Cape Elizabeth Town Councilor Jamie Wagner slow to make lease payments to town

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The Town Council next month will decide whether to renew an office-space lease with Councilor Jamie Wagner, who has a record of late payments.

Wagner has leased town-owned office space at 343 Ocean House Road for his law office since October 2010. According to Town Manager Mike McGovern, Wagner’s lease is up this October; he has asked to renew it and add additional space in the same building, for another three years.

McGovern on Aug. 10 told councilors that Wagner’s payments of $250 are due on the first of each month, but that July and August payments hadn’t been received. He said late payments have been a habit of Wagner’s.

“In this instance it’s happened a number of times over the last couple years,” McGovern said. “There’s been a number of times … that the rent over the past two years in particular has been two to three months late.”

McGovern said it’s been rare for Wagner to make payments on time.

“I don’t know if there’s a month in the past year that the rent has been paid on time,” he said. “It’s generally paid two to three months at a time.”

McGovern said Wagner has received phone calls and emails about late payments in the past, but no formal action has been taken.

Councilor Jim Walsh moved to table the discussion, so more information could be provided. Councilors voted 4-1 to resume the discussion Sept. 14. Councilor Caitlin Jordan was opposed, Councilor Patty Grennon was absent, and Wagner recused himself.

McGovern on Wednesday said more information will be available when Greg Marles, the town’s facilities department director, who handles town leases, returns from vacation.

Wagner on Thursday said he has spoken with Marles and they are “working out details.”

“He offered me lease terms, I am accepting them,” Wagner said. “Payments will be by auto-pay going forward.”

If councilors approve renewing Wagner’s lease and adding the additional space, the rent will double and continue to increase each year. It would be $500 a month for the first year, $512 for the second year, and $525 for the third year.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.


I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.
  • JustAGnome

    So Cape Elizabeth has one Town Councilor who is a chronic deadbeat tenant and another Town Councilor who wanted to just approve a new lease to the tenant without even discussing the late payment history of the tenant. Aren’t Town Councilors responsible for prudently overseeing the fiscal affairs of the Town? Evidently people in high places in Cape Elizabeth get special treatment and support from their fellow high placed friends.

  • LoveCape

    This article didn’t seem like front-page news. It seemed to me like it was more of a character smear than news. Obviously paying rent late is not acceptable, but does the entire town have to hear about this? Seems like this is a situation which should have been more skillfully resolved between the parties involved instead of dragging on for an entire year and then being on the front page of the paper. It is important for us to know about our councilors, but if this was intent on discussing the character of our councilors that should have been the honest focus of the article–with journalistic integrity allowing for both sides of the issue to make their case.