WATERVILLE — Former City Councilor Steve Aucoin says one of the first things he would do as mayor is call a meeting of city officials, state legislators and representatives of colleges, hospitals and other nonprofit organizations to discuss how to find more funding for the city.

Nonprofit organizations are not required to pay property taxes, but can help the city in other ways including using their influence in Augusta to help communities get state revenue sharing money, according to Aucoin.

Aucoin, 67, said Wednesday that he plans to seek the nomination for mayor at Sunday’s Democratic City Committee caucus at Waterville Senior High School. The caucus will begin at 6 p.m.

If nominated, he would face Republican Nick Isgro in the November election. Isgro was nominated for mayor recently at the Republican City Committee caucus.

Mayor Karen Heck has said she will not run for a second term as mayor.

Aucoin, of Ticonic Street in the city’s North End, was a city councilor representing Ward 7 for more than four years, from 2004-2008. Ward 7 includes the city’s South End. He said he did not seek re-election because his mother was ill at the time, he was her sole caretaker and he was also running his contracting business.

Aucoin, now maintenance director for the Alfond Youth Center, said Wednesday that he wants to be mayor because he thinks the city has a lot of issues that can be addressed only through broad-based community involvement, and he is experienced at getting people together to make things happen.

As former director of the North End Boys’ & Girls Club, a satellite office of the Alfond Center, Aucoin launched Kids With Cameras, a program in which children were given cameras and their works were displayed at annual exhibits at Hathaway Creative Center and other sites.

As a city councilor, Aucoin’s mantra was urging nonprofit organizations and institutions to become involved in the city, both financially and through shared activities. He cites Colby College as having considerable influence in both Augusta and Washington, D.C. and said the college could possibly help to urge a restructuring of the revenue sharing formula.

“I want them at the table. They’re part of this community. If the city turns into a ghetto, good luck with your investment up on the hill,” he said. “They are probably the major economic engine potential of Waterville because of the capital that they represent.”

He said that as mayor, he would seek adequate funding to hire a “really high grade” full time economic development director for the city, to help boost economic development.

“I want to find somebody with really good marks who understands the terrain and knows how to do this,” he said.

Aucoin said he was instrumental in helping to win a $75,000 gift from Colby for the Waterville Public Library renovation and expansion. Colby at the time had offered much less, but Aucoin spoke to a Colby official he knew and wrote a letter of support, which resulted in the larger gift, he said.

“It was a matter of trying things that are outside the box — coloring outside the box,” he said.

Contacted Wednesday night, Library Director Sarah Sugden said library officials have never asked Colby officials why they increased their gift, but the library is certainly aware of Aucoin’s efforts and personal outreach to a Colby official.

“He went out of his way to do that because he was confident a great library was what our community deserved,” Sugden said. “I’m grateful for Steve. I’m grateful for the efforts of all the people who helped make this library a library for our future.”

Aucoin said he gets along with people, regardless of political party or persuasion. He and Councilor Fred Stubbert, D-Ward 1, for instance, disagreed on many issues while they served on the council together, but they were cordial to one another.

“We’re good friends, and that comes out of a mutual respect,” Aucoin said.

Stubbert Wednesday agreed.

“I used to call him my communist friend because that’s kind of what his philosophy is, but when it came to voting on important issues we almost always voted the same way,” Stubbert said. “Steve’s an extremely intelligent guy. He’s a very thoughtful person and I have a great deal of respect for Steve.”

Aucoin grew up in Portland, but his father was from Waterville. The younger Aucoin graduated from Cheverus High School in Portland in 1964 and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where he double majored in political science and economics.

He and his family moved to Waterville in 1988 and lived on Drummond Avenue. He worked in project development and overseeing building construction for the Maine State Housing Authority and later worked in housing programs at Kennebec Valley Community Action Program. He later became housing director for Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center, which now is Kennebec Behavioral Health. He helped gather volunteers and together, they built four homes for health center clients in rural areas, he said.

“People will do stuff — you’ve got to go and ask them, but people will do things and want to be a part of figuring our what a solution is,” Aucoin said. “To me, that’s an affirmative way to conduct yourself in the community, whether you’re the mayor, or a city councilor or an individual.”

Aucoin says he thinks city officials are doing the best they can to run the city “with a gun to their head.”

“They held the line by tucking and fitting this and that, with good cooperation from the school board and school department and they were able to hold the line, except I think the pay-as-you-throw issue should be seen as a tax increase — not a large one — I don’t think it’s a large one.”

Aucoin said he worries about the financial burden of the new trash collection system on poor people and the elderly, as well as the city’s setting a precedent by implementing pay-as-you-throw.

He said he plans to run a positive campaign

“I’m not running against anything; I’m running for something. I’m not stepping into this thing because I’m mad at pay-as-you-throw or something like that. If you’re going to lead, you lead from a positive direction.

Aucoin is divorced and has two grown children.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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