Cumberland council chooses new member, finance director

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council voted 5-0 Monday, with one abstention, to replace former Councilor Steve Moriarty with Jon Jennings.

Jennings, an entrepreneur who helped bring the Maine Red Claws professional basketball team to Portland, will serve the remainder of Moriarty’s term, which expires in June.

Moriarty resigned this month after being elected to the state House of Representatives in District 108.

Councilor Shirley Storey-King, who abstained from the vote, expressed support for Jennings, but said she was not pleased with the appointment process and a “lack of communication, or miscommunication.”

She added that she felt bad for the other applicants, “when we weren’t quite sure what road we were traveling down when the process started.”

Storey-King added on Tuesday that “we knew that we had to make an appointment … to fill Steve’s position, but how we’d go about that wasn’t clear.”

Councilors unanimously elected Councilor Bill Stiles as chairman and Councilor Tom Gruber as vice chairman. They also unanimously approved the hiring of Heather Perreault as finance director.

The Cumberland resident, who most recently was assistant vice president of finance at the University of New England, replaces Alex Kimball, who left to become Cumberland County’s director of finance.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.