Voters in Augusta have an interesting election on Nov. 5. In one contest, for a three-year term as an at-large city councilor, four candidates are running for two seats. You can vote for up to two candidates (but cannot vote twice for the same candidate), and the two candidates with the most votes win.

The candidate in that contest I most want to get elected is Raegan LaRochelle. For the last roughly five years, LaRochelle has led the non-partisan civic group Augusta First, which works to encourage engaged citizens to pursue elected and appointed positions in city government.

She has presided over multiple information sessions for potential candidates (one of which helped me on the path to where I’m now serving on the Augusta school board) and has coordinated and moderated several candidate forums (she acted early to find a replacement for that role this fall).

Augusta First’s monthly meetings, presided over by Raegan, feature guest speakers that range from the mayor and our state senator to directors of city departments, Realtors and yes, municipal candidates. Topics have included coming elections, a city charter review, the city’s comprehensive plan, real estate markets in the city both commercial and residential, and much more.

I’ve decided to also vote to reelect Councilor Mark O’Brien. With several accomplished people running to join the council in a race where there is currently a vacant seat, a soft-spoken, work-focused councilor like O’Brien could possibly be overlooked. That would be unfortunate. Having served the city in multiple capacities (Charter Commission member/chair, school board member/chair, city councilor and interim mayor), Mark has incredible institutional knowledge. He asks thoughtful questions. I also see him and Reagan complementing each other well.

 

Kevin Lamoreau

Augusta


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