Freeport Sewer District: 3 candidates vie for 2 seats
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org