Biographical information

Name:

Mary LaFontaine

Office Sought:

Auburn City Council, Ward 3

Home Street Address:

113 Western Ave

Campaign Phone Number:

513-2364

Campaign Email Address:

[email protected]

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-LaFontaine-for-Auburn-City-Council/108685269227637?ref=hl

Twitter Account:

YouTube Channel:

Occupation or primary source of income:

State of Maine-Department of Labor

Education:

BA-Studio Arts; University of WI-Stevens Point: MS-Adult Education; University of Southern Maine

Family:

I am married to Richard LaFontaine and we have four adult children and nine grandchildren. I am one of six children; all of my siblings live in WI and MN. My parents have both passed away in the last few years.

Public offices sought or held?

I am running for my second term as City Councilor for Ward 3.

Civic organizations:

Currently, Board Chair for the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce. Served on the Board of Directors since 2006.

In addition, Chaired the Chambers Workforce & Education Committee; Chair Elect for College for ME-Androscoggin and have served as a Board Member since 2006.; Central/Western Workforce Investment Board, 2006-present;  Literacy Volunteers Androscoggin, Board of Directors, 2004-2008 (Board Chair, 2005-2008; Tutor, 2003-2004) ; Healthy Androscoggin, Board of Directors, 2005-2008 (Vice Chair/Chair Elect, 2006-2008, Personnel/Hiring Committee, 2006-2008); United Somali Women of Maine, Advisory Council, 2009-2012;  United Way-Androscoggin, Impact Council Member (Allocations), 2007-2011

Ice breakers

What is your favorite food?

If my mom were cooking, it would be spareribs and sour kraut. If not her cooking, then it would be a rib eye steak and a baked potato.

What is your favorite movie?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for fun movies. The Grinch for Holiday Movies. Sophie’s Choice is one of the most memorable/moving movies I have seen.

What is your favorite book?

My most recent favorite is the “The Help”.

What is the best political advice you have received?

Listen, Listen, and Listen some more. Also, make decisions that won’t cause sleepless nights — using good information and sound reasoning.

What Maine political figure do you admire most?

Margaret Chase Smith — great role model for women and a true pioneer for women in leadership positions

Local politics

What has Mayor Jonathan LaBonte done during the past two years that you agree with? What has he done that you disagree with?

I think Mayor Labonte is extremely bright and talented in many ways. He is a visionary for moving Auburn forward. As the Councilors and Mayors from both Auburn and Lewiston move forward for the next term, I would like to see more coalition building and finding strength in our common grounds.

What has the city council done during the past two years that you agree with? What have they done that you disagree with?

I have been a supporter of the dual sheet ice arena since its inception; I do believe the arena will break even early on and make money as we move forward and the economic spin off will benefit the City greatly. I haven’t been disappointed by any one event or decision but I have been disappointed by the way some Councilors have micromanaged some staff/departments. While I understand it is our job to oversee and we need to understand the workings, I don’t believe we should act as department managers — that’s what we have a City Manager and other competent leaders for.

What has the city manager and the city staff done during the past two years that you agree with? What have they done that you disagree with?

I think the staff have done an awesome job at responding to the many demands of this Council. We are fortunate to have the talented and dedicated staff that we do.

What has the school committee done during the past two years that you agree with? What have they done that you disagree with?

The decreases in state funding have certainly created challenges and I think there have been some good efforts made to meet those challenges. I also appreciate the efforts to incorporate technology into the classrooms. I have been disappointed by lack of communication with the residents and what appears to be a lack of listening to residents. I’m not saying listening hasn’t happened; but the appearance from so many residents is that the school committee (in general, not all members) are not hearing concerns from residents. A more robust communications/PR process could heal some of the concerns held by residents.

What is your solution for Auburn’s high school?

State funding certainly will aid the effort. With that, building a new school and/or adding onto our current facility makes sense. However, cost of new vs. renovated must continue to be evaluated. A good education comes from great teachers and programs — not a building.

Any last words?

I have tried hard in my first term to learn all there is to know about City Government and my role as Councilor and I believe I have been successful in that effort. I have tried to listen, learn, evaluate and make decisions based on what I believe is best for the majority of the residents of our great City. I look forward to serving a second term to continue that process.


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