James Gillway (R-Searsport)
Waldo County — I am James S. Gillway and I am the State House Representative for District 41. I represent the towns of Orland, Verona Island, Frankfort, Prospect, Stockton Springs and Searsport. I live in Searsport and have been a resident here for more than 24 years. My wife of 25 years Bobbie Jo and I have raised three adult sons here. All of our sons live in this District. My great-grandparents owned a farm in Winterport and my grandparents ran a sawmill next door to them. My father was a ships engineer who returned to Winterport after retiring. I am proud of my hard working Maine heritage.
After graduating from the University of Maine in 1985, I went to work full-time for the Waldo County Sheriff's Department as a patrol deputy. Two years later, I decided to settle down in Searsport. I spent 18 years working for the Searsport Police Department with the last fifteen years as Chief of Police. My next job didn't take me far away; I was hired as the Searsport Town Manager, a post I currently hold. All together I have been employed by the Town of Searsport for more than 25 years. On two different occasions the town granted me leave to help the U.S. State Department with International Police Missions in Kosovo and Iraq. These missions gave me an intense, hands-on understanding of many very different government systems.
In 2010 I was elected to represent District 41. I believe my experience and understanding of local budgeting and history of conservative local spending gave voters confidence in my ability to reign in spending in Augusta. I have been a champion of Home Rule in the legislature. With my understanding of local budgeting, I discovered that many of the decisions in Augusta simply shifted tax burdens from the State to local property taxes. I fought hard to get my fellow legislators to be aware of this and in the last session many measures were put in place protecting towns and cities.
The State of Maine needs to get its economy growing again. We need to get people back to work. This is the most important issue facing us. A healthy workforce helps support communities and the services they provide. One of the first initiatives the last legislature undertook is a series of meetings to see how to cut the red tape that strangles our system and discourages job creation. We also reformed several existing systems like workers compensation and insurance regulation to help foster a better climate for job creation. We also invested heavily in education. We must stop exporting our most valuable resource, our children.
I am blessed to be here in the State of Maine, and am honored to be serving this State and my local community in the capacities that I do. I pledge to work hard to represent my district and to do everything possible to pull Maine out of hardship, help create jobs, educate our youth and put our neighbors back to work.
Note: Rep. Gillway opted not to answer questions provided in the questionnaire that went out to all of the local house candidates.