WATERVILLE — Incumbent City Councilor Flavia DeBrito, a Democrat, faces opposition in November from Brian Keith Tibbetts, who is running with no party affiliation for the Ward 2 seat.

The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Harold Alfond Athletic Center at Thomas College, located at 180 West River Road.

Flavia DeBrito Contributed photo

DeBrito, 40, has been a councilor representing Ward 2 since 2019 and serves on the city’s Parks and Recreation and Housing committees. She is also a member of the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program board of directors, the Maine Children’s Alliance and Educare’s Parent Ambassador Program, of which she is a founder.

DeBrito works as a community organizer for Maine Equal Justice and holds a degree in political science from Thomas College, where she is pursing a master’s degree in education. She said she is running for reelection because she wants to continue as a voice for those from low-income backgrounds.

“That’s my passion,” DeBrito said. “We’re all different on the council, and I feel when we have all that representation, we are able to serve the city better.”

She said a leading issue in the city is housing and the need for all types of dwellings, including transitional housing for teenagers and affordable and workforce housing. Infrastructure is another priority for DeBrito, who said she wants to see better roads and sidewalks.


“I feel like infrastructure is the key to building a city,” she said. “Right now, the condition of our sidewalks is not accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.”

Tibbetts, 56, works for the Maine Department of Transportation in vegetation management and winter snow and ice control. A registered Republican, he gathered petition signatures to be on the ballot, as he did not take part in a caucus.

The former co-owner and operator of Precision Tree & Landscaping, Tibbetts is a licensed arborist who did contracted tree work for the city for many years. He also offered for review the initial draft of a landscape plan for the park across the street from Ace Tire on Drummond Avenue.

Brian Keith Tibbetts Courtesy photo

A graduate of Waterville Senior High School, Tibbetts said he is running for the City Council because he has watched his neighborhood and the city face struggles with crime and other issues, including homelessness.

“I am able to focus more of my available time to getting back to the city,” Tibbetts said, “and my focus is on taxpayers.”

He said his property tax bill doubled this year, and he has been speaking with elderly people who cannot afford such increases. He said he wants to make sure taxes do not increase.


While the City Council discussed at public meetings that tax bills would increase this year for many property owners due to a valuation adjustment and other factors, many residents did not know about it, and Tibbetts said he wants to ensure such information is communicated to those who do not attend meetings.

“There are so many people that are really scared,” he said, “because now they have to buy fuel or pay taxes.”

The only other contested race in the city is for mayor, and features City Councilor Michael J. Morris, D-Ward 5, and Matthew Shaw Boulerice, a registered Republican who is running with no party affiliation.

Morris, 50, is a strategy and enablement and resource planning analyst for Bank of America.

Boulerice, 33, is a member of the Waterville Planning Board and owns Boulerice Management LLC, which redevelops often distressed and abandoned single family or multifamily dwellings and sells or rents them out. He also owns New England Realty Group, a real estate brokerage company.

There are several other candidates on the ballot as well, but all are running unopposed.


Incumbent City Councilor Rebecca Lee Green, a Democrat, faces no challenger for her seat. She serves as council chairwoman.

R. Arthur Finch, also a Democrat, is running unopposed for the Ward 6 City Council seat being vacated by Claude Francke, also a Democrat, whom Finch defeated at the Democratic caucus.

Finch, 39, is a senior data analyst and a member of the city’s Ethics Committee, comprehensive plan review commission, South End Neighborhood Association and Friends of Green Street Park, and was a member of the city’s former charter commission.

“I’ve been actively involved in the community for about a decade,” Finch said, “and wanted to continue serving my community in a way I could continue to effect positive change and growth for the community.”

Newcomer Mary Louise Pletcher, 40, is running unopposed for the Ward 2 Waterville Board of Education seat vacated by Greg Bazakas, who chose not to seek reelection.

Pletcher, a Democrat, is a behavioral health professional for children with special needs and works for a company that provides the service in various schools. She is now working in Benton.


Pletcher holds an associate degree in early childhood education from Kennebec Valley Community College, and is a Maine State Parent Ambassador alumna through Educare.

She has a son who graduated from Waterville Senior High School and three younger children enrolled at Waterville schools. She said she is running for the Board of Education because she wants to see changes at city schools and in certain school policies.

Another newcomer, Joseph Roger Schmalzel, a Democrat, is running unopposed for the Ward 6 seat on the Waterville Board of Education being vacated by Elizabeth Bickford, who chose not to seek reelection.

Schmalzel, 64, has been an adjunct instructor at Thomas College for the past five years, has a graduate degree in Soviet and East European studies and has spent much of his life living and working overseas.

He taught English at a junior high school in New Orleans, worked two years at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Hinckley School in Fairfield and was director of operations for Kennebec Montessori School. He also served as a volunteer at Hinckley and as a member of the Friends of L.C. Bates Museum board of directors. This year, he served on Waterville’s Comprehensive Planning Committee.

“My motivation for joining the school board is simple: I would like to participate in the community’s efforts to improve and develop the very best school opportunities possible,” Schmalzel said. “This requires oversight of the school system, its budget and its staffing.”

Incumbent Maryanne Bernier, a Democrat, is running unopposed for her seat on the Waterville Board of Education, representing Ward 4.

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