Brunswick council, School Board elect new leaders

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BRUNSWICK — The Town Council chose new leadership Tuesday at a brief meeting to begin the new year.

The School Board, meanwhile, swore in three new members, and elected former Vice Chairwoman Joy Prescott as its new chairwoman.

The council narrowly elected Councilor-at-Large Alison Harris as chairwoman, after she received one vote more than former Vice Chairman Steve Walker.

Councilor John Perreault nominated and voted for Harris, along with councilors David Watson, Suzan Wilson and Kathy Wilson.

Former Chairwoman Sarah Brayman nominated Walker.

Councilor-at-Large Kathy Wilson was elected vice chairwoman with six votes. She was unopposed.

Both Harris and Wilson expressed some surprise over their new positions, perhaps because like many others, they expected Perreault to seek a leadership post. 

“This has come on me suddenly and I wasn’t expecting it,” said Harris. She added that she dedicate herself to her duties as chairwoman.

Perreault said he was not inclined for personal reasons seek leadership position.

Brayman said she did not seek re-election for the same reason. She served as chairwoman for two years, and previously served as vice chairwoman.

In her first act as chairwoman, Harris led the council in its unanimous reappointment of Preti-Flaherty’s Stephen Langsdorf as town attorney.

The council held off on making committee assignments, given that the composition of the council has not changed. Harris said she would allow councilors time until the next meeting to decide whether they wished to change committees.

At the outset of the meeting, Town Clerk Fran Smith swore in incumbent Councilors David Watson, Steve Walker, and Jane Millett for new terms.

She then swore in new members to the School Board from Districts 1, 2, and 6: Mandy Merrill, Ben Tucker and Elizabeth Sokoloff, respectively.

In addition to electing Prescott as chairwoman, the board chose former Chairman Jim Grant as vice chairman.

Prescott replaces former Chairman Billy Thompson.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 100, or Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

Brunswick Town Councilors David Watson, left, Steve Walker and Jane Millett are sworn in by Town Clerk Fran Smith on Tuesday, Jan. 3, while newly elected council Chairwoman Alison Harris, seated, looks on.

Reporting on municipal, school, and community news in Brunswick and Harpswell. Bowdoin graduate, Wild Oats sandwich-eater. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100, or