Incumbents thrive in Cape Elizabeth elections
CAPE ELIZABETH — Three incumbents all won re-election Tuesday in the five-way race for three seats on the School Board.
Incumbent Kate Williams-Hewitt received the most votes, 3,236, followed by John Christie, 2,629, and David Hillman, 2,245. Opponents Bill Gross and Michael Goulding received 1,753 and 1,477, respectively.
"I'm happy the three incumbents got re-elected," Hillman said. "It's important because we have experience to deal with problems going forward ... while preserving the quality of education in Cape Elizabeth."
All three incumbents were elected to the board in 2009. Christie said their re-election reflects the good choices they've made over the last three years, particularly the hiring of Superintendent Meredith Nadeau and their approach to the budget.
"We found excellent candidate ... and this board has worked very hard to bring transparency to budgeting process to present the budget in a way that is easy for the Town Council and residents to understand," he said. "For those two reasons, primarily, in my mind, if it's working well and some of those people are seeking re-election, there's no reason not to let them continue."
Christie said the main goal of the next three-year term is to implement and develop the newly devised strategic plan with the School Department administration.
Christie also said all five candidates were strong choices.
"One of the things that makes Cape Elizabeth a strong district is that we're able to attract strong candidates," he said. "It shows that the process is healthy."
Goulding congratulated the winners and said, although he lost his first campaign, it wasn't a disappointment.
"Maybe it's not what I had hoped, but it's what I expected with the three incumbents," he said. "If I got 100 votes, I would have been disappointed, but to get 1,400, being in the town four years, I'm quite tickled and pleased and thankful to the people of Cape Elizabeth for getting as many votes as I got."
Goulding said he'll "absolutely" run for office again in the future.
"I knew from day one it was a tough sled," he said. "The trick is to get your name out their the first time. ... I'm looking forward to working more with schools and the town now and next time it will be better, a lot better."
Williams-Hewitt and Gross did not immediately return calls as of Thursday morning.
No write-in candidates challenged the three uncontested Town Council candidates, who included incumbent Councilors Jessica Sullivan and Jim Walsh, and Jamie Wagner, who lost his first bid for a seat in 2010.
Sullivan and Walsh were both elected to the council in 2009.
Sullivan chairs the Appointments Committee and represents the council on the Open Space and Greenbelt Management committee, the Future Open Space Preservation committee, and is on the Thomas Memorial Library Foundation board.
Walsh is chairman of the Ordinance Committee and is the council's representative to the Greater Portland Council of Governments. Previously, Walsh spent six years on the Zoning Board of Appeals.
All council terms are three years.