AUGUSTA — A former city councilor, a former school board member and a retired member of the Maine Army National Guard are squaring off in the race to fill the remaining time on a vacant at-large City Council term.

The three candidates are: Stanley Koski, of Townsend Street, a retired electrical engineer who served two terms on the council, from 2002 to 2007, and who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2006; Jennifer Day, of Brentwood Road, a real estate broker who was on the school board from 2014 to 2016; and Robert Trask, of West River Road, who is retired after working for United Parcel Service and serving with the Maine Army National Guard for many years.

The vacant at-large council seat was held by Jeffrey Bilodeau, who resigned in February. The winning candidate will serve until the council term expires, Dec. 31, 2017.

The candidates each have different ideas for how to improve Augusta.

Day, a real estate agent and sales manager for Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson who has a bachelor’s degree in business management and education from Thomas College, said the city needs to look both within the community, and outside it, for ideas.

“I think we need to be in constant exploration and thinking outside the box, exploring options that maybe haven’t been considered before,” the 47-year-old Day said. “I want to hear what people are thinking. It all starts with a big idea, that may take us someplace great.”

Koski, who is retired from Central Maine Power, and who has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maine at Orono and also took some masters-level classes at the University of Maine at Augusta, said keeping the tax rate as low as possible would be a good way to improve the city.

“I think there are cost savings opportunities out there that could be identified if someone looked for them,” the 72-year-old Koski said. “I have a passion for being involved in activities at the local level, where I’d have the opportunity to investigate things and analyze things and identify cost saving opportunities.”

Trask, a graduate of Cony High School and the University of Maine at Augusta, said the city could be improved by encouraging the continued development of apartments in the downtown area. He said as more people move into those apartments, they’d become a customer base for businesses to locate downtown.

“It’s a big project that is going to take everyone’s cooperation, we need to get more apartments completed, to bring back downtown Augusta,” he said. “Once you get the apartments built and rented out, the businesses will follow.”

Trask, 70, said his decades of experience, as a manager with United Parcel Service and longtime member of the Maine Army National Guard, have given him leadership abilities that could be put to use on the council.

“Between the Guard and UPS I’ve about every kind of leadership experience there is,” Trask said. “At UPS one of my main jobs was reducing costs. I have experience with budgets. And with bringing different groups to work together.”

Koski said his six years on the council, as well as his many years previously volunteering to maintain the city’s traffic lights, have given him valuable insight.

“Having been involved in how city government functions both as an elected official and a volunteer, I’ve interacted with many city departments so, in trying to identify cost saving opportunities, I’d know where to go looking,” he said.

Day said she is open and approachable and on the lookout for new solutions.

“I don’t pretend to have all the answers,” she said. “I want to hear what people are thinking. I’m not someone who dwells on a problem. There is always an opportunity for a new discovery, a new solution.”

Koski said the city could help create jobs and improve the local economy by using Tax Increment Financing deals, or TIFs, to draw in businesses that might locate elsewhere without a TIF.

Day said the city needs to move beyond relying on the state as the best contributor to the local economy, by asking business leaders and other stakeholders to provide input.

Trask said TIFs, used properly, could help spur the local economy, as could keeping taxes low.

All three candidates said the city should do what it can to help support immigrants who have moved here, and to prepare for the arrival of more new residents from war-torn regions overseas.

Trask said he’s running for City Council because his family and he have done a lot to help people behind the scenes, such as buying items for families burned out of their homes and helping to raise funds for the Salvation Army. He thought it was time, now that he is retired, to see how he could help serve the city.

“I figured it’s time to, like everybody should, see what I can do for the city,” Trask said.

Day said she’s running because she believes in participating and giving back in the community.

“It’s your life, it’s your city, get out and get involved,” Day said.

Koski said he’s running because he has the time and a passion for saving taxpayers’ money.

“I’m retired now so I have lots of time on my hands, that’d give me an opportunity to investigate making the operation of city government as cost effective as possible,” Koski said.

The elections are June 13, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polling locations are Ward 1, Augusta State Armory; Ward 2, Augusta City Center; Ward 3 Augusta Civic Center; and Ward 4 Cony High School.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj