2 Scarborough councilors lose re-election bids

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SCARBOROUGH — Voters ousted incumbent Town Councilors Richard Sullivan and James Benedict on Nov. 4.

They elected former Councilor Shawn Babine with 4,340 votes, Peter Hayes with 4,280 and incumbent Councilor Katherine St. Clair with 4,026.

Sullivan and Benedict received 3,678 and 1,630 votes, respectively.

Entrepreneur William Somers received 3,158 votes and former Scarborough Economic Development Corp. board member Roger Beeley garnered 2,230 votes in the seven-candidate field.

Babine, a banker, served on the School Board from 2000-2002 and then won three consecutive Town Council terms before serving on the Cumberland County Budget Advisory Committee.

He said his top priority is the town’s finances, specifically its debt, tax base and business growth. Another goal, he said, is to rectify an “imbalance” between the school and municipal budgets.

Hayes, a self-employed health-care consultant, has lived in Scarborough since 1999.  He said real estate taxes are too high, and he would like to see line-item budget authority for the council, particularly with regard to the school budget.

“I am thrilled to be given an opportunity to be a part of the Scarborough Town Council,” Hayes said. “I hope I can contribute to creating a culture of transparency, integrity, and trust, where residents of Scarborough feel their voices are heard and appreciated and the council actions represent the majority view of the voters.” 

St. Clair joined the council in 2012, after encouragement from her terminally ill son, Kyle. She took over a two-year term from former Councilor Karen D’Andrea.

St. Clair said she wants to improve transparency and communication with residents, possibly through town social media accounts. She also wants to improve the relationship between the council and the School Board. 

Benedict has served on the council for the past three years.

“I would like to say thank you to my supporters,” he said. “I enjoyed my three years in office and will be back to work in the town in the future.”

Sullivan has served on the council for the past seven years, and was its chairman this year. Although he said the council had a “rough year,” Sullivan said he was proud of the hard work and amiable environment to which all councilors contributed.

“I would like to thank the Scarborough residents for their support over my seven years on the council and I look forward to serving my community again in the future,” Sullivan said. “It was truly an honor serving the greatest town in Maine.”

Lily O’Gara can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or logara@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @lilyog28.

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Shawn Babine

Peter Hayes

Katherine St. Clair

Scarborough OKs 1 borrowing plan, rejects another

SCARBOROUGH — Voters on Nov. 4 approved bonding up to $585,000 for the purchase of a new fire truck, but defeated borrowing approximately $439,500 for a town-wide property revaluation.

The first proposal was approved 6,129 to 3,771, while the second was rejected 6,715 to 3,088.

The $585,000 will be used to replace Engine 3, which is kept at the Pleasant Hill Fire Station and has served the town for 25 years. According to the town’s financial breakdown, with an estimated interest rate of 3.5 percent, the total debt service for the truck will be $718,000.

The revaluation would have consisted of the inspection of all properties and the updating of land and building assessments.

The last revaluation of the town was conducted in 2005, and the state recommends revaluation every 10 years.

— Lily O’Gara

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