Brunswick School Board, Town Council nominations off to slow start

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BRUNSWICK — With nomination papers due back in less than a month, the Nov. 3 election ballot is taking shape.

On Aug. 5, MacMillan Drive resident Teresa Kelly-Gillis announced that she had gathered the 25 signatures necessary to be a candidate in School Board District 3, where Chris McCarthy plans to step down at the end of his current term.

School Board members Corinne Perreault of District 4 and at-large member Joy Prescott have taken out papers for re-election.

Town Councilors John Perreault of District 4, Suzan Wilson of District 3, and Councilor At-Large John Richardson have also taken out re-election papers.

Kelly-Gillis on Tuesday said she has been thinking about running for two years, but made her decision after the recent debate over whether to move the fifth grade from Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary to Brunswick Junior High School.

She said she was one of the organizers of the nearly 900-signature petition asking the School Board to reverse its position and keep the fifth grade at HBS.

“We stood outside for 12 hours on Election Day talking to people,” Kelly-Gillis said. “It was exciting to see so much passion and interest.”

The board tabled its decision in February.

“We were utilizing the democratic process, and it was pretty neat to show our kids,” Kelly-Gillis said.

She said she does not see her opposition to the board’s position as a barrier to entry.

“I think some of them were taken aback at first, and then thought, oh, wow she cares,” Kelly-Gillis said.

If elected, she said she’d like to push for a long-term strategic plan for facilities.

“If you have a baby, you (should) know where they’re going for their 18 years. … I missed out on that (experience) and I’d like to be able to give that to other parents,” she said.

She also said she’d like to see more board communication with teachers.

The deadline to return nomination papers with signatures is Sept. 4.

Ballot measures

The only local question on the November ballot will be a proposal to change the Brunswick Sewer District’s charter to increase its debt limit to $25 million.

The $5 million increase would help the district fund a proposed $22 million renovation of the sewer plant, which was built in the late 1960s and has not been upgraded since 1991.

The School Board hoped to have a $12.6 million school repair bond referendum in November, but the Town Council defeated that effort in an 8-1 vote Aug. 3.

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

Sidebar Elements

MacMillan Drive resident Teresa Kelly-Gillis is running for the Brunswick School Board District 3 seat, which is being vacated by board member Chris McCarthy.

Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.