GRAY — Former Chairman of the Gray Town Council Lewis “Lew” Mancini is running again after resigning his seat last year, competing in a three-person race with current Vice Chairman Bruce Foshay and resident Sharon Young.
Foshay was briefly appointed to Mancini’s seat last spring after the former chairman resigned in March 2017. Foshay then ran unopposed last June to finish the remaining year on the term of another former chairman, Matt Sturgis, who left the council in January 2017 when he became the Cape Elizabeth Town Manager.
After a year on the council, Foshay believes that he has “made a difference” and that the current group of councilors “has made a lot of momentum this year.”
Foshay, 68, said he is running for “a chance to add to the value of Gray and move things in a growth direction.”
Young, 65, decided to run when current Council Chairwoman Lynn Gallagher told her she wasn’t going to seek reelection. Young said she has “been very impressed” with the current council’s organization and work, and “thought that I could help” in continuing those efforts.
She believes her business management and financial background would work well with existing experience on the council.
“I think that can only complement what’s already there,” Young added.
Mancini did not respond to multiple voicemails left for him regarding this story.
Both Foshay and Young said that current project management experience on the council has helped over the last year.
Foshay, who works as a project management consultant in the medical device field, said that in 20 years of management he has “fixed broken teams, quite frankly.”
“The only constant is people, and I’m very good at working with people,” he added.
Young sees growth in Gray as both the town’s greatest challenge and opportunity moving forward.
“Gray is a hub,” she said, noting it’s close proximity to both the Portland and Lewiston metro areas.
Young said the town needs to “take advantage of being that hub” and capitalize on its rural character while still “maintaining the character that brought us all here in the first place”
Foshay similarly identified “adding growth to the town” as Gray’s biggest challenge.
“We need some more businesses in the town to add to the tax base,” he said, also saying that traffic has been a problem for some time and that the council has had recent meetings with the Maine Department of Transportation.
He hopes that the town can figure out ways to have people traveling through Gray to “spend some money” and “get to know the town.”
“With problems come opportunities,” he said.
Foshay said the council was told this week that the town’s application was approved to create a municipal tax increment financing district, or TIF, in the Gray Village area – which he said will “help us with attracting businesses.”
Foshay said that serving on the council has been “a delight.”
“This has been much more rewarding than I had expected,” he said.
Young said that if elected, she plans to bring a commitment to “professionalism and treating every citizen of Gray with respect.”
Both Foshay and Young live near Little Sebago Lake and are involved in the Little Sebago Lake Association.
Young noted her involvement with the Lake Association and said that environmental issues are “very important to me.” She advocated for the town’s new ordinance limiting the use of fireworks, which the council approved May 15 and goes into effect June 14.
Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.