WATERVILLE — The general election is less than a month away and Waterville mayoral candidates Jill D. Thompson and Loyd C. Smith are focused on connecting one-on-one with voters.
The candidates, both of whom are current town council members, were the two top vote-getters in the August primary. Thompson earned 149 votes, 35.65%, and Smith had 124 votes, besting fellow town councilman Charles Driver by one vote.
A fourth candidate, J.D. Greening, also began a campaign before dropping out at a public forum on June 28, the Douglas County Empire Press reported.
Now, heading into the general, Smith has started a comprehensive door-knocking campaign, he said.
“We’re contacting a lot of people,” he said. “I’ve got a team of people working with me door-belling, where we’ll be knocking on doors and talking to people.”
And Thompson has been holding regular meet-and-greets to connect with voters, she said.
“Every week in October I’m doing what I call a ‘candidate chat’ at the library at different times that are posted on posters throughout town,” she said. “I’m trying to be really open with people who want to come meet with me and talk about the future and if they’re concerned about anything.”
Both candidates say infrastructure improvements are Waterville’s No. 1 priority. The town’s water and sewer systems are near capacity, which forced a moratorium on new buildings.
“Our infrastructure is always the topic we’re dealing with,” Thompson said. “With the rain storms we had in September, the adequacy of our stormwater system is also really becoming more of a priority.”
It’s a problem that Smith is well-equipped to deal with, he said.
“I have a management background, managing problems and overseeing issues that may arrive,” he said. “With the skills I have, I’m able to address those issues without delaying them. And with the issues we’ve had, we’ve had a lot of delay.”
Management experience is also one of Thompson’s strengths, she said.
“I have a lot of experience with leadership and management in my previous life as in-house care, which I think will make me a better candidate for the job,” she said.