As a candidate in the two-way race for Belfast Mayor reflecting on how things might be handled differently than what is done by the current mayor, I suggest one significant difference between us is in the details.

In Belfast the City Charter requires the Mayor to “Preside at all meetings of the Council and other duties consistent with that office”.  These duties also include being recognized as the “Official head of the City for ceremonial purposes.”

Recently, at the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, keynote speaker David Tassoni of athenahealth recognized City Manager Joe Slocum for a small detail that played a part in athenahealth purchasing property from the former MBNA complex in 2007.  Dave told the audience that Jonathan Bush, a founder of athena, has never forgotten the postcard he received with a photo of this building with a simple sentence from Joe Slocum stating, “We need you here!”

I use this as an example of what I believe my role as mayor would include. In addition to the important duty of presiding at City Council meetings, the mayor should be in touch with the people of Belfast and beyond. It might be a phone call to a new resident or new business just to say hi and how can I help you. Perhaps it is working as a volunteer at one of the many Belfast civic-minded events that we have annually or supporting the spirit of our schools by becoming involved with activities and programs. Maybe it is having scheduled hours at City Hall for a “Talk with the Mayor.”  It could include visiting and supporting our current businesses and organizations to demonstrate the concern for and interest in them on behalf of the citizens of Belfast or like Joe Slocum’s gesture, a postcard or short message to a business considering relocating to the mid-coast, inviting them to look at Belfast. Perhaps it is a call or note to a family who recently suffered a loss or some kind of tragedy.

While on a trip to Charleston, SC., I quickly discovered their local tradition of greeting each other with a “Good Morning” each day.   It is one of those details I will always remember about that city.  These are just examples of ways I believe serving as your mayor that I can work harder, making Belfast a unique place to live and work. I need your vote on November 8, and hope to have the privilege of serving as your mayor.