Costa to replace Leeman on Portland City Council

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PORTLAND — School Board member Justin Costa will shift to the City Council after winning election easily Tuesday in council District 4.

Costa will replace Councilor Cheryl Leeman, who is retiring after 30 years. He received 2,859 votes in defeating political newcomers Ray Ruby, with 1,544, and Rosemary Mahoney, 1,188.

In Council District 5, former Councilor and Mayor David Brenerman was unopposed in his run to replace retiring Councilor John Coyne. Brenerman received 4,986 votes.

Ruby, a former city police officer, had Leeman’s backing, but Costa earned a breadth of endorsements from Councilors Ed Suslovic and Jon Hinck, School Board members Laurie Davis, Pious Ali, Marnie Morrione and Holly Seeliger, and the Democrats serving the city in the Maine House of Representatives.

“I don’t think it is the endorsements, per se, it is having done the work for a long time,” Costa said. “All three of us campaigned on the ability to be consensus builders.”

Costa said he will focus on education and affordable housing in order to bring more people from ages 30 to 45 to the city.

“It is humbling, an honor to be able to serve. I see some great things we will be able to do,” he said.

Mahoney and Ruby said they enjoyed the campaign and reaching out to people in the district.

“I will have no regrets about the message I was able to get across to people,” Ruby said.

Mahoney praised the high voter turnout Tuesday.

“I have seen a lot of people I talked to along the way,” she said as she stood outside the polling station at St. Pius X Church on Ocean Avenue with Costa and Ruby.

Brenerman, 63, who served one City Council term 30 years ago, said he is “very excited to represent the citizens of Portland again.”

He said his conversations with constituents show concerns have not always changed.

Keeping property taxes affordable while compromising on spending decisions will be critical, he said. He added he would be looking carefully at plans to change Spring, High, State and Franklin streets.

“We are the commercial center of the state,” Brenerman said. “We need to be able to move people through the city.”

Brenerman, who also served in the state House from 1976 to 1982, said he is energized to return to City Council chambers.

“I’m looking forward to playing a role in writing the future for the city,” he said.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Brenerman

Peaks Island Council, Casco Bay Lines seats settled

PORTLAND — Lisa Penlaver and Timothy Wyant won new, two-year terms on the Peaks Island Council Tuesday.

Both were unopposed in the race for the two seats, while there were no declared candidates for two seats with three-year terms.

Peaks Island residents also elected Patrick Flynn and Charles Burr to seats on the Casco Bay Lines Board of Directors.

Incumbent Flynn defeated Sidney Gerard, 362-234, for a three-year term. Burr, with 369 votes, won a two-year term by defeating Mark Hall, 132, and Norman “Mac” McKone, 108.

McKone was serving on an interim basis after replacing A.J. Alves, who died shortly after winning a three-year term in November 2013.

Roger Robinson of Great Diamond Island and Scott Johnston of Little Diamond Island were unopposed for new three-year terms; they received 353 and 349 votes, respectively.

— David Harry

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.