No contests on Falmouth municipal election ballot

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FALMOUTH —There will be no contests on the ballot for Town Council or School Board seats this June when voters elect their municipal representatives and vote on the school budget.

There are two seats open on the Town Council and only two candidates, according to Town Clerk Ellen Planer.

Incumbent Councilor Caleb Hemphill filed nomination papers for a second, three-year term on the council, and Andrew Jones, a member of the Recycling & Energy Advisory Committee, is running for the seat being vacated by Councilor Charlie McBrady, who chose not to seek re-election.

There are three seats available on the School Board, Planer said, but only two candidates, which means one of the open seats will be filled by a write-in vote.

Danielle Tracy, who has served as chairwoman of the board’s Finance Committee for the past two years, is the only incumbent seeking re-election. Julie Fraser, who is running for a seat on the board for the first time, became the only other candidate after Josh Barrett decided not to run again.

Neither Jones nor Fraser could be reached for comment prior to deadline.

Hemphill said he chose to run again because he has enjoyed his work on the council and hopes to continue his role as a member of the Community Development Committee.

“I think Falmouth is on a good course,” he said this week. He also called the development plans for Route 100 and Route 1 North “very exciting,” and said he’s looking forward to celebrating the town’s 300th anniversary next year.

Hemphill said he couldn’t speculate as to why this year’s council election did not attract more candidates, but did call the councilor’s job “a big responsibility.”

He said McBrady is “a good councilor” who has done “a great job.” 

Tracy said she had no particular agenda that led her to run for the School Board three years ago and said her interest then and now is in helping the schools run smoothly.

“I feel strongly about the schools and what they’re doing,” she said. “I also decided that I wanted to make things happen instead of just standing by.”

Tracy hopes to continue her leadership role on the Finance Committee, and said in the past three years the school district has come a long way in building “a really strong leadership team.”

She called Barrett “a great listener” who’s “very level-headed and always made good points. We will miss him for sure. He was a good board member.”

Voting will take place in the gym at Falmouth High School on June 13. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Residents can register to vote at Town Hall in the weeks leading up to the election or at the polls, Planer said.

Absentee ballots will be available 30 days before the election and can be requested by contacting the clerk’s office at 699-5320.

In addition to the candidates for municipal office, the $35.8 million school budget will also be on the ballot.

The spending package represents a 2.4 percent increase from the current $34.9 million budget and does not include any new positions or programs. The tax rate increase, just for the schools, would be 67 cents per $1,000 of valuation.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.