Douglass ousts Trusiani from Topsham Board of Selectmen; Cusano loses bid to remain on SAD 75 board

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TOPSHAM — Voters on Tuesday ousted a pair of incumbents from the Board of Selectmen and School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors.

David Douglass Jr., who challenged incumbents Ronald Riendeau and James Trusiani for one of two seats on the Board of Selectmen, led all vote-getters in the selectmen’s race.

Riendeau won the second seat and Trusiani failed to be re-elected.

“I’m okay,” Trusiani said Tuesday night. “… I was elected three times, never with a lot of majority, and it showed again tonight.”

James Conners, Jane Scease and Jeffrey Wolkens won the three open seats on the School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors, defeating incumbent James Cusano.

Douglass, of Foreside Road, received 1,823 votes to Riendeau’s 1,754 and Trusiani’s 1,697. Riendeau has served most of four terms on the board; fellow Main Street resident Trusiani has served three terms.

“I’m feeling great, but quite honestly getting elected is probably the easy part. Now it’s living up to what your ideas are and what you want to do,” Douglass said. “The work’s really just begun.”

Douglass, 38, is married and has two children, and he has lived in Topsham for 10 years. He was a firefighter-emergency medical technician with the Brunswick Fire Department from 1996-2006, a captain with the Topsham Fire Department from 1998-2004, and has worked in sales and marketing with the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. since 2006.

Douglass joined the Topsham Finance Committee in 2002, and he has chaired it for the past two years. He is now expected to resign from the committee.

Riendeau, 75, is married and has two sons and one grandchild. He has lived in Topsham almost his entire life and was born on Walnut Street. He and his wife have run Riendeau Auction Service for 30 years.

He has served most of four terms on the Board of Selectmen and is its chairman. He worked for the Police Department for about 20 years and from 1964 to 1978 was police chief. Before that he was in the U.S. Army from 1959-1961.

School Board

Conners led the unofficial results in the School Board election with 2,812 votes, followed by Wolkens with 1,878, and incumbents Scease and Cusano with 1,817 and 1,496, respectively.

This was Cusano’s first campaign for election to the board, although he twice filled vacancies created when board members did not finish their terms – most recently for Claudia Beckwith, who resigned in December 2010.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity (to have served),” Cusano said. “I will continue to be involved, and wish everyone the best. … I think the main thing is, that we get passionate, dedicated people in there.”

Conners, of Augusta Road, is 69, married and has 12 children and 20 grandchildren. He has lived in Topsham for 25 years.

“I look forward to serving in the community,” he said. “This is my first opportunity to do that. I am very interested in and concerned about our schools today, and look forward to the opportunity to meet with other people and see if we can find common ground on improving things for students and for parents.”

Before he retired he taught vocational building construction at Lewiston Regional Technical Center for 21 years, and prior to that he taught at Lisbon High School and was a carpenter. Conners also taught night school at Maine Region 10 Technical High School in Brunswick, which serves students from Brunswick, SAD 75 and Freeport.

Wolkens, of Meadow Road, is 47, is married and has two children. He has lived in Topsham 11 years and works in inventory control at Staples in Brunswick.

Wolkens has been a Sunday school superintendent with the East Brunswick Baptist Church for 15 years, and he is active in the Sagadahoc County Republican Committee.

Scease, of Western Avenue, is 75, has six children and nine grandchildren. Now retired, she was a medical social worker for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Maine, Texas and Washington for 30 years.

She moved to Topsham in 1998, has served one term on the School Board, and was on the Board of Selectmen from 2001-2007.

Scease, who was elected Sagadahoc County treasurer last fall, also serves on the Topsham Housing Authority, the Greater Brunswick Housing Corp. board and with MaineShare, a group of more than 30 Maine nonprofits that have joined to raise funds and awareness about their work.

Topsham had 49.2 percent voter turnout, according the town clerk’s office.

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

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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.