An incumbent and three newcomers are running for two seats on the Falmouth Town Council in the June 10 election.

One-term Councilor Chris Orestis faces open-space activist Caleb Hemphill, business advocate Erin Mancini and fiscal conservative Charles McBrady in the race for two spots on the seven-member council. A second seat is open because council Chairwoman Teresa Pierce has reached the three-term limit and is running for the Legislature in House District 44.

Orestis, 48, said he’s seeking re-election because he wants to continue working on a council that is now free of “divisive personalities” and has become more cooperative without controversy generated by conservative agendas. Orestis described himself as fiscally responsible and socially liberal.

“I believe in what we’re doing,” Orestis said. “We’ve moved the council to a more moderate, centrist panel where partisan politics have fallen off. I’ve had a role in bringing the council to a more productive place.”

Orestis, who heads Life Care Funding, a long-term care insurance company, said he also wants to see through several town projects that began recently, including Route 1 improvements and public library renovations.

“Those are some major projects with major investments that are going to have a big payoff,” Orestis said, noting that he also supported bringing natural gas service to town, expanding open space, keeping public bus service, promoting the town schools and maintaining a flat tax rate.

Hemphill, 53, operates a historic preservation woodworking business and has served on several local land conservation groups, including the town’s Land Management & Acquisitions Committee, which backed the council’s recent decision to contribute $200,000 toward the $1.6 million purchase of 17 acres on Clapboard Island by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. He’s a former member of the Conservation Commission and is currently vice president of the Falmouth Land Trust.

Now, Hemphill said, he wants to put his knowledge of the community and municipal government to work as a town councilor.

“I’ve got a lot of experience working on town committees and working with town officials, as well as experience operating a small business in town,” Hemphill said, noting that he also helped to develop the town’s 35-mile network of recreational trails as a member of the Falmouth Conservation Corps and a former member of the Falmouth Trails Advisory Committee.

Hemphill said he supports the comprehensive plan for future development and considers the town’s public schools to be an important feature of Falmouth. Hemphill didn’t bring up the role of political leanings in this race. However, when asked, he described himself as a left-of-center moderate.

“We should work to keep our open-space character along with balanced development,” he said.

Mancini, 31, said she’s running for the Town Council because she’s always wanted to be involved in policymaking. After being appointed to the town’s Long Range Planning Advisory Committee last December, seeking a council seat was a logical next step, she said.

Mancini is an X-ray technician who graduated in May from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in health science. She described herself as fiscally conservative and socially responsible.

“I’m interested in making sure things are going in the right direction,” Mancini said. “I’d like to see Falmouth be more business-friendly and make sure there aren’t burdensome regulations, like signage. Some members of the council seem to be not business-friendly.”

Mancini said she would promote the Route 1 corridor for its accessibility off Interstate 295 and work to fill vacancies in the town’s strip malls. “To see so many vacancies, it doesn’t look good,” she said.

Mancini would support efforts to broaden the tax base and scrutinize the outcome of the council’s recent decision to cede property assessment responsibilities to Cumberland County. “I plan to be a vigilant listener to both residents and business owners,” she said.

McBrady, 47, also identified himself a fiscal conservative and said he believes Falmouth should be more business-friendly. He’s the business development director at Zachau Construction in Freeport.

“We’re spending more money from the General Fund than I’m comfortable with,” McBrady said. “I would take a more conservative, common-sense approach to local government.”

McBrady said he’s a strong supporter of the town’s schools, but he’d push for a better balance of spending for all town needs. He’s especially disappointed in the council’s decision to contribute $200,000 toward to the Clapboard Island deal, which he said would benefit a limited number of townspeople.

“I would have supported a much smaller amount,” McBrady said. “More like $50,000.”

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KelleyBouchard

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