Livingston out, Beecher back on South Portland ballot

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SOUTH PORTLAND — At-Large City Councilor Alan Livingston will not seek a second term in November, while former Councilor Maxine Beecher hopes to return to the office.

Nomination papers returned by Monday’s deadline put four candidates on the ballot for two at-large council seats.

Three School Board seats are also on the ballot, but only one of them is contested.

Besides Beecher, other candidates in the City Council election are Mayor Tom Blake, seeking his third three-year term, current Board of Education member Rick Matthews, and former Planning Board member Carol Thorne.

The top two vote-getters throughout the city will be elected to three-year terms.

Blake, of 195 High St., is in his second one-year term as mayor, a position decided by council vote. Beecher, of 1359 Highland Ave., could not seek re-election in District 4 last year because the limit is three consecutive terms. Councilor Linda Cohen won the seat in an unopposed election.

Matthews, of 17 Boothby Ave.,  is serving his second term on the Board of Education from District 3. Thorne, of 195 Sandy Hill Road, served on the Planning Board from 1999-2011 and was recently part of the commission formed to examine compensation for elected city officials.

Livingston said Tuesday it was a hard decision not to run, but he decided to devote more time to teaching math at Cheverus High School in Portland and working on other projects, such as getting a new athletic field at South Portland High School.

“I just want to say I enjoyed my three years as a councilor and all that’s involved,” Livingston said. “The bottom line is I am still a teacher and Cheverus has been very supportive. I considered another run, but wanted to dedicate my time to my main job.”

Before his election to the City Council in 2010, Livingston served one year of a three-year term on the Board of Education.

In Board of Education races, Rick Carter faces a District 1 challenge from 14 Boyd St. resident Eugene Swiger. Carter, of 33 Thompson St., is the board chairman. He is seeking a third term representing the northeast part of the city, including Ferry Village and Willard Beach.

In two other Board of Education races, District 2 incumbent Sara Goldberg and at-large incumbent Mary House are unopposed.

City elections will be held Nov. 5. The ballot also includes the Waterfront Protection Ordinance referendum and a $14 million bond question for a new community services facility off Highland Avenue.

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.