Grant leads Brunswick School Board into new year; King continues as council chairwoman

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King continues as Town Council chairwoman

BRUNSWICK — The town’s recently elected municipal officers were sworn in and celebrated the new year at Tuesday’s inauguration.

Sarah Brayman, the new District 7 town councilor, joined Councilors Gerald Favreau, of District 5, and Benet Pols, at-large, in taking the oath of office. Brayman and Favreau ran unopposed for their seats while Pols, the former District 7 councilor, won a three-way race for the at-large seat.

The new at-large member of the School Board, William Thompson, took his oath alongside District 7 representative Michele Joyce and James Grant, of District 5. Thompson won a contested election in November.

Following the oaths, the two bodies appointed their leaders.

School Board members Corinne Perreault of District 4 and Jim Grant, of District 5, swapped places, with Grant becoming chairman and Perreault vice chairwoman.

The Town Council re-elected Joanne King as chairwoman for the sixth time, and appointed Councilor Ben Tucker, of District 2, its vice chairman. Both appointments were unanimous.

In a speech, King highlighted what she said were the achievements of the council last year, including addressing facilities needs like the police station, and swapping Longfellow School for Bowdoin College’s McLellan office building at the corner of Noble and Union streets.

Going forward, she said she hopes to balance quality of life and education without causing undue financial hardship for taxpayers.

When asked why she wanted to serve as chairwoman again, King said it’s an exciting time to be on the council.

“It’s very interesting to be in this position,” she said. “There are things that have come up that other chairs in the past did not experience.”

Redevelopment at Brunswick Naval Air Station and the upcoming start of Amtrak Downeaster service have meant greater interaction with state and federal officials than in years past, King said.

She also said her prior experience on the council and as chairwoman would make it easier for her to “deal with these complex issues.”

Grant said the two biggest issues for the School Board in the coming year will be the budget and strategic planning. He also said figuring out how to manage increasing student enrollment and make repairs to school facilities would be an on-going challenge.

“Those are not small issues, they touch on everything that the School Department does,” he said. “It’s important that the community stays in touch and informed and gives feedback whenever possible.”

Councilors also recognized District 1 Councilor David Watson for 10 years of public service, and honored the late Harold Emerson, the former deputy chief of the Fire Department, who died in November, by renaming the Cook’s Corner Fire Station after him.

The next meeting of the School Board is Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. The Town Council will reconvene Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext.123 or eguerin@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @guerinemily.

Sidebar Elements


Brunswick resident Tricia Welsh, right, brought balloons for newly minted District 7 Town Councilor Sarah Brayman at Tuesday’s inauguration.

Brunswick Town Clerk Fran Smith, left, congratulates Councilors Gerald Favreau, Sarah Brayman, and Benet Pols after administering the oath of office at Tuesday’s inauguration. Town Manager Gary Brown looks on.

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