Leland has been serving on the sewer district board since Sept. 2, completing the unexpired term of Tim Whitacre, who resigned in June.
While living in Pennsylvania, Leland was part of a homeowner’s association and was on its sewer committee. Combined with the experience she’s gained this year, she said she believes she’d do well on the board.
“I feel like I have the time and energy and I have the interest,” Leland said. “I bring an inquisitiveness and a willingness to work cooperatively.”
If elected, she said she wants to address the recent breaks in the system’s mains.
“That’s probably going to be the biggest problem going forward,” Leland said. “It’s an aging infrastructure.”
She said it’s important to fix these problems before they get worse so that residents aren’t affected too much.
“People don’t really think of the sewer district until it doesn’t work,” she said.
Leland said she also wants to work on educating the community about the sewer district. She said she wants to start with elementary schools and promote field trips to the sewer facility.
She said she wants to take part in maintaining the sewer district because of the role it plays in people’s lives.
“It’s key to the quality of life and the integrity of those who earn a living on the water and it’s vital to community development,” she said.
FREEPORT — Thomas Hudak, who already serves on the Sewer District Board of Trustees, is running unopposed for a seat on the Freeport Water District Board of Trustees.
Edmond Theriault, the current seat holder, is not seeking re-election.
Hudak has lived in Freeport since 1972, is married, and has two sons. He recently retired after 32 years of working in the school system as the head custodian, a school bus driver, and occasionally as a substitute teacher. He has a degree in geology from Ricker College.
Hudak is one year into his second term on the sewer district board; this would be his first time term on the water district board.
He said he wanted to run for the open seat so he could see the other side of the sewer district.
“We see what’s coming out,” Hudak said. “I wanted to see where it’s coming from.”
He said he believes his experience in the sewer district will lend itself to the water district, where he’d like to focus on a potential increase in the water rates. Because innundated pipes need to be replaced, Hudak said water bills are likely to see a “substantial percentage increase” sometime next year.
— Kate Gardner