WINTHROP — Five Winthrop residents are competing for two seats on the Town Council in the upcoming November election, with most citing economic issues as being key priorities.

Shannon McDonnell

Shannon McDonnell, 36, is an Army veteran who served nine years on active duty with multiple deployments in the Middle East. Now, she is a full-time mom who lives in Winthrop with her fiancé and their son.

McDonnell, who recently moved back to Winthrop, said she was motivated to serve the town she grew up in and help it move forward. She said the town’s economy is among her top priorities.

“I want to focus on economic and community development, particularly with downtown revitalization,” she said, “creating an environment that fosters the development of the housing continuum and community participation.”

Michael Czado

She said the town’s biggest needs include “transparency, communication, affordable housing, and the resources to support individuals and families that need assistance.”

Michael Czado, 66, has worked as a senior anesthetist at MaineGeneral Medical Center for nearly 40 years, and has lived in Winthrop since 1985. He said he would like to bring a nonpartisan approach to tackling economic issues brought on by inflation.


“I believe in consensus, and I want input from everybody,” he said. “Communication not only from the council, but the community at large. There’s increasing costs with everything it seems, and I would like to make sure that Winthrop taxpayers get their money’s worth.”

He said the town’s economy is among its biggest issues.

Jim Steele

“We need to just work together and try and get things done,” he said. “I’m sure that we’ll be able to get through this down part of the economy. I have faith that it will come back, that it’s basically a downturn, and that we’ll be able to regroup and march forward once again once the economy improves.”

Out of the five candidates running, James Steele, 50, is the only incumbent. Steele was elected earlier this year after the death of former council Rita Moran. Now, Steele is running for a full term.

Steele works as an IT manager at MaineGeneral  and was born and raised  in Winthrop.

As a lifelong resident who has a great deal of family living in town, Steele said he wants to see the town prosper and flourish. Specifically, he said he’d support any policies that incentivize businesses to come to town.


Kelly Stratton

“I think we need more business,” he said. “I’d like to grow some more businesses and let people know that Winthrop’s open for business, and we’d like to have shops there, or manufacturing. It creates a nice community where people can work and live and play.”

Kelly Stratton, 22, currently works as a field staffer for the Maine Senate Republican Committee and said she was motivated to run so look into revisiting the town’s mooring ordinance and also how solar panels could impact the town’s ground water protection ordinance.

She said that Winthrop’s needs include keeping small businesses in town, as that would keep residents from leaving town for leisure while attracting tourists to Winthrop.

Stratton said she would be welcoming to constituents during council meetings.

“If elected, I will gracefully accept input from the people, given that they respectfully share their concerns,” she said. “The Town Council (and other government entities) are intended to be a resource to facilitate ideas for and from the people. We work for you, not the other way around.”

Bernard Weymouth Jr., 40, has worked in town for 17 years maintaining and restoring classic and collector cars, and also started his own towing company, Pro Tow Auto Transport LLC, in 2015.


Bernard Weymouth Jr.

Weymouth said he was motivated to run so he could help improve transparency between elected officials and citizens, and also to work on cutting the town’s spending.

“There are many decisions being made that are not understood by the townspeople and are kept way too low key,” he said.

As for spending, he said the city is facing a potential increase for the next budget and that needs to be a push to ensure that the city does not make any frivolous purchases.

“Some of these items are a necessity and should have been made a priority in the last budget cycle, but got pushed out,” he said, “some of the expenses are ‘want to’s,’ not ‘have to’s.'”


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