Divided Brunswick council re-elects Perrault as chairman

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BRUNSWICK — Town councilors and School Board members were sworn in Monday night, when it was also announced a new housing committee will be formed to explore affordable housing in town.

New Councilor Daniel J. Ankeles worked for the Brunswick Recreation Commission for five years. He and his wife and two children have lived in Brunswick since 2011.

Also sworn in was Councilor Daniel Jenkins, who has lived in Brunswick since 2012. Jenkins is an associate professor and department chairman at the University of Southern Maine.

Councilor John Perrault was re-elected chairman during the council’s Jan. 7 organizational meeting – with Councilors Stephen Walker, Jane Millett and Ankeles opposed, after Ankeles nominated Walker.

Councilors W. David Watson, Dan Jenkins, Christopher Watkinson, Kathy Wilson, James Mason and Perrault supported Wilson’s nomination of Perrault.

Councilors voted unanimously for Mason as vice chairman.

Teresa V. Gillis, Celina Harrison, and Joy Y. Prescott were sworn in to the School Board, which elected James Grant chairman and Benjamin Tucker vice chairman.

The town attorney was also reappointed Monday; Steven Langsdorf of Portland-based Preti Flaherty was unanimously supported by councilors to represent the town for a fifth consecutive year.

Housing panel

Councilors said they will discuss how the Housing Committee should be organized at their annual retreat Jan 12. Millett has championed the need for a committee to research affordable housing options and has been vocal about it in past meetings.

Ankeles said he is also passionate about figuring out the availability of affordable housing.

“It’s really important to me to see the supply of affordable housing increase; we have a housing crunch in Brunswick,” he said. “I really want to see Brunswick as a place everyone can afford to live and enjoy, so that’s something I hope we can make progress on this year.”

Perrault said he will be communicating with  councilors about vacancies on some committees and will finalize committee appointment in the coming weeks.

Brunswick Town Clerk Fran Smith swears in Councilors John M. Perrault, Daniel Jenkins, and Daniel J. Ankeles on Monday, Jan. 7.

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