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Woods gets unprecedented 3rd term as Yarmouth council chairman

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Woods gets unprecedented 3rd term as Yarmouth council chairman

YARMOUTH — The Town Council made history Monday when it appointed Steve Woods chairman for a third consecutive term.

In the 48 years since Yarmouth adopted a town-council style of government, there had never been a chairman who served more than two consecutive terms in the seat, Town Manager Nat Tupper said.

The appointment took place in a private caucus prior to the council's regular meeting.

Councilor Leslie Hyde said afterward that the council has historically rotated the annual appointment, but there were three factors that led to the unanimous decision to tap Woods for a third term.

First, Woods was the only councilor to express an interest in the position this year. Second, Woods conducts meetings fairly, letting every voice be heard, Hyde said. Third, Woods has political aspirations.

"I think it helps his bid for governor. And I think it helps Yarmouth – that's the bottom line for me," Hyde said.

Early this year, Woods declared his candidacy in the 2014 gubernatorial race. He is one of six Maine politicians with active paperwork filed at the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, but he is the only candidate to make a formal declaration.

When asked whether the appointment would help his gubernatorial bid, Woods scoffed at the question.

"That's crazy talk," he said. "It's just a pleasure and an honor to serve."

Yarmouth adopted a town-council form of government in 1965. Only two councilors have served as chairman for consecutive terms: Woods and Paul Roberts, who sat on the council from 1997 to 2003 and served two consecutive terms, Tupper said.

During the caucus, the council also appointed Councilor Randall Bates to a second term as vice chairman.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.