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Peaks Island, Portland Water District ballots shy of candidates

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Peaks Island, Portland Water District ballots shy of candidates

PORTLAND — Three candidates are running for positions on the Peaks Island Council, where a total of five seats are open in the Nov. 5 election.

An unsuccessful contender in last year's race to become a trustee of the Portland Water District is on the ballot again, this time in an uncontested race.

And a total of six candidates are vying for election to the board of directors of the Casco Bay Island Transit District.

In the council race, Jean Martens and Timothy Wyant are hoping to be elected to one-year terms.

Martens, 60, of Island Avenue, is an ordained interfaith chaplain who moved from Colorado to Maine two years ago. She said she recognizes the concerns of island residents, such as needs for police and fire protection, mainland parking, and lower taxes.

"The answers remain to be seen. But I want people to be heard ... wisdom comes out of having an open process," she said. "I will do what I can to help the community thrive. I have a passion for community."

Wyant, of Central Avenue, was traveling out of the country and unavailable for comment. But according to information received by Council Co-Chairwoman Cheryl Miner, Wyant also moved to Peaks about two years ago. He is president of Ravenstat LLC, a statistical consulting firm, and has been active in civic issues related to the environment, land use and social justice.

Marjorie Phyfe, 74, of Sandpiper Road, is uncontested on the ballot for one of three seats with three-year terms. A retired social worker, she was first elected to the island council when it was created by the City Council in 2007. She served for three years, and returned for a one-year term in 2012.

She, too, said she recognizes the importance of island issues such as parking and public safety. She said she's optimistic that the council can work with the city to address those needs, as well as others. They range from regulation of campfires on island beaches to summertime pedestrian congestion "down front" near the ferry landing.

"We have the same needs that come up in a small town," she said. "It behooves us to propose some new things (to the city). I think there's more receptivity now to what we might do. We're in a better position."

In other races, Nisha Swinton, 29, of Pleasant Street, is the sole contender for a seat on the Water District board held by Jamie Willey, who is not seeking re-election.

Swinton did not immediately return calls for comment. She ran unsuccessfully last year for a trustee seat held by longtime incumbent Gary Libby.

The board governs the quasi-public agency that provides water supply, delivery, and waste water services to Portland and 10 surrounding communities.

In the CBITD election, incumbent David Crowley, of Church Road, is uncontested in the race to represent Cliff Island on the board for a three-year term. Twain Braden, of Elizabeth Street, and incumbent Margaret Peretti, of Oaklawn Road, are vying for a three-year term representing Peaks Island.

Three Peaks Island residents – Anthony Alves, of Prince Avenue, incumbent Charles Burr, of Epps Street, and Lawrence Dwight, of New Island Avenue – are facing off in a race for a one-year, at-large seat.

The CBITD board governs Casco Bay Lines, which provides ferry service between Portland and eight Casco Bay islands.

Portland voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 11 polling stations, which are listed on the city's website. Absentee ballots can be requested from the city clerk's office before 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, and must be returned by mail, fax or hand-delivery by the time the polls close on Nov. 5.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.