WATERVILLE — Gov. Paul LePage’s daughter, Lauren LePage, is one of four candidates vying for an open seat on the City Council.

Councilors on Tuesday are expected to interview Lauren LePage, as well as candidates Todd Martin, Winifred Tate and George Weber, in open session, Then they will vote to appoint one of the four, according to City Manager Michael Roy. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.

The council vacancy was created when Councilor Dana Bushee, D-Ward 6, resigned on Jan. 4.

The council last week confirmed an appointment by Mayor Nick Isgro of Lauren LePage to fill a vacant seat on the Planning Board formerly held by Planning Board Chairman Nick Champagne, who was elected to the City Council in November.

Lauren LePage is in her final year at University of Maine School of Law and works as executive director of Maine People Before Politics, an advocacy group formed to advance her father’s agenda for policies such as lowering Maine’s tax burden, lowering energy costs and encouraging job growth in the private sector. She has also served as the governor’s assistant chief of staff and Maine coalitions director for Donald Trump.

If appointed, she would serve on the same council her father served on for several years before becoming Waterville mayor and then governor.

“My dad and I have a very close personal and professional relationship,” Lauren LePage said in an email Friday, when asked to comment on her bid for the council seat. “Both my mom and dad emphasized the importance of public service growing up. It’s perhaps more of a coincidence that I am pursuing a seat on the same City Council that my dad served on. My interest in serving on the Council is really a result of the values that were bestowed on me, and my love for my hometown.”

Asked if she might have political aspirations beyond the council, LePage, of Squire Street, said her immediate focus is serving Waterville residents, helping to lower property taxes and ensuring the city can attract and support business.

“My husband and I would love to stay in Waterville, because I had such a great experience here. I have not given any serious thought to future political aspirations at this point,” she said.

In her letter to City Clerk Patti Dubois seeking appointment to the council, LePage wrote, “I believe it is critical that we ensure that the residents of Waterville have access to essential services and improving public schools.”

Martin, in his letter of interest for the council seat, says he serves on the city’s Municipal Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Ethics Committee; and he volunteers to do so because he wants to make Waterville “an even better place to live, work, do business and raise a family.”

“It’s a rewarding experience, working with the smart men and women serving on these committees who care deeply about Waterville’s future, and it’s why I look forward to serving alongside all of you on the City Council,” the letter states.

Martin, of Sheldon Place, said he applauds the council for working to help reduce the tax rate in the current budget, following the revaluation of city properties.

“As a councilor, I would work to keep it (tax rate) down,” his letter says. “This will help attract and retain residents and businesses in Waterville.”

The chairman of Friends of Green Street Park, Martin said that group is working to raise grant money for a new playground, a walking trail and a new skate park there.

In her letter to the city, Tate, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Colby College, says that as a taxpayer and parent of two children in public schools, she is deeply concerned with how to balance the needs of all community members and manage the city’s resources.

“If elected to the council, I will work to represent the needs of all my constituents in this critical time for Waterville,” her letter says.

Tate’s children attend Albert S. Hall and George J. Mitchell elementary schools and take part in the Quarry Road ski program and hockey. She said she has been part of a parents’ ad hoc advisory board for Common Street Arts and at Colby, she is a member of the Working Group on Civic Engagement. She also actively promotes an inclusive vision for Colby’s downtown expansion, she said.

“My research focuses on U.S. drug policy and I have done extensive research on the opiate crisis as well as marijuana regulation policy around the country,” her letter states. “I am very interested in promoting evidence-based policies to address the challenges of illegal drug addiction and regulation.”

Weber, of Center Street, says in his letter he is a military veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and in the Iraq War, where he was a motor vehicle operator in the Marines and the Army Reserve and was cross-trained as an advanced motor vehicle mechanic. Weber said in his letter to the city that he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Phoenix, where he is studying entrepreneurship and business management and would use that knowledge to contribute to Waterville’s revitalization efforts.

“Giving back to the community is important to me and an important part of my identity,” Weber’s letter says. “Since moving to Maine, I became part of the Patriot Riders of America chapter three in central Maine, which is a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who volunteer to help local veterans. I have volunteered with the Summit Project, carrying a memorial rock for a Maine soldier who died in Mosul, Iraq, in a suicide bombing where I was also injured and earned a Purple Heart. I have also volunteered at the Maine Veterans Home and aided in acquiring and delivering donated motorized wheelchairs and hospital beds to veterans in need. As a council member, I would work hard to ensure those in need, especially veterans, are represented.”

Weber says he moved to Unity in 2005 after serving in Iraq and joined the Maine Army National Guard. He lived in China, where he regularly attended selectmen’s meetings, and moved last year to Waterville, where he also has followed council activities. He has four daughters, one of whom lives with him on weekends, and they visit the Alfond Youth Center, Waterville Public Library and downtown businesses, he wrote.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors are expected to consider approving the appointment of Thomas Nale to the Planning Board. Nale, an attorney, is the son of former Mayor Thomas Nale.

The council is scheduled to take final votes on a marijuana moratorium, selling an old rescue truck and selling a vacant lot on Gold Street.

Councilors also will consider approving a contract to provide information technology services to the town of Fairfield. The city already provides such services to Winslow and Oakland, as well as to a number of organizations.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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