Forum brings together Scarborough candidates

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SCARBOROUGH — Voters got a buffet of opinions from candidates Oct. 10 in the traditional forum hosted by the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce.

Moderated by Kevin Freeman of Allied Cook Construction, with questions from local news reporters and the audience, the forum included candidates for Town Council, Board of Education, Sanitary District Trustee and trustee of the Portland Water District.

Polls will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 5 in the gym at Scarborough High School. Absentee ballots are available through Oct. 31 at Town Hall, 259 U.S. Route 1, or online at the town website.

Freeman noted this year’s races are fully contested, which is not usually the case in trustee elections.

Incumbents Herbert Waldron and David Nelson are challenged by Seth Garrison in the race for two Sanitary District seats with three-years terms. Garrison is also challenging incumbent Robert McSorley as town trustee for the PWD, a seat with a five-year term.

Waldron and Nelson pledged to avoid rate increases. Garrison said he will use his utility management expertise to make operations more efficient in the district and the PWD.

McSorley, who is also a Sanitary District trustee, said his passion and commitment to serving the town are as critical as an understanding of technical issues related to keeping public drinking water safe.

The School Board race features incumbent John Cole and newcomers Jane Leng and Jodi Shea seeking two seats with three-year terms. One seat was opened by the June resignation of Aymie Hardesty.

“I want to look at pro and con,” Cole said, “even if it drives people nuts a bit.”

Leng and Shea said they decided to run because they have children in the schools, but understand the need to explain the benefits of stronger schools to those who do not have children enrolled.

Cole and Shea said outsourcing of school custodial services needs consideration as a way to save money. Leng said the savings would be short-sighted because of the possible loss of trusted staff and potential security issues.

Council candidates – incumbent Councilor Judy Roy, Carol Rancourt, William Donovan and Jean-Marie Caterina – answered questions for more than an hour and showed strong support for keeping party affiliations out of local races and unanimous opposition to having a town mayor.

The four are running for two seats with three-year terms. Roy, the council vice chairwoman, is seeking her third consecutive term. Rancourt is seeking a return to the council after local term limits laws prohibited her from running last year.

Donovan was a council candidate in 2012, losing to Kate St. Clair in the race for the seat once held by Councilor Karen D’Andrea. Caterina challenged state Rep. Heather Sirocki, R-Scarborough, for the Maine House District 128 seat in 2012.

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

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.