Meet your candidates

Fuller aims to bring community together

By Kendra Caruso | Sep 27, 2019
Photo by: Kendra Caruso Sophia Ridgely Fuller rallies people at the local climate strike Sept. 20 as part of her Belfast City Council campaign.

Belfast — Sophia Ridgely Fuller is a retired social worker who plays the ukulele in the Stone Soup Group. Her favorite activity is walking, which she’s been doing a lot of lately in her campaign for the Ward 3 City Council seat.

Fuller has knocked on many Belfast doors already to learn the issues most important to people. So far, she has heard concerns about stores and housing in Belfast being overpriced. An eye-opening moment was when she heard people saying they don’t think downtown Belfast has anything to offer them.

Residents have also told her they think people in the community have become bitter toward each other and the community is more divided.

“We have been experiencing a good deal of rancor … in our community lately,” Fuller wrote in a statement. “Everyone I have talked with during my initial door-knocking feels it and agrees this is poisoning our community. So, we have to start with and be committed to civil, respectful conversation. Even if we disagree we don’t have to be divided.”

She said there are a lot of volunteer-based community groups in Belfast and she wants to help the City Council become a central hub for information about local volunteering. She thinks it is key to bringing the community back together, while at the same time meeting local needs.

Growing small businesses is a large component of her platform to create a local economy that is less dependent on outside corporations and developments. She argues that local businesses are more stable for the economy and generate more profits going to the community.

Fuller hopes to encourage the city to participate in a comprehensive study to determine the best plan for developing a small-business-oriented economy.

She hopes to create affordable housing for young families to reduce the city's inequality and achieve the small-business economy she has envisioned, Fuller said.

Fuller had a friend tell her “collaboration moves at the speed of trust.” Though she doesn’t know who said it first, it has been a reminder in her campaign that she needs to take things slowly and unite the community so she can work toward her campaign goals.

“I think that I’m really good at listening to problems and needs, and collaborating to come up with ideas and then helping to put them into practice,” Fuller said. “…When I get impatient, I remember ‘collaboration moves at the speed of trust.’”

Elections are Nov. 5 at the Crosby Center. Fuller is running against Brenda Bonneville for the Ward 3 seat currently held by City Councilor Eric Sanders. Sanders is running unopposed for mayor.

 

Comments (5)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 30, 2019 06:40

"Ridgely" aka Sophia, lives in the Co-Housing/Eco-Village so that tells you all you need to know about her stance on NAF. She was quite the standout at the Climate Crisis strike downtown.

She says "Growing small businesses is a large component of her platform to create a local economy that is less dependent on outside corporations and developments. She argues that local businesses are more stable for the economy and generate more profits going to the community."  Boy, she must have a hidden degree in economics to make that statement, which is a red herring (good lobster bait) for anti-NAF. I have a news flash: If Belfast and Waldo County doesn't diversity its' economic base with corporations (maybe like Jackson Labs of Bar Harbor), they will be doomed to high property tax rates for decades to come. Fill the 400k SF of Bank of America space, the valuation will increase back to market rates and relief will be forthcoming. And, a filled 400k SF means people will be employed in that space. This scenario assumes that Belfast has affordable housing, expanded affordable shopping options (oh where are you Walmart) and very good schools, which Belfast has none of these. Have you checked the academic achievement of Belfast Area HS lately. Not exactly award winning.



Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 29, 2019 18:43

reign in your expenditures.



Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 28, 2019 17:19

Doesn't matter, you can wait all you want regarding Nordic. They don't have RTI. Period. Belfast City Council, WDEP and Submerged Lands should all be held accountable for dragging and prolonging what has come heretofore a no brainer, simple  matter of no plumbing connected to the Bay. Time to sell out Stevie Boy. This Big Tax Item called Nordic is doomed and they have known it for over a year. You can thank Paul LePage for his guidance on forcing this thing along and hamstringing staff at the state level to go along with his agenda.



Posted by: Steven Hutchings | Sep 28, 2019 07:40

Isn't it interesting that neither yourself or the reporter mentions your opinion as a naysayer and your anti-Nordic Aquafarm stand, perhaps one of the most important Belfast issues of our time.  Not mentioning it appears to be a deliberate ploy and worthy of any Washington politician but  in Belfast we expect our leaders to be forthright, honest and a straight shooter.  If you take a position then at least defend it, don't pretend it doesn't exist just so you can get elected. Belfast needs visionary leaders that understands the future and the fact that we must provide for the coming generations which includes a relief on taxes and decent jobs. Your anti-Nordic opinion totally ignores both issues. In this all important time we need leaders that demonstrate courage and vision, not ones that hid behind old cliches and smokescreens. Please display enough confidence   to explain your anti-Nordic opinion publicly and honestly.



Posted by: Seth Thayer | Sep 27, 2019 13:54

We already have a small business-dominated economy and though it works fine, those small business people and the residents of the community are squeezed to afford the enormous taxes.  Diversifying our economy by encouraging larger businesses to locate here would go a long way towards slowing the growing tax problem.

 



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