Harpswell's Multer to leave Board of Selectmen

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HARPSWELL — Selectman Elinor Multor announced Oct. 13 that she will vacate her seat in March 2017, creating a second opening on the three-person board next spring.

Multer, 89, will have served two years of a three-year term when elections are held at the annual Town Meeting. 

“I hope a woman will be among the runners,” Multer said when she made her announcement at the most recent Board of Selectmen meeting, pointing to her two male colleagues.

“I don’t think any board is at its best if it’s all one gender,” Multer said in an interview the following Monday.

Whomever is elected to replace Multer will serve out the remaining year of her term, and will then have the opportunity to run for a full three-year term in March 2018.

The town is already scheduled to vote in March to fill the seat held by Selectman Kevin Johnson. Johnson has not said if he intends to seek re-election.

Town Clerk Roz Knight said nomination papers to fill Johnson’s and Multer’s seats will become available 85 days prior to the 2017 Town Meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.

Multer, who will have served on the board for eight years, said she is stepping down early because she “can no longer do the job as I think it ought to be done.” She declined to elaborate.

She lives on Orr’s Island, and moved to Harpswell 40 years ago from New Jersey, where she had worked as a newspaper reporter.

She ran for a seat on the Maine School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors, and in 1995 volunteered for the gubernatorial campaign of now-U.S. Sen. Angus King. He appointed her to the state Board of Education after his election.

Multer said running for the Board of Selectmen eight years ago was the next logical step in line of service.

“I think the government (of Harpswell) is very conscious of the people it serves,” she said Monday, “at least in the eight years I’ve been there.”

She listed the development of Mitchell Field, the growth of the town’s libraries, the sale of the West Harpswell School to Harpswell Coast Academy, and the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program mobile food pantries as some of the accomplishments she’s seen in her time as a selectman.

“I’ve enjoyed it all,” she said.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

Elinor Multer

Reporter on the Brunswick/Harpswell beat. Proud Bowdoin grad that you can find reporting on municipal, school, and community news, or inside the many coffee and sandwich shops around the Midcoast. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100.