Freeport Sewer District: 3 candidates vie for 2 seats

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FREEPORT — There are two vacant seats on the Sewer District Board of Trustees and three candidates.

Board members Ed Hindley of Wardtown Road and F. Donald Dorsey of South Freeport Road are not seeking re-election. Thomas Hudak, Dale Sawyer and Garrett Simmons hope to replace them.

Thomas Hudak

Hudak, 63, of Park Street, is a school bus driver and head custodian at Freeport High School. He attended Waterville High School and received his bachelor’s degree in geology from Ricker College in Houlton. He has a commercial fishing license and is a sewer district ratepayer.

He owned Hudack’s contracting company and the Maple Hedge Bed & Breakfast  and worked on a survey team that installed the Fairfield sewer system.

He is married and has two stepsons. 

Hudak said his experience studying microbiology and ionic chemistry will be useful if he serves on the board. He also taught an earth science laboratory at Ricker College, he said. He was president and chairman of the Freeport and Durham Jaycees and managed the custodial budget for Freeport schools.

“We need to investigate new technology to improve our sewer district and our environment,” he said. “We also need to investigate new ways to consolidate with surrounding communities for cost effectiveness and less environmental impact.”

Hudak said he would like to make the sewer plant operation more transparent and open to the public and would push for more citizen involvement.

He said a general manager position could be helpful in creating more transparency, but doesn’t know much about the job duties at this time.

Dale Sawyer

Sawyer, 44, of Sawyer Lane, is a commercial fisherman and graduate of Freeport High School.

This is his first political experience. He said he is running to ensure the sewer plant runs efficiently and to promote honesty and transparency.

“I know that if you want to see change and you want something done, you have to get involved,” he said.

Sawyer said problems at the plant have negatively affected people who make a living on the Harraseeket River and it is time for the board to make more of an effort to protect the river and ensure clean water. 

“I have a vested interest, I work for myself,” he said. “This is the time for change. The next generation needs to carry the torch. There are different ideas now and we need to move in a new direction to promote cleaner water and create less pollution.”

Sawyer said he doesn’t have a lot of information about the general manager position, but said Leland Arris Jr., the former board chairman and current general manager, is a smart and dedicated man. 

Sawyer is not a ratepayer.

Garrett Simmons

Simmons, 47, of Litchfield Road, is the manager of S&S Seafood, a certified shellfish dealer. He is also chairman the Freeport Shellfish Commission.

He is married, has a son, and graduated from Freeport High School and Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute (now SMCC). He has volunteered time and donated seafood to the Special Olympics.

Simmons said it will be necessary for the sewer lines to keep up with residential and commercial growth in the future. When the economy improves, he said it will be important to consider extending the sewer lines to offer service to other areas in the community.

“I don’t have all the answers, but I want to make sure the correct questions are asked,” he said. “I think expansion will be necessary, but I want to see it done in the most cost effective way possible. I want to be prepared.”

Simmons is not a ratepayer, but said he understands it is important to keep rates low.

He said the creation of a part-time general manager will allow the plant operator to run the plant more effectively, while the manager can focus on administration.

The Sewer District Board of Trustees meets the third Monday every month at 43 South Freeport Road.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext 110 or

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Town Council must appoint Sewer District board member

FREEPORT — A Sewer District Board of Trustees vacancy was created last week when Chairman Leland Arris Jr. accepted a part-time job as general manager of the sewer district plant.

The vacancy was created because Arris’ move came too late to add election of his replacement to the Nov. 2 ballot.

Town Clerk Beverly Curry said according to the Sewer District Charter, when there is a vacancy on the board, the Town Council has the responsibility to appoint a resident to the position until the next election. She said Arris submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

“It is too late for nomination papers and too late to put this vacancy on the ballot,” Curry said. “There can always be a write-in campaign, but there will still be (only) two seats available on the ballot.”

Town Manager Dale Olmstead said the vacancy will be advertised in local newspapers and there will be information on the town website and cable access channel.

Olmstead said candidates will have 30 days to respond. He expects the next council to fill the vacancy in December.

The appointee will serve until the November 2011 election.

— Amy Anderson