Ash knows Belfast deeply

Before becoming a member of City Council, I had the impression that Belfast’s mayor had a very small role in city government, limited to presiding over Council meetings and cutting a ribbon here and there. I quickly found out that there was much more to the position than that, and that what Walter Ash brings to the position is valuable to me personally, and to Belfast.

I did not realize until this past year that our “figurehead” mayor takes time every day or so to walk through City Hall to visit with city employees, as well as to speak with the city manager or other department heads about current issues. I’d be willing to bet that Walter could name almost every city employee — and that in most cases he knows their families, and who held the position before.

Walter knows Belfast intimately. As a long-time business owner, he has been part of the transitions that have taken place over the years. He also has a long history of involvement with the inner workings of city government, its committees, and employees.

When issues arise, I like to gather information from as many people as possible. Walter is always someone I can rely on for a depth of knowledge and a balanced point of view. His input (rarely given in Council meetings, but offered more freely in workshops) provides the rest of us with an institutional memory and a voice of experience.

Walter’s opponent has a great deal of obvious enthusiasm for the city of Belfast, which I applaud. And it takes a great deal of energy to run for office, as I well know. However, I believe Walter Ash’s quiet leadership, personal knowledge of Belfast history and years of community involvement are what Belfast needs as we move forward into the future.

Nancy Hamilton



A record of community service

I would like to take a moment to offer my personal support for Jim O’Connor’s mayoral candidacy in Belfast. I have known Jim for a number of years and found him to be an individual that highly values civic participation. In putting his hat in the ring, Jim is only taking another step in his continuing support of all aspects of life in Belfast.

I worked as a volunteer with Jim while he was directing the volunteers at the Chamber of Commerce during his six-year tenure on the board of directors. I also worked with Jim for a number of years on the Maine Celtic Celebration board of directors. The Maine Celtic Celebration is an all-volunteer operation which provides a free-to-the-public weekend of Celtic entertainment.

As a graduate of the Midcoast Leadership Academy, a local self-employed businessman who has served on numerous committees (municipal Capital Planning Improvement Committee, United Way Allocations Committee, Waldo County General Hospital Community Advisory Council and a member of the Belfast Historical Society), Jim is notably committed to offering his time, energy and talent to a wide range of activities that benefit the citizens of our city.

Not only is Jim committed to public service but is well-qualified to provide it. Not only is Jim well-qualified with a track record of commitment to service but he is personable and will put a friendly and welcoming face to all of our citizens (long-time and brand new) and the many visitors to our fair city.

Jim believes strongly in the presence of the mayor at the numerous public events which take place throughout the year. I believe the city of Belfast and its citizens would be extraordinarily well-served by Jim O’Connor as mayor.

David A Ruberti



O’Connor walks the walk

We enthusiastically endorse the candidacy of Jim O’Connor for mayor of Belfast.

Three years ago, we retired from federal service with the U.S. State Department, relocated to Belfast from Washington, D.C. and opened The White House Inn, a boutique Inn occupying the historic manor house of John Patterson White, an illustrious forebear of Belfast.

The first person to welcome us to Belfast was Jim O’Connor who at the time was serving with Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce.  This was not a rote welcome; Jim introduced us to the community and made every effort to assist in our acclimation.

We came to know that Jim O’Connor reaches out to everyone, new and old residents alike; his mantra is to create civic pride, grow the local economy and encourage the discovery of this small authentic Maine town. His actions as a private citizen have been prodigious and already show tremendous results. We can only eagerly anticipate what he can do for our town as its mayor.

Diana and Santiago Rich



The right mayor for Belfast now

Given today’s dynamic Belfast, we support Jim O’Connor as the next mayor. Belfast grows more exciting every day with all that’s happening on the waterfront, continuing growth in foundation entities like the hospital, library, businesses, the YMCA, et al.  Jim is an active, engaged presence throughout the community and involved at diverse levels.

Leadership has evolved to meet these challenges and opportunities. We are poised to elect a mayor with wide-ranging experiences, who becomes a public and involved leader for all of Belfast with a supporting vision for residents, businesses, newcomers and possibilities for all. Jim O’Connor will do that!

We have known Jim O’Connor both personally and professionally for many years. He has the vision and leadership, and will help all in working better together — “One Belfast!” Please join us in supporting and voting for Jim O’Connor.

Mike and Jean Lenderking



A vote for an exciting future

As everyone knows by now, Belfast is changing! There will be many important decisions and actions  taken by our community leaders over the upcoming years and it will require individuals with energy, enthusiasm and creativity. I believe that Jim O’Connor has all of those traits and many more.

Walter Ash has served our city over many years with dedication, but I believe it is time for a new individual to take the reins and help our city officials with the unique challenges that lie ahead.

I know from conversations with Mr. O’Connor that not only does he care deeply about this city, he has an understanding of the role of a city mayor and wants to be a very visible and effective representitive for all the citizens of Belfast. Consider a vote for Jim O’Connor as a vote for a very exciting future.

Mark Kuzio



An outstanding candidate

I am writing this letter to support Jim O’Connor’s bid for mayor of Belfast in the upcoming election.

Jim has been my neighbor for ten years, and he maintains friendly relations with everyone in our block of houses. In 2008, Jim and I had the opportunity to take part in a year-long Midcoast Leadership Academy, administered through the Hutchinson Center. What a thrill for all of us in the program to see him put his leadership skills into action to help make Belfast an even better place to live!

Jim has worked tirelessly as a volunteer to organize the highly successful Celtic Celebration in our town, bringing locals and visitors together for a shared appreciation of history and culture.  He has a keen grasp of the business needs of our town, and a deep appreciation for Belfast’s artistic, creative nature.

I have complete confidence that as mayor, he would continue to support exciting ventures in our town that help make it such a wonderful place to live. As his neighbor, I also know that he is willing to listen to all sides of an issue respectfully and with a sense of humor. Please join me in showing your support for an outstanding candidate this coming election.

Cheryl Morin



O’Connor dedicated to Belfast

I would like to urge voters to support Jim O’Connor for mayor of Belfast in the upcoming election.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Jim and his family for the past five years. Jim’s dedication to the city of Belfast and his acute business sense make him the ideal person for this important elected office. I have admired Jim’s ability to communicate effectively with people.

His efforts at the Belfast Chamber of Commerce have had a profound impact on our community these past several years. He will bring integrity, energy, dedication, and a sense of fairness to his role as mayor.

Dennis Kelleher



Ash for mayor

I’m voting for Walter. I’ve worked with him for the last two years on the Council. He has been very helpful to me.

We don’t always agree on issues, but on those occasions, Walter and I tell each other our reasons and move on. Still on the same team, if you will. I respect Walter and vice versa.

Jim O’Connor would also make a good mayor. But in Walter, we already have one.

Eric Sanders



O’Connor would make excellent mayor

Jim O’Connor has been a friend of mine for several years. I first became acquainted with him at Weaver’s and McDonald’s coffee time. Jim, who volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce, signed me up to be one of the 30 or 40 volunteers to work a two-hour shift each week at the Chamber office during the summer months. Jim spent a lot of time and effort at his volunteer job at the Chamber of Commerce, and needless to say, was very successful at it.

Jim and his wife Janis enjoy having their business here and love living in Belfast. Jim initiated the successful Celtic Celebration, which we have all enjoyed for the last several summers. He is easily recognized at this event, wearing his kilts, walking around and talking with the many people in attendance. Jim with his wife Janis also attends many of the other celebrations that liven up the waterfront in Belfast during the summer.

As mayor, Jim — with his sociable and pleasant manner — would enjoy representing our city at all the many events that take place here. And with his congenial personality, I feel that he would get along well with the city council, the city manager, and the city employees as well as the public in general. I think Jim, with the name O’Connor, would make an excellent mayor for Belfast, our little city founded by Scotch-Irish settlers.

Roger A. Sprague



‘Time to pass the baton’

As a member of our community in the past has publicly said, “I love Belfast” — as we all do. The present council is functioning very well. As the demographics of the community change, this reflects in the direction our city leaders must turn.

My vote for the mayor is not a vote of protest against the present mayor. He has served the community in different capacities over many years in an honest, dignified and conscientious manner. I respect and appreciate that service.

But there is a time in life when change can be positive. Change can bring a new approach, a new perspective for what Belfast can be. Jim O’Connor is a man with a ready smile, a somewhat reserved manner, but possessing a high degree of ambition, drive and understanding.

He is strong on supporting the concerns of our citizens, whether it be the mill rate or cultural events. His long experience in business will add to the financial stability of the city. His ideas of economic development relating to the creation of jobs and maintaining the viability of our local businesses are important.

Jim O’Connor has the motivation, open-mindedness and determination to succeed. Now is the time to pass the baton to another runner.

Phil Crosby



No on questions 2 and 3

How many of you have jobs at Hollywood Slots? I know people who voted for that racino because they thought their medicine would be cheaper. Was the price of your medications lowered? Theirs were not.

When the gambling facilities are developed, do you think you will get the jobs or will it be an out-of-state contract? If they hire local electricians, plumbers, etc., they will only be short-term jobs. How can we believe there really will be all the jobs they promise?

What about the children who will suffer after their parents have lost their salaries at the slots or tables? Should we be running our state on gambling? There must be a better way.

Please vote “no” on 2 and 3.

Rose Melvin



Oncology Walk thank you

Waldo County Oncology Department would like to thank each and every person who made our annual Oncology Walk and Basket Raffle a huge success. We raised $13,000 for the Oncology Patient Assistance Fund and the Mammography Fund. This fund helps cancer patients who may be struggling with their hospital bills. It also assists patients who need help paying for mammograms or breast biopsies.

We are grateful to the Waldo County General Hospital family and friends of oncology for continued unselfish support of the walk and raffle. Departments at the hospital, physician offices and clinics, others businesses and friends donated in a huge way. Mathews Brothers’ employees continue to be a big supporter of our walk. We appreciate everyone’s donations of baskets, money, time and encouragement. The baskets were bigger and better than ever, with very creative ideas!

More than 250 walkers joined together on Oct. 23, as a tribute to anyone affected by cancer. Our walk symbolizes our community support of patients undergoing treatment for cancer, honoring patients who are surviving cancer and keeping close our memories of families and friends who we have lost to cancer.

Oncology Department

Waldo County General Hospital