AUGUSTA — Two contested races for Augusta City Council drew a total of five candidates, with three newcomers to city politics competing for an at-large spot on the council and the incumbent Ward 2 councilor facing a challenge to retain his spot.

Newcomers Abbie St. Valle, Josh Lilley and Scott Milewski are all seeking to fill the at-large spot currently held by Marci Alexander, who did not seek reelection to that spot because she’s running for mayor. Alyssa Wingate, a newcomer to city politics, is challenging incumbent Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Judkins.


Scott Milewski, 48, head of support for Exasol in the United States, holds an associate’s degree in applied electronics technology and is a former trustee of Augusta’s Lithgow Library, and former member of the Strategic Communications Committee.

Scott Milewski

He said the most significant issues in the city are housing, food insecurity and homelessness. He said to help provide more housing the city should partner with private entrepreneurs and public entities and look around the country and see what other communities have done. He suggested the city should partner with the Augusta Food Bank and local churches to help address food insecurity, and work to identify why people are homeless in order to determine what kind of assistance to give.

He and his family spent 2017 traveling the country in a camper and chose to return to Augusta, where they have lived for 20 years. He said he is now running for council to continue to give back to and serve the community he loves and make sure Augusta continues in the right direction.


Milewski said a way to make Augusta better could be to make it easier for entrepreneurs by supporting them and their ideas, helping them get the resources they need, then getting out of their way.

“I have been involved with Lithgow Library, my wife was involved with the Children’s Discovery Museum,” Milewski said. “We have been active in the community and now we want to continue to give back.”


Abbie St. Valle, 30, an organizing director with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in pre-veterinary medicine, is an Emerge Maine graduate who has been a Democratic delegate, a member of the Augusta Democrats Executive Committee and served as an organizer of political campaigns for other candidates and issues.

Abbie St. Valle

She said her priorities as a city councilor would be decreasing food insecurity, increasing housing, continuing development by attracting businesses to Augusta and bringing new people to the area while creating opportunities and space for young and old to stay in the community.

She said food insecurity could be addressed by creating better relationships with local farmers, applying for grants and creating programs like other Maine cities have to help feed their residents. She said there’s no easy solution to the housing problem but the city could help by modeling a rental deposit “insurance” program used in other cities. The program could assist tenants who may be unable to afford the multiple months’ of rent and security deposit needed just to get into an apartment. St. Valle also suggested the city work to attract developers to redevelop areas of stagnation in the city.


She said she’s running to bring her skills of building up communities to work on a common goal to Augusta.

“I bring the council a unique perspective and the drive and knowledge to build up our community,” St. Valle said. “I grew up with conservative roots and now I help run the local Democrats. I can help bridge the divide between parties and get real results for our citizens. I have new ideas on how to fix the parts of our structure that are broken.”


Josh Lilley, 29, remodel sales manager for Fortin Construction, graduated from Calvary Christian Academy in Turner and holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Pensacola Christian College in Florida, and has previously served as assistant sergeant-at-arms for the state Senate and executive assistant to the state senate majority leader.

Josh Lilley

He also sees housing as a crucial issue in Augusta and believes in continuing the economic growth seen recently in the city, by creating an atmosphere that is conducive to businesses that want to be in Augusta. He said if someone wants to move to Augusta they should be able to find a place, but currently, there is such a shortage of housing people can’t find housing and what little is available is beyond their budgets.

He said the city should work to get good local developers and investors to create more housing in existing buildings, many of which, he said, aren’t being used now.


Lilley said a way to help make Augusta better would be to continue focusing upon the ongoing resurgence of the downtown area because, he said, when that area does better, the entire surrounding community does as well.

“I believe I have the skills, the ability, the desire, to listen and learn for all of Augusta to make sure you are heard,” he said. “My passion for this community is great and I can’t wait to bring it to the council. I want to participate in the excitement and growth of Augusta. I believe it has been moving in the right direction for several years now.”


In the other council race, incumbent Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Judkins faces a challenge from Alyssa Wingate, a newcomer to city politics .

Kevin Judkins

Judkins, 63, an independent real estate broker, property preservation coordinator for Maine State Housing, and a mediator for Middle Ground Mediation is a Cony High School graduate and holds an associate’s degree from the University of Maine at Augusta. He is wrapping up his first term representing Ward 2 on the Augusta City Council and is a member of the United Way’s Affordable Housing Task Force, chairman of the Augusta ad hoc committee on communication, and chairman of the Augusta ad hoc committee on other real estate owned.

He said affordable housing, growing the business base, and providing for all the needs in the city while keeping taxes in check are the most significant issues facing the city. He said the city could help the housing situation by increasing the housing supply, including by taking action to direct the development of city-owned land as housing, creating a land bank to aid in acquiring additional land for development, offering tax increment financing incentives to developers, encouraging the expansion of services to lower development costs and being open-minded to revising city codes to allow other types of housing.


Judkins said he’s running because the city has been good to him and he needs to use his skills and experience to give back.

He suggested ways to make Augusta better would include improving the city’s fantastic outdoor recreational venues and expanding their use, improving public transportation, and creating an arts district to bring more arts, culture and entertainment to the city. He said he supports the resurrection of the Colonial Theater.

Judkins said in his three years on the council he has “developed a rapport and relationships with my colleagues that has delivered support to my initiatives for Ward 2 and the city in general, thus establishing me as an effective leader. I bring a wealth of real estate, negotiating and mediation skill sets and knowledge that have been and will continue to be useful in resolving some of the most pressing issues that lie ahead for Augusta. I believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, respect and kindness. I do my best every day to make that happen. I care that services are provided to meet all our citizens’ needs.”


Alyssa Wingate, who declined to give her age, is a retired former business owner who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has served on the boards of the Asian Cultural Studies Program, Kennebec Valley YMCA, and Gardiner Food Co-op.

Alyssa Wingate

She said there is a great need for affordable housing at levels in Augusta, but especially for senior citizens and young families. She said the city should work with developers who have successfully transformed older buildings into affordable housing to repurpose what she said are the many empty buildings that could be converted to housing.


Wingate said she’s running for council because as a longtime resident she hopes to make a difference and work with the council and mayor to move the city forward.

She said revitalizing the downtown area and trying to attract new businesses, including maybe some outlet stores, would be a way to help make Augusta better and a cool place to live, work, visit and have fun.

“I really care about the people of Augusta and their concerns,” Wingate said. “I am committed to finding common ground and working together to try to find solutions. I would like to make Augusta an exciting, safe and age-friendly community for everyone.”


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