BRUNSWICK — All three incumbent town councilors are unopposed on the Nov. 8 municipal ballot.
Polls are open Election Day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at Brunswick Junior High School, 65 Columbia Ave.
Incumbent Councilor David Watson, 68, of Old Bath Road, has the distinction of serving on the Town Council the longest, having represented District 1 for 15 years. He is a former Brunswick police officer.
“I still have work to do,” Watson said.
As a representative of east Brunswick, Watson said, “the revitalization of Cook’s Corner is probably the biggest issue the town has before it” – specifically, improving the area’s traffic flow and bicycle and pedestrian routes.
Watson also serves on the TV3 committee, which he said is close to launching live broadcasts of sports events at Brunswick High School.
In his upcoming term, he said he hopes to implement a collaborative media production program between the School Department and the town, where students can use the TV3 editing bay at Council Chambers to produce content with the school’s camera equipment.
Councilor Steve Walker, 48, of Bowdoin Street, is the council vice chairman and has served District 2 for one term. He previously served on the Planning Board from 2007-2013, and is a project manager at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Walker strongly supported turning a town-owned coastal parcel at 946 Mere Point Road into a public park, which a divided council rejected Sept. 19. In his upcoming term, he said, he will continue to advocate for public access in town and for the protection of Brunswick’s natural resources.
Walker sits on the Finance Committee, and is the liaison to the Rivers and Coastal Waters Commission, Landfill Task Force, New Meadows River Watershed Partnership, and the Mere Brook Technical Advisory Committee.
The third incumbent, Councilor Jane Millett, 69, of Franklin Street, is a Realtor in Topsham and represents the District 6 downtown area. She spent her first term as liaison to the Brunswick Downtown Association, and sits on the Master Planning and Implementation Committee and the Human Rights Task Force.
Millett said she would like to implement a closer working relationship between the council and the School Board, especially as the board embarks on major decisions like building a new elementary school.
“There are still a lot of questions that need to be resolved,” Millett said.
Despite the presidential election, Town Clerk Fran Smith said her office isn’t anticipating or preparing for an unusually high voter turnout.
“I’m going to assume that we’ll have a consistent number that we’ve had in any other presidential,” she said, declining to speculate about whether this year’s presidential candidates would increase or decrease voter turnout.
About 12,000 voters, or 75 percent of the town’s more than 17,700 registered voter, cast ballots in Brunswick during an average presidential year, Smith said.
What has increased, however, is the number of voters casting absentee ballots.
Smith noticed a spike between the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, where absentee ballots rose from more than 3,000 to nearly 4,800, while the number of total voters remained consistent.
The Town Clerk’s office will be open longer hours, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., until Nov. 3 to allow more time to request an absentee ballot. On Nov. 3 – the last day to request an absentee ballot barring special circumstances – the office will stay open until 7 p.m. Ballots can also be requested at maine.gov.
Absentee ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. Nov. 8.