WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to interview five candidates for the Ward 2 council seat vacated last month by Nathaniel White, who has moved to Fairfield.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Chace Community Forum at the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons downtown.

Keith Beal, Phil Bofia, Brad Hallowell, Winona Karns and John Robertson submitted letters to City Clerk Patti Dubois’ office expressing interest in running for the Ward 2 seat.

If councilors decide to choose a person Tuesday, they will vote by written ballot and must write their own names on the ballots, according to a memo from Dubois to councilors. The ballots’ contents will be shared with other councilors after voting is completed, and Dubois will read aloud each ballot.

According to city rules, if there are three or more candidates in the first round with no majority winner, all candidates who receive fewer votes than the top two candidates will be eliminated and a second round of balloting will be called unless all but one candidate voluntarily withdraws. If no candidate gets a majority following the second round, the matter will be postponed until the next council meeting.

The mayor may not veto a vote nor can he break a tie. Whoever is appointed to the seat will serve until a regularly scheduled city election and a successor is elected and sworn in. The successor would then serve the balance of the term.

Beal, the father of Margaret Smith, the new councilor in Ward 3, wrote in his letter to the city that he has been a resident 28 years and believes his experience and background will be an asset to Waterville. Beal, of Ash Street, is an electrical and instrumentation technician for Sappi in Skowhegan. He is a former electronics instructor at Kennebec Valley Community College; former steam plant supervisor at Georgia Pacific Corp. in Gilman, Vermont; and former assistant project engineer for International Paper Co. in Jay.

“The reason I want to serve on the City Council is because this is an opportunity to have an impact on the logistics of Waterville’s city government,” Beal’s letter says. “Many people volunteer and help worthwhile causes. This is my chance to contribute to the benefit of my fellow citizens.”

Bofia, a Pleasantdale Avenue resident and business analyst for CGI Group, a technology firm downtown, says he has been a Maine resident 13 years and has lived in Waterville 10 years with his daughter. He is passionate about his community and is chairman of KV Connect, an organization for young professionals; a member of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s marketing membership committee; a member of the Waterville Airport Advisory Committee; and a trustee of Kennebec Valley Community College, according to his letter. He also is president of Waterville Habitat for Humanity.

“I am passionate about community and serving the great people in it,” Bofia’s letter says. “I enjoy working with people of all walks of life. I am ready to take on the city councilor position for Ward 2 and continue to give back in that capacity to a city and community that has given me so much.”

Hallowell, a sales manager for U.S. Cellular and former secretary for the Waterville Democratic City Committee, says he was born and raised in Waterville and would love the opportunity to serve the city that has served him and his family so well. Hallowell lives on Oakdale Street, has volunteered for Waterville PRIDE and helped raise money for the Alfond Youth Center by taking part in the annual polar bear dip.

“I am looking forward to the prospect of working with the current council members on enacting common sense policies that will help our city grow and flourish,” Hallowell’s letter says. “We are at the beginning of what will hopefully be a long period of prosperity for Waterville and I would like to be a contributing member of that prosperity.”

Karns, of North Street, says she has lived in Waterville since 2000; is a mother of four, all of whom attended Waterville schools; was a Girl Scout troop volunteer; pursued a master’s degree; and has been interested in the changes and transformations the city has seen.

“My interest in being a part of City Council comes from my social work background, the countless hours I have talked to residents, providers and other social workers and the level of understanding that comes from listening to people, really listening to listen, not in preparation of an answer or rebuttal,” Karns’ letter says.

She says she has the same struggles many families have, “has empathy to the fine art of balance, budgeting and time management,” and understands the needs of a city to maintain, repair and build growth.

John Robertson, of Colonial Street, is a Waterville native and graduate of Waterville High School and his son attends Albert S. Hall School, according to his letter.

Robertson says he brings 20-plus years of municipal service to the table as a full-time firefighter and paramedic, former part-time law enforcement officer, state fire instructor for Southern Maine Community College and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Robertson owns and operates a small heating company that specializes in propane and natural gas installation and service. He also is president of the Board of Directors for Central Maine Youth Hockey Association.

“My goal for serving the citizens of Ward 2 on the City Council is to make Waterville a great place to work and live,” his letter says. “In fulfilling this goal, I see working with and supporting our community leaders and business owners as paramount. We are all small parts of one team. I also believe that by providing a fiscally responsible environment that provides the services and support to all of our local businesses, citizens and visitors makes us stronger as a whole.”

In other matters Tuesday, councilors are scheduled to take the first of two needed votes to accept a 2018 federal BUILD grant for $7.3 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement Waterville Downtown Transit Corridors, Gateways & Revitalization Project.

The grant would be used to improve roadways, sidewalks, intersections and public green spaces downtown and serve to divert through traffic away from Main Street and improve pedestrian access to and within the downtown district.

Councilors are scheduled to take final votes to approve a zone change for the First Congregational United Church of Christ property at 7 Eustis Parkway to allow the Children’s Discovery Museum, of Augusta, to move there and to extend the city’s marijuana moratorium from Jan. 16, 2019, to April 18, 2019, to allow the Marijuana Advisory Committee and the council enough time to draft rules and regulations regarding the city review and approval of marijuana related activities.

Councilors also will consider appointing Councilor Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, and Jay Coelho, D-Ward 5, to the city’s solid waste committee; taking a first of two needed votes to sell a vacant lot at 38 Carey Lane that the city acquired in 2014 for nonpayment of taxes; and taking a first vote to amend the city’s public safety ordinance to institute a new public use permit policy for use of public space. Councilors also will consider voting to adopt that policy.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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