14 candidates compete for 7 council, School Board seats in Cape Elizabeth

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Fourteen Cape Elizabeth residents have returned nomination papers to put their names on the November ballot for seven available seats on the Town Council and School Board.

“There has been more of an interest this year,” Town Clerk Debra Lane said. “I anticipate issues facing both school and town sides are interesting to people.”

Town Council Chairman Jim Rowe and Councilors David Backer and Sara Lennon are completing three-year terms, but only Lennon is seeking re-election.

Rowe said Wednesday that he felt it is time to give other residents an opportunity to serve.

“I’ve worked hard over the course of my term, and know when it is time to go,” he said. “There are a number of good, strong candidates who have come forward, so this is a good time.”

Councilor Backer is not running again for similar reasons. He said Thursday morning that for him, two terms was the right amount of time.

“I did not intend for this to be a career move or a launching pad for something bigger,” he said. “It was a great experience.”

In addition, Councilor Paul McKenney has submitted his resignation, effective December, and will leave with one year remaining in his three-year term.

Five residents returned nomination papers to fill the three, three-year seats, and two residents returned papers for McKenney’s unexpired term.

Incumbent Lennon, a Cranbrook Drive resident, will compete against Kim Monaghan-Derrig of Russett Lane, Jessica L. Sullivan of Cranbrook Drive, James T. Walsh of Rock Crest Drive and Shore Road resident Christopher M. Straw for the three three-year seats.

Competing for McKenney’s unexpired term are Frank J. Governali of Old Ocean House Road and Richmond Terrace resident Michael S. Jordan.

Seven School Board candidates returned nomination papers for three, three-year seats by the Friday, Sept. 4, deadline, including a few last-minute candidates Lane said she certified minutes before the 4 p.m. cut-off.

The three School Board members whose terms are expiring are Chairwoman Patricia Brigham, Karen Burke and Peter Cotter. Only Cotter, a resident of Ocean House Road, is seeking re-election.

Brigham said in an e-mail Wednesday evening that after serving nearly two terms she is ready to pursue other interests.

“I am not running again because I am a believer in term limits,” she said, “… and because I would like more time to pursue other personal (and) professional interests.”

Burke said in an e-mail Thursday morning that after serving one term on the school board, she was ready to return to the classroom. She said she would like to pursue her certification in secondary education and mathematics so she has the flexibility to teach at the high school level.

“I am keeping my fingers crossed that all of the candidates running care deeply about our schools and will have the best interest of the schools, staff and students in mind so we can keep our schools strong,” she said. “I am encouraged by the number of candidates and hopeful that the community will elect School Board members who will take a reasoned, thoughtful and compassionate approach to maneuvering through some very difficult financial times for our schools.”

The other six candidates include John C. Christie III of Albion Road, Richard B. Dunham of Ocean View Road, Ruth Anne Haley of Brentwood Road, David C. Hillman of Cranbrook Drive, Frederic K. Sturtevant of Pond View Road and Mary K. Williams-Hewitt of Ocean House Road.

Water District

While the available Town Council and School Board seats attracted many contenders, there are no candidates for a five-year seat representing Cape Elizabeth and South Portland on the Water District Board of Trustees.

The Water District is comprised of 11 members with staggered five-year terms. If a write-in candidate doesn’t materialize, there will have to be a special election to fill the seat being vacated by Mark Duval.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cape Elizabeth High School gymnasium.

Applications for absentee ballots are available now, and requests can be made by calling Lane at 799-7665 or visiting Town Hall at 320 Ocean House Road.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net