Dotty Aube is the Democratic Party's nominee for the Ward 4 City Council seat.
What are your three legislative goals if you are elected?
Implement the Downtown Streetscape Plan; consider, review, and revise the Comprehensive Plan; and keep the pressure on the state government to allow local control of sex offender ordinances.
How do you plan to implement those three legislative goals?
Implementation of these goals would occur through the process of referrals to committees, discussion with administration, and getting input from the public. We should continue to work with our state government contingency on how to address the issues with the state's decision regarding sex offender ordinances at the local level.
Which city services do you think should be maintained or expanded?
We need to maintain a high level of commitment to our educational system. We need to maintain our commitment to attracting businesses that contribute to the overall well-being of the city by reducing the tax burden on property owners and contribute in a positive way to the values and character of Westbrook.
How will you make Westbrook a better place in which to live and work?
I will continue to support the Police Department in its efforts that have been so successful. I voted in favor of adding to the work force of the Police Department through a grant recently. I am very excited about the Human Relations group that Chief William Baker has started and am hoping to become involved in that group whether I am re-elected or not. I have been supportive of the efforts of the Economic and Community Development department and did support sending our DECD Director to Augusta and supported providing some funding to sending a representative to Augusta to advocate for Westbrook's interests in securing National Stimulus funds. Most importantly, I will continue to respond to the needs of residents.
Which city services do you think should be cut or eliminated?
I am not prepared to say that any one service should be cut or eliminated. I think the budget process provides the opportunity to look at each department and make cuts wherever possible to shave in each area, rather than make a sweeping cut of one particular service. I think that all our services are important and need to be assessed carefully before making cuts that will impact residents.
What are your thoughts concerning a Charter Commission?
I voted in favor of the Charter Commission. I think there is enough momentum in the public to begin the process of looking at the City's Charter. The Charter has not been opened in a very long time and I think there is a benefit in looking at things rather than accepting the status quo.
Do you plan to vote "Yes" or "No" on Question 2 on this year's referendum ballot?
I plan to vote "No." I think that, if this referendum question passed, it would create huge problems for local government. We as elected officials have a responsibility to our local residents, and to have such restrictions passed down to local governments from the state would be very difficult to manage without burdening citizens of the city.
What are your thoughts concerning the zoning conflict between Pike Industries and Westbrook Works?
I remain undecided about this issue at this time. I am looking forward to hearing from the public when this comes before the Planning Board as well as the Planning Board's recommendations after their deliberations. There are compelling arguments from both sides. I do want to keep the interests of people living in that area in mind.
Do you plan to vote "Yes" or "No" on Question 4 on this year's referendum ballot?
I will be voting "No." I think that, if this referendum question passes, it will create huge problems for local government. We as elected officials have a responsibility to our local residents, and to have such restrictions passed down to local governments from the state would be very difficult to manage without burdening citizens of the city.
Cite at least one example in which you cooperated with a member (or members) of another political party.
My experience on the City Council has been that, once the elections are over, we are one body. We work together and respect each other's opinions and votes. I have agreed with City Councilor John O'Hara and disagreed with City Council President Brendan Rielly equally. We vote according to issues, not political party. I think that party politics are appropriately accentuated during elections. I belong to a particular party because I have fundamental beliefs that lean in that direction. When making a decision with my vote on the Council, I look at each issue individually, I listen to the opinions of each councilor and each resident with an open mind, and I decide once I feel I have all the information I need to make an informed decision.
What are your thoughts concerning the proposed Stroudwater Place development?
I think this could be an extremely positive development for the city. I have wondered how it will all come to pass given the financial status of the whole country right now. But I think Mr. Snyder's vision is very appealing and when it comes to fruition, Westbrook would indeed be a destination for people all over the state, and even from other states.
Cite at least one example in which you differed with your own political party.
My experience on the City Council has been that, once the elections are over, we are one body. We work together and respect each other's opinions and votes. I have agreed with City Councilor John O'Hara and disagreed with City Council President Brendan Rielly equally. We vote according to issues, not political party. I think that party politics are appropriately accentuated during elections. I belong to a particular party because I have fundamental beliefs that lean in that direction. When making a decision with my vote on the City Council, I look at each issue individually, I listen to the opinions of each councilor and each resident with an open mind, and decide once I feel I have all the information I need to make an informed decision.
What are your thoughts concerning the fire department’s problems with sexual harassment lawsuits?
This issue has been going on for a very long time and will take some time to be resolved. I agree with the administration about the fact that a culture shift within the Fire Department is what is needed. I work in psychiatry and this is a field in which culture change has been ongoing. The treatment of psychiatric patients, especially children is an ever-evolving process. I know from this experience how complicated this process can be. With the Fire Department, we have been dealing with a culture in which unacceptable behavior has been tolerated and maybe even expected. Just because we say it is unacceptable and needs to change doesn't make it change overnight. I think the administration has developed a plan to deal with these problems that is appropriate. Would I like it to have happened yesterday? Absolutely, we all would. What we can do as a Council is keep the pressure on the City Administration and the Administration of the Fire Department, ask for frequent updates, and make suggestions and recommendations about how to proceed if things get even more bogged down. We would all like an end to the negative articles in the paper about Westbrook's Fire Department and more about the good things they do every day.
Cite at least one instance in which you’ve agreed with your opponent.
I have not had an opportunity to work with my opponent. I have read his literature and see some ideas with which I can definitely agree. He values family and community, as do I. He obviously is very committed to small business, and to the idea that encouraging small business development in the downtown is essential. I certainly value what the addition of his restaurant to the downtown has done to create an atmosphere that is attractive to other small businesses. I think all of the people running for office want what is best for the City of Westbrook. I appreciate his willingness to throw his hat into the ring.
What are your thoughts concerning the Downtown Streetscape Plan?
I am very pleased with the results of the planning process for the the downtown. The changes that are proposed in it are changes that make sense to me and would make the downtown much more accessible and attractive. I think it would really add to the appeal of the area to potential businesses and to the public that would utilize the businesses.
What policy issue have you changed your mind about since becoming a politician?
I did not agree with Contract Zoning when I first started on the City Council. I felt that since we had a Comprehensive plan we should use it. What I have learned since becoming a politician is that every issue is neither black nor white. There is so much gray area. When you think you know the issue in and out and how you will vote, something happens to make you think twice. You do what you think is best and get prepared to defend your decision.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I would like to stress my commitment to the residents of Ward 4, and to the residents of the entire city. If re-elected, I will continue to do my best to represent you. I ask for your support on November 3. I have been honored to serve people of Ward 4 and the City of Westbrook for the past 4 years and hope to continue to do so for another term. Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the past 4 years and over my lifetime.
- John C.L. Morgan