Cleaves tops Safarick by 2-1 margin in Portland Water District race

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Robinson edges Hoffner for CBITD

PORTLAND — Bradford Cleaves on Tuesday won a seat on the Portland Water District Board of Trustees.

Cleaves bested opponent John Safarick, a 74-year-old Green Independent who previously ran unsuccessfully for the state Legislature in 2004 and 2006, by a 2-1 margin, 9,111 to 4,351.

Cleaves, a 63-year-old general contractor who has never before sought public office, has 35 years of construction experience.

He was running against an opponent who promised to be a watchdog when it comes to development on Sebago Lake, which is greater Portland’s water source, and on commercial water extraction.

“I’m anxious about serving the city,” Cleaves said Tuesday night. “I’m excited to be able to do my part in making the city better.”

In fiscal 2011, the district had an operating budget of nearly $37.4 million. It employs nearly 200 people.

The five-year seat is currently held by David Margolis-Pineo, who did not seek re-election.

CBITD Board of Directors

In the race to represent Great Diamond Island on the Casco Bay Island Transit District, Roger Robinson edged Kathleen Hoffner by only 20 votes, 171-151.

It was not immediately clear Tuesday night whether there would be a recount.

Patrick Flynn, meanwhile, won an uncontested race to represent Peaks Island on the CBITD board.

No names appeared on the ballot for Little Diamond Island, but incumbent Scott Johnston, of 1 Strawberry Lane in Yarmouth, was a declared write-in candidate.

City Hall Spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said write-in results would not be available until sometime Wednesday.

The CBITD is governed by a 12-member board: 10 elected from the islands, one appointed by the city, and one appointed by the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation.

Three members represent Peaks Island, and two members are at-large. Great Diamond, Little Diamond, Long, Chebeague and Cliff islands have one representative each.

The board, along with its subcommittees, oversees all aspects of the managing the Casco Bay Lines, including fares, schedules, union contracts and employing the executive director.

Directors serve three-year terms and oversee a $5 million budget.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow him on Twitter: @randybillings