Merrill defeats incumbent Omo for Bath council; Winglass, Sinclair retain seats

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Winglass, Sinclair retain seats

BATH — Meadow Rue Merrill narrowly defeated incumbent Ward 1 City Councilor James Omo on Tuesday, 218-210.

Incumbent at-large Councilor Andrew Winglass received 1,156 votes to defeat High Street resident Peter Heinz, who had 841 votes, and Charles Turcotte of Middle Street, who received 508.

Councilor David Sinclair of Meadow Way, who received 292 votes, was unopposed for a second term in Ward 6.

Omo, who has served two terms on the council, said Wednesday that he will not seek a recount.

He said he thought Merrill “did her part and got out there and ran her campaign. I didn’t run as strong … a campaign as I could have.”

Omo added that he has “very much enjoyed” his time on the council.

Merrill, 39, of High Street, is married and has four children. She is freelance writer who has lived in Bath almost 15 years and been a volunteer at the Dike-Newell Elementary School.

“Clearly it was a tight race, and I appreciate the time that Mr. Omo has served the city,” Merrill said. “And I hope to continue representing our neighborhood in a way that’s best for Bath. And I hope that people will get involved, particularly with the issues coming up regarding the future of the Skatepark.”

The Skatepark’s current home, at the dilapidated old YMCA on Summer Street, is soon to be demolished. Skatepark supporters have eyed the former National Guard Armory on Old Brunswick Road as a new home.

The City Council gave preliminary approval Nov. 2 to borrowing $308,000 for a basic renovation of the Armory, but it tabled an order that would have allowed the Skatepark to move there.

Merrill said in September that she supports a center that met the needs of not just skateboarders, but a wider base of youth in the community.

“I’m 100 percent in favor of helping the Skatepark access the funds and the support they need, but I don’t think the city can take on the financial burden of renovating the Armory, or paying for that with taxpayers’ money, because people are stretched so thin right now,” she said.

Merrill said she favors the Armory becoming the Skatepark’s new home, and that if the Skatepark moves there, she would also support the city contributing some funds to the renovation.

Winglass, Sinclair and Omo were among councilors who approved borrowing money to renovate the Armory. Winglass and Omo also opposed a motion to table the order allowing the Skatepark to move there, while Sinclair supported it.

Winglass, 51, of Judkins Avenue, is married and has three children. He has lived in Bath about 20 years, co-owns Mae’s Cafe on Centre Street, and is completing his third term on the council. He served two years as council chairman, and several years as vice chairman.

His service to Bath includes time on the boards of the Patten Free Library, the Main Street Bath and Bath Area Family YMCA boards, the Bath Development Corp., as well as on the Bath Zoning Board of Appeals and Bath Economic Development, Waterfront and South End Park committees.

The City Clerk’s office reported that 40.4 percent of voters cast ballots.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Write-ins elected to RSU 1 board

BATH — Voters elected write-in candidates  to the District 2 and 7 seats on the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors.

Whether the winners choose to serve remains to be seen.

District 2 incumbent David Barber of Bath, who did not seek re-election, received nine write-in votes. Superintendent Patrick Manuel said Wednesday that Barber has accepted the position.

Barber was followed by Charles Frohmiller with six votes and fellow Bath residents Judith Dillon and Megan Fuller with five each.

William Perkins, a declared write-in candidate from Phippsburg, received 97 votes for the District 7 seat. Office-holder Betsy Varian of Phippsburg had not submitted nomination papers for the position.

Tim Harkins of Arrowsic, the only incumbent to submit papers for the District 3 seat, was elected with 968 votes – 170 votes from Bath, 123 from Arrowsic and 675 from Woolwich.

District 2 covers Bath and West Bath, 3 covers Arrowsic, Bath and Woolwich, and 7 covers Bath and Phippsburg.

— Alex Lear

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.