DAVID CHITTIM

Occupation: Engineer/land surveyor (retired)

David Chittim

Education: Master’s degree in civil engineering – Purdue University 1977

Family: Penny and I have been married 42 years and have two married sons

Political experience: I have never held elective public office, but have been appointed to state and local boards and committees, including the Municipal Review Committee (vice chairman), the Lewiston Auburn Comprehensive Transportation Study Technical (vice chairman), and policy committees, Maine Board of Licensure for Professional Land Surveyors (chairman), the No Name Pond Association (president), Lewiston Historic Preservation Review Board, Lewiston Public Works Advisory Committee, Androscoggin Historical Society (treasurer) and several professional organizations in which I was elected by my peers to state-level officer positions.

Q: Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

A: Fifteen years of experience as a management-level municipal employee (Lisbon and Rockland) has provided me with a depth and breadth of knowledge about local governments, what works and what doesn’t.  I have been trained in conflict resolution and served as a consumer mediator within the Maine Office of the Attorney General. My approach to problem-solving is informed by my background as a professional engineer: obtain as much relevant information as possible, evaluate the data and propose one or more solutions complying with the client’s constraints. These constraints are often financial, so my skills in life-cycle economic analysis will be put to good use.

Q: Please name three issues that you believe are critical to Lewiston’s future, and how you would address them.

A: Environmental stewardship is necessary if we are to provide our children and grandchildren with an acceptable quality of life. To that end I encourage activities and programs that reduce our energy cost and waste production. Specifically, I support increasing mass transit, including local buses and intra- and interstate train travel, all of which reduce our collective carbon footprint. Efforts should be redoubled to reduce our waste generation by encouraging reusing and recycling not only our household waste but our vacant mill buildings and storefronts.

Whether accurate or not, the perception of Lewiston as a haven for the unfortunate must change.  So long as more prosperous cities shunt their needy to Lewiston there will be a demand for social services and subsidized housing that is disproportionate to Lewiston’s size. Initiatives such as the Choice Neighborhoods program are to be encouraged and actively pursued. This infusion of federal money into the poorest neighborhoods in the state would provide much-needed improvements in the downtown Tree Streets neighborhood with a more equitable mix of market-rate and subsidized housing, thereby lowering the tax burden on the more affluent wards of the city.

Without quality education, it is difficult to attract businesses to the city. Fully 37 cents of every tax dollar is spent on education, but that covers only one quarter of the school budget, which amounts to 64% of the total municipal expenditure. The school system is under many constraints from state and federal agencies, but with such a large impact on the fiscal health of the city, it is imperative that every dollar is spent in the most effective and efficient manner possible. If we must spend dollars to improve our schools, let’s do it with sense.

Q: What do you like about the city budget passed this year, and what don’t you like?

A: The highlights of this year’s budget are the increased attention to debt service and the increase in earnings on investments. While the net cost of borrowing has increased for the past four years, shorter bond periods and prepayment of debts has reduced the overall burden of nonproductive expenses by some $1.5 million annually over the past decade. Interest spent is lost money, while interest earned is found money. Although borrowing is necessary for large capital expenditures, it should be kept to a minimum. Shrewd investment, even in the short term, will benefit the tax and rate payers. Let our money work for us, not our lenders.

The item of most concern to me is the nearly 6% increase ($2 million) in operating expenses resulting principally from personnel services. Payroll, including fringes, accounts for half of the annual budget, yet this year personnel services accounted for 97% of the increase in municipal expenditures. As a former municipal employee, I am keenly aware that concerns for the taxpayers’ pocketbooks must be balanced with those of the employees. As a councilor, I would consider this balance to be one of my most difficult tasks.

KERRYL LEE CLEMENT

Occupation: Retired law enforcement and public safety executive; currently a bail commissioner for the Maine Judicial Branch

Kerryl Lee Clement

Education:  Associates degree in criminal justice from the University of Maine; Maine Criminal Justice Academy and New Hampshire Police Academy, Babson College Command Training Institute, KVVTI-Advanced EMT licensed at critical care level with advanced cardiac life support and pre-hospital trauma life support certification, National Fire Academy, numerous in-service and advanced schools in police, fire and EMS, e.g. International Association of Chiefs of Police facility design

Family: Married 47-plus years to Lucille, a native of Lewiston; two adult children; four grandchildren

Political experience: I’ve never run for elected political office. I am a  past master of Augusta Lodge of Masons, past district deputy grand master of Masons in Maine, senior chief provost emeritus Kora Shriners, director and secretary for Apple Valley Estates Homeowners Association in Lewiston, vice president and director of Major Waldron Sportsmen’s Association, Dover/Barrington, New Hampshire.

Q: Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

A: I have over 45 years of experience in law enforcement and public safety, much of it at command and administrative levels in municipal and county government in both Maine and New Hampshire. I’ve held nearly every position in the agencies I have worked for, from a beat cop to detective to watch commander to detective commander, to deputy police chief/deputy fire chief/deputy public safety director, to chief of police to chief deputy sheriff. I have been actively involved in many inter- and intra governmental boards, committees and functions throughout my career. I am a critical thinker that likes to research the issue(s) at hand and arrive at a decision that is reasoned, fair and beneficial. I am not afraid to ask the tough questions and demand rational answers for my constituents. I have always had an open-door policy and will make myself available to listen to people and voice their concerns. During my entire career I was committed to service and will continue to serve to the best of my ability if rewarded with the privilege of your vote.

Q: Please name three issues that you believe are critical to Lewiston’s future, and how you would address them.

A: Law and order, public safety and safe neighborhoods for Maine’s second largest city: We need to provide our police and fire department with adequate resources to establish and maintain this goal. We need to establish policies that will address the negative publicity that seems to abound. We need to partner with agencies such as our district attorney and the legislative and judicial branch of our state and federal government and make sure we all cooperate in what should be our No. 1 priority, making Lewiston a safe and desirable community in which to live. I see this issue daily as a bail commissioner when I interact with the criminal justice system at all levels. We need to be proactive and not become defeatists saying, “it’s happening everywhere.” No, we need to act locally. My background in this area is solid, my experience is unmatched, and my commitment is unwavering.

Infrastructure improvement. Our roads and public buildings are a major investment and asset. We should develop a comprehensive plan for maintenance/replacement and not allow procrastination to deter completion. This only causes further deterioration and increased costs as things age. If we are to encourage economic development, we need to insure these very basic necessities are in the best condition possible.

Public education. We have a School Committee to oversee this issue, but we need to develop a strong partnership with them and make sure the product (students) are the best they can be given resources which are identified and can be afforded. There is a difference between wants and needs. Remember the old adage, “people in Hell will want ice water.”

Our city needs a solid foundation, these basics are much like the foundation required for a solid building. Without the basics a building will not be sound and may crumble and fail. By taking care of these issues we will make Lewiston a destination, a place where parents will want to raise their children. It will establish local pride and with this comes an improved image. This may not happen overnight, but it will happen if we enlist community support. Representative democracy requires a contribution from all its parts. In order to be successful, it must be a cooperative effort.

Q: What do you like about the city budget passed this year, and what don’t you like?

A: I have not yet become intimately familiar with Lewiston’s budget or its format, therefore I don’t feel eminently qualified to comment on it at this time. In my years of public service, I have been exposed to a number of budget formats. I have developed, presented and defended my budgets as well as prosecuting them following approval. I have never exceeded a budget that I developed or inherited. I am in the process of studying the current municipal budget and Lewiston Capital Improvement Plan and, if elected, intend to be ready to hit the ground running in January, which is halfway through the fiscal year. I do commend the city for the LCIP. They have identified and prioritized major capital projects and initiated funding for them. I also appreciate that Lewiston’s budget policy dictates that any fund balance be allocated to capital projects or one-time expenses and not used for operational costs. This is a sound fiscal policy. My budget philosophy is quite simple, tax dollars are a trust and I pledge to spend your tax dollars as though they were coming from my wallet.


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