Four vie for two Cape council seats, no competition for School Board

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Two attorneys, a financial analyst and a former councilor are competing for two seats on the Town Council this November.

The two seats are currently held by councilors Penny Jordan and Frank Governali. Jordan has reached her three-year term limit, and Governali has completed the one-year term he started when Councilor Paul McKinney resigned in 2009.  Councilor Penny Jordan will not seek re-election, but Governali would like to continue his service for a full three-year term.

Kim Monaghan-Derrig will run unopposed for one of two available seats on the School Board, which means the board will have a vacancy after the elections unless a write-in candidate emerges. Board Chairwoman Rebecca Millett of Waumbek Road and Linda Winker of Fowler Road have completed their three-year terms and will not run again.

Frank Governali

Governali, 55, is married with three children. He received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Business Administration in finance from New York University.

He is a retired partner and managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., and worked as a securities analyst on Wall Street for 20 years. 

He has served on the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation board of directors since 2006 and currently is on its strategic planning subcommittee. He is the treasurer and a board member of Great Schools Partnership of Maine, and served as the vice president of the Cape Elizabeth High School Parents’ Association in 2005-2006.

Governali said his 25 years of experience in finance and involvement in local organizations will enable him to help the town address short- and long-term goals.  In addition, he said the housing market collapse has created an opportunity for Cape to establish a long term approach to open space and land use consistent with residents’ objectives.

“I would like to play a role in the process which addresses this issue and help shepherd it to completion over the next several years,” he said.

He said the council will need to continue to look for ways to save money while minimizing a negative impact on services offered to the community, a balance he thought was achieved in the past year.

He said the biggest opportunity for revenue enhancements is commercial use of Fort Williams.

Since the town is not facing any urgent development, Governali said this is the most opportune time to complete a thoughtful and inquisitive review of open space strategies. He encourages resident participation in order to “produce an outcome we can all embrace.”

He said residents clearly want to protect Cape’s rural character, beauty and open space, and maintain quality schools.

Caitlin R. Jordan

Jordan, 27, of Old Ocean House Road, is the business manager of Alewives Brook Farm and an attorney. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from New England College, and her law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is a member of Cape Farm Alliance and has no prior political experience.

She said she is interested in running for a seat on the Town Council because she wants to keep Cape Elizabeth a strong community. She said her family has lived in Cape for generations and she has a strong vested interest in seeing the community succeed.

“As a young professional with no pre-set agenda,” she said, “I offer a fresh perspective on issues and can hopefully generate new and creative problem solving ideas.”

She said as the business manager of the farm, she is responsible for balancing the budget. She would like to focus on protecting natural resources, rather than promoting economic development. 

Jordan said she supports the current economic ventures in Cape and wants to focus on making them thrive instead of using resources to create new developments.

She said she does not support the proposal to implement a pay-per-bag garbage disposal system, but would like to continue to increase recycling efforts and other possibilities before pay-per-bag is considered.

Jordan said she would revisit the concept of charging non-residents and tour buses a fee at Fort Williams Park as a way to generate revenue for the town. She would allow Cape residents to use the park for free.

John W. McGinty

McGinty, 59, of Brentwood Road, is a single, retired police lieutenant, firefighter and emergency medical technician. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science and his master’s degree in public administration.

He served three, three-year terms on the Town Council between 1995 and 2005, and has worked on nine municipal budgets. He said as the finance committee chairman, he led the council through some difficult budget cycles.

“My top priority is maintaining our excellent school system. Then, preserving services at public safety, public works, the library and town hall,” McGinty said.

He said if cuts need to be made, all municipal departments should be scrutinized.

McGinty said Cape residents want to preserve open space and the rural character of the community and supports further review of the Comprehensive Plan as a guide to future development.

As a resident who supported the rejection of both fees at Fort Williams Park and the pay-ber-bag waste disposal proposal, McGinty said he would consider commercial operation at Fort Williams that does not distract significantly from the current passive uses of the park.

He said managing the budget and creating revenues are the most important issues facing residents of Cape Elizabeth.

“… I will bring my Town Council experience, my fiscal conservatism and my quest for good, efficient government back to the council,” he said. “I believe I can make a contribution to the town.”

James R. Wagner

Wagner, 44,  of Hannaford Cove Road, was born in Bangor, raised in Orono and is married with three children. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston University and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law. He has a solo law practice in Portland, and formerly worked in New York and Washington, D.C. for the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights representing refugees escaping persecution. He also served as an election supervisor in Bosnia after the war.

He has been the chairman of the Cape Elizabeth Democratic Committee since 2007, and is on the pro bono panel of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project.

Wagner recently opened the Local Buzz coffee and wine bar on Ocean House Road with two partners, and handles budgetary decisions every week in both his law office and the cafe. He said, on a municipal level, he would look at individual line items within the budget to determine what areas could be cut.

Wagner said the town needs to continue to be creative in generating additional or alternative revenue. He said while there were several problems with the pay-per-bag proposal, he supports developing incentives and furthering education on the benefits and cost savings associated with recycling. In addition, he said there could be substantial revenue potential in a concession concept at Fort Williams. 

“I would also revisit the idea of charging tour buses a fee to enter the park, as long as the bureaucratic headache or costs does not exceed the revenue generated,” he said.

Wagner is not interested in altering the natural spaces in the town, but said he is a fan of smart economic development and of bringing necessary or desirable businesses to the town.

Wagner views land use ordinances as an ongoing issue in Cape Elizabeth and as a councilor said he would listen to all viewpoints to help reach a rational, sustainable vision for the town’s future.

“I am running for the Town Council because I have a strong desire to have a positive impact on my community,” he said. “During the course of my professional and personal life, I have developed strengths in working toward consensus through careful listening, and in thinking outside the box.”

School Board

Kimberly J. Monaghan-Derrig will run uncontested for one of two seats available on the School Board this November. Monaghan-Derrig, 51, of Russet Lane, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Town Council in 2009.

She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from the University of Maine, and a bachelor’s degree in ballet and dance from the Boston Conservatory of Music. She is a graduate student at the Muskie School of Public Service and is expected to graduate in 2011 with a master’s degree in public policy and management.

She is running for a seat on the School Board instead of the Town Council because the timing was right, she said. She said she and her husband have a child in the school system and much of the work surrounding the board is relative to her graduate studies at Muskie.

“Education is our largest investment,” she said. “I believe that quality teachers with compassion, excellent learning programs and facilities will enable students to have a more productive future.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net

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