October 7, 2008

Two Candidates Cite Different Priorities


George Hogan wants to go back to the State House to seek a solution to a boundary dispute with neighboring Saco, while Grace Gloria Giroux would like to be an advocate for those she considers "voiceless" in Augusta.

The two are running for the House District 132 seat, which represents Old Orchard Beach.

Hogan, the Democratic incumbent, said the boundary dispute developed over Old Orchard Beach's separation from Saco in the late 1800s. Saco maintained it had control of several hundred acres off the coast of Old Orchard Beach and wanted to allow a developer to build a marina there.

Hogan submitted a bill to give Old Orchard Beach control over waters off its shore out to three miles, while the Maine attorney general offered an opinion that only the state can give local communities the right to regulate what goes on offshore.

Hogan, who has served two terms in the House, said the issue isn't settled and he'd like to see it through because the shore is critical to Old Orchard's residents and businesses.

"That has to be finished," he said. "We have to establish some boundary lines and make sure we are fully protected."

Giroux, the Republican challenger, said she thinks she could "make a difference for people who don't have a voice," and wants to be "advocating for them and speaking for them."

Those include children who, she believes, are being overlooked as many school districts follow a state mandate to consolidate with other districts.

She said there are other options that would allow the state and local communities to save money, such as cutting administrators' salaries. If consolidation were such a common-sense solution, she added, the state wouldn't have to enact financial penalties to force compliance.

"If it's such a great idea, why do we penalize?" Giroux asked. "Kids are going to get lost in it. You can't tell me there are going to be (budget) cuts without them being affected."

Giroux, who teaches community mental health at the University of Maine at Augusta, said the state should also provide easier access to mental health programs and offer substance abuse education to younger children.

Hogan said Maine also needs a more reliable source of financing for transportation projects, pointing out that Maine recently had to hold off selling bonds for road and highway work because of turmoil in credit markets.

"We have a problem with sustaining funding for transportation," he said. "Bonding is just a Band-Aid."

Both candidates oppose a referendum that would allow a casino to be built in Oxford County.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]



AGE: 54

ADDRESS: 18 Rockland Drive, Old Orchard Beach

PERSONAL: Married, four children

EDUCATION: Associate's degree, University of Maine at Augusta; bachelor of science, University of Maine at Farmington; master of social work, University of New England; doctorate, Union Institute

OCCUPATION: Adjunct faculty, University of Maine at Augusta

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Budget advisory committee, town of Oakland


AGE: 66

ADDRESS: 17 Seacliff Ave., Old Orchard Beach

PERSONAL: Married, five children

EDUCATION: Old Orchard Beach High School, attended Boston University

OCCUPATION: Store owner

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Old Orchard Beach School Board, 1988-90; Town Council, 1992-94; Maine House of Representatives, 2004-2006, 2006-present

Originally published by By EDWARD D. MURPHY Staff Writer.

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