Falmouth elects Kitchel, re-elects Farber; school budget sails through

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

FALMOUTH — Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the nearly $33.2 million school budget, and elected two experienced town councilors.

Council Chairwoman Karen Farber, 58, was re-elected to a second term, with 834 votes. Former Councilor Edward “Ned” Kitchel, 70, was also elected as well, with 768 votes. He previously served on the council from 1997-2003.

John Winslow, 55, finished third in the race to fill two seats, with 373 votes.

Councilor Sean Mahoney opted not to seek a second term.

Farber said she was “thrilled” to be re-elected. She called Falmouth “a great town” and said she was “proud to serve.”

“I really appreciate the confidence voters have shown and I hope I do well in the next three years to live up to that vote,” she said.

Farber said she thinks there are some “great opportunities” to look at in the next three years, including housing diversity, continued infrastructure improvements on Route 1, and supporting the town’s elderly residents.

“I hope I can contribute to that,” Farber said.

Kitchel said he was “pleasantly surprised” to be elected, and said he hadn’t known what to expect prior to the vote tally.

“I’m looking forward to (returning to the council),” Kitchel said. “I enjoyed the work and the challenges the council faces. There’s a lot of things I’m interested in getting involved in.”

Winslow had very little to say after the election results were tallied.

“That is a shame,” he said of the results.

School Board candidates Dee Conroy-Vella, 51, and Cindy Han, 49, were elected in uncontested elections for two seats.

Han ran for the seat left empty by outgoing Chairman Andrew Kinley, who is termed out, and received 907 votes. Conroy-Vella was re-elected, and received 793 votes.

The Town Council and School Board will both reconvene on June 15.

The school budget passed, 890-224, or by roughly a margin of 4-to-1.

The budget represents a 4.69 percent expenditure increase. The school portion of the property tax rate will increase to $11.08 per $1,000 of assessed value, compared to this year’s $10.44, or an increase of $64 for every $100,000 of assessed value.

Voter turnout for the June 9 election was 1,144, or approximately 12 percent of the town’s nearly 9,400 registered voters.

Town Clerk Ellen Planer said she had hoped at least 1,200 people would come out to vote.

“It hasn’t been very contentious,” Planer said of this year’s races, adding there wasn’t a major referendum question to bring people out, as there was in 2013 when the Route 1 infrastructure project went to referendum and was narrowly approved by voters.

Last year’s June election, a competitive four-way race for two council seats, brought out nearly 2,500 voters, or just over a quarter of registered voters.

The June 2014 ballot also included a competitive Democratic primary in Senate District 25 between former Town Councilor Cathy Breen, who eventually won the seat, and former Yarmouth Town Council Chairman Steve Woods.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Sidebar Elements





Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.