FREEPORT — Two local business owners who have never sought elected office are competing for an at-large seat on the Town Council.
Henry “Chip” Lawrence III and James Hendricks are vying to replace council Chairman Bill Muldoon, who is not seeking re-election.
Several other town elections are uncontested:
• Incumbent Councilor Sara Gideon of Bow Street, who filled the unexpired term of Genie Beaulieu, is unchallenged in District 1.
• Incumbent John Carp of Timber Way is uncontested for his Water District seat.
• Incumbent Brenda Kielty of Linwood Road and Peter Murray of Redding Lane are on the Nov. 2 ballot for two three-year terms on the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors.
• And Holbrook Street resident Karin VanNostrand is uncontested for a one-year School Board seat.
Hendricks, 38, of West Street, is the owner of Freeport Integrated Health Center on South Freeport Road. Originally from Rockland, he received his first bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., and a second bachelor’s and a Doctorate of Chiropractic from the National College of Chiropractic.
He returned to Maine in 1999 and has lived in Freeport since 2002. He is married and has a stepdaughter. Hendricks is a member and served on the board of the Freeport Rotary and Casco Bay YMCA. He is also a member of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce.
He said he is “fairly conservatively minded” when it comes to spending and will be thoughtful when making tough decisions.
“My goal would be for the town to try to maintain its current levels of service and keep the property tax rates the same … while keeping the town moving in positive direction,” he said.
Hendricks said although the Town Council is charged with making tough decisions on behalf of the voters, he understands both sides of the argument regarding the consolidation of emergency dispatch services with Brunswick.
“In my personal opinion, any decision that has created this amount of public interest should be allowed to go to a (referendum) vote,” he said.
He said the biggest issue facing Freeport is the economy, and that the town needs to attract visitors and new businesses to create revenue while maintaining the current level of services for residents.
“I see running for Town Council as the next step in the progression, as far as my services to the town,” he said. “I see it as an opportunity to help the town move forward in the next three years.”
Lawrence, 46, of Maple Avenue, is married and has three children. He operates Maple Hill Bed & Breakfast, works in property management and sells Waterloov gutter covers.
He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in airline management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
He is a member of the Freeport Community Chorus and volunteers at the Freeport Community Center and Freeport Community Players. Lawrence is a former U.S. Navy pilot and managed a technical contact center and technology firm help desks.
“I am ready to support the needs of the town, not to tell the town what to do,” he said. “There are factions on the council because the council itself is not unified in serving the town. I believe government must live within its means.”
He said eight years in the military coupled with his experience managing a $1 million budget while working in the technology field taught him how to prioritize, create long-term goals and efficiently reduce costs.
He said the decision to consolidate dispatch services with Brunswick should have gone to the voters, but since the council is tasked with being fiscally responsible for the residents and the town, they did their job and created a cost savings.
“I think this will also give our dispatch the back up that it lacked, another positive aspect (of consolidation,)” he said.
Lawrence said the biggest issue facing the town is its ability to retain the local services residents have come to expect. He said he plans to listen to the citizens and encourage them to become involved in local decisions for the good of the community.
Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org