Two incumbents, five newcomers running for Caribou City Council
CARIBOU, Maine — Seven candidates are vying for three seats on the Caribou City Council in the upcoming election, including five newcomers and incumbents Hugh Kirkpatrick and Mayor Mark Goughan.
New candidates are Courtney Boma, Scott Desrosiers, Jon Holabird, Benjamin Willey, and Lou Willey.
Boma, 41, was raised in Caribou and graduated from Caribou High School in 1997. She returned to the city in 2002 after obtaining a degree in environmental science and policy from the University of Southern Maine. She then taught science and math at Caribou Middle School and earned her master’s in education in 2008. She lives in Caribou with two daughters; is employed at University of Maine at Presque Isle as curriculum coordinator for the YourPace Program and coordinator of student teaching and field experience.
Desrosiers, 34, has lived in numerous states, and even Japan, but decided to stay in northern Maine after visiting the area with his girlfriend, now wife, Chelsea. The two moved to Caribou in 2018 after deciding it would be the best place to raise their two children. Desrosiers said in a profile submitted to the city that while he understands that serving on the council will not be without its challenges, he is looking forward to finding solutions that will ensure that his family, and other families in the city can continue to grow, prosper, and be happy.
Goughan, 65, owns Goughan’s Berry Farm in Caribou with his wife Gloria and daughters Kelli, Kristi, and Katie, who all attended schools in the city. He said he does not subscribe to any political ideology, and instead labels himself as an independent who is “free from the influence of others.” He said his primary goal for re-election is to “help in offering a more creative form of governance; a governance that encourages a stronger private driven economy and will help in keeping the next generation in Aroostook County.
Holabird, 34, is a Caribou native and the youngest of three boys. He graduated Caribou High School in 2004, where he received accolades for his performance in baseball and soccer. His son, Hayden, is an athletic 10-year-old who will be attending fifht grade in the new Caribou Community School. Holabird said he struggled with substance use disorder and has been in recovery for over three and a half years. He said the experience has taught him discipline and dedication, and that he hopes to work towards greater economic growth in the city.
Kirkpatrick, 49, said his goal for re-election is to “continue working toward a sustainable municipal government and to determine what we want Caribou to become.” Kirkpatrick graduated from Caribou High School and then UMaine Orono, and subsequently moved to San Francisco, where he worked in the energy services industry managing construction projects. He later returned to Caribou with his wife Kelli in 2013. He believes a seat on the council is a way to apply his experience and education and to directly serve the local taxpayers.
Benjamin Willey, 33, grew up in Caribou and graduated from Caribou High School in 2005. He later moved back in 2010 to help run a family business. Willey and his wife have been married for eight years and have two daughters. As a family, they own and operate RLW Property Management where they manage several services and properties within the city. Willey said he has invested a great deal of time into local projects and is looking to take the next step to better the community. Win or lose, he is looking forward to bettering Caribou for the future.
Lou Willey, 65, was also born and raised in Caribou. She is the 10th child in a family of 11. Willey and her husband Ron have been married for 42 years and raised four children in the city. Now, they are raising three grandchildren. Willey has taught for 33 years and recently retired as the director of the Maine Education Association. She said she is running for a seat on Caribou City Council because she would like to see the city grow in order to offer the next generation a place to raise their children.
According to the city website, the ballot will also include a referendum question asking voters if they approve amending the city charter to change the budget preparation process from one that starts in oct. and ends in Dec. of the prior year to a new process that starts in Nov. and runs three months into the new budget year. The new process, according to the amendment summary, will allow expenses and revenues to be reviewed simultaneously. A provision will also be made for the city to operate on the previous year’s budget until the new budget is adopted.