Only 1 contest in Peaks Island Council elections

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PEAKS ISLAND — Three people are running for one, two-year seat on the Peaks Island Council.

But the race for three other, three-year seats is uncontested, with three candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Peaks Island Council, established in 2007, provides a voice for island residents on issues involving the Portland City Council.

Howard Pedlikin, Alexander David Stankowicz and John Dromgoole are the candidates for the contested, two-year council seat. 


Pedlikin, 76, of Hussey Avenue, is a retired manager of an engineering firm in Boston who bought his home on the island 18 years ago and has lived there full time for eight or nine years.

He volunteers for several island organizations, and was appointed to an unfinished term on the council in April. He said he wanted to contribute more than just a few months.

Pedlikin said he wants to continue to work on safety improvements and other projects, as well as “get some things straightened out with the city.”

“For instance, the parking situation is desperate both on the island and off,” Pedlikin said. “It’s very expensive to park in the city, and it’s difficult to park certain times of the year on island.”

Pedlikin said the council is discussing allocating spots for bicycles and golf carts to create more parking for vehicles. In Portland, he said the council was looking at possible deals for islanders at parking garages.

The biggest issue facing the island, he said, is taxes. Pedlikin said islanders pay “extraordinary” property taxes, and residents pay for water views “whether you’ve got them or not.”

He said he has a 3,000-square-foot house and pays close to $11,000 in property taxes. He said while he hadn’t seen a study recently, he thought a house in Portland of the same size would pay up to 60 percent less in property taxes.

“Peaks Island more than pays their share,” Pedlikin said.

Pedlikin said the Peaks Council needs to work with the city. But, he said, the city has rebuffed attempts to negotiate. He said the tax issue adds to challenges already faced by islanders; things are generally more expensive on the island, including fuel and shipping things by ferry.

“Peaks Island is nice to live on, we enjoy it very much, we can afford to live here, but the average person cannot,” he said.

He said in his opinion, the Portland City Council has “always voted against” improving the situation on Peaks Island. He said after the most recent island secession vote in 2007, which was unanimously defeated by the Portland City Council, the island is becoming more like Nantucket, Massachusetts, where property is only affordable to those willing to pay “a small fortune.”

He said Peaks residents should have been offered a seat on the Portland City Council.

“They’re afraid if we get one toe in the door we’re liable to make some progress, help people on the island, cut costs a little bit, help improve things,” he said.


Stankowicz, 69, is a former school teacher and administrator in Boston and Portland. He has lived on Peaks Island for more than 20 years, and was appointed to fill a vacancy on the council two months ago.

Stankowicz said he is running because he wants to give back to his community.

“It’s a position where I think I can use a lot of skills I’ve developed both as teacher and admin that would benefit the community,” he said, including the abilities to listen to others and to create systems that function “effectively and efficiently.”

Stankowicz said the biggest issue facing the island is the relationship between Peaks and Portland. He said Peaks is a very different community than other Portland neighborhoods, and cited public safety as an example.

He said the island needs a different level of policing in the summer than in the winter. He said he would like to see better levels of communication between the Portland City Council and the Peaks Island Council.

“I don’t know how sensitive and responsive the city of Portland is to the unique needs of Peaks Island,” he said.

Stankowiwcz said there are concerns about potential changes to zoning laws that could permit larger buildings like apartments, but thinks they could be addressed in zoning meetings. He said parking is always a concern, and island residents are losing parking in Portland. He also said the island is becoming too expensive for people to afford.

“The island’s changing, that’s inevitable,” he said. “The concern I think the community has is the way it’s been changing and the impact it has had on the quality of life.”


Dromgoole, 70, of Meridian Street, said he is running because he doesn’t like the direction the council is heading on certain issues, listing parking restrictions near the ferry terminal on Highland Avenue as the major one.

“They seem to be making things as they go along, things they want,” he said.

Dromgoole said he thought there are good lines of communication between the Peaks Island Council and the Portland City Council. But he also said the island has different issues than the city and its neighborhoods, so it can be difficult to get those issues across to the City Council. 

A retired accountant, Dromgoole said he has been coming to the island with his parents since 1961, bought his house in 1978, and has been a full-time resident since 2000. He said now that he is retired, and has the time to serve.

Dromgoole said he would like to see sewer services extended on the island; he thinks there are a minimal number of homes connected.

He said one challenge that could potentially face the island is overcrowding, especially in the summer, but added there “is no stopping that,” and it is good for local businesses when more people came.

Otherwise, Dromgoole said he doesn’t think there are many challenges facing the island.

“I listen to people and see what they come up with; I don’t hear a lot of people upset out here,” he said. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

3-year seats

The unopposed candidates for terms of three years on the island council are:

• Incumbent Lisa Penalver, of Upper A Street, who is the chairwomand and is seeking her second full term on the council. She is a horticulturalist, writer and graphic designer who was appointed to the council in 2013 and elected in 2014.

• Stuart Jackson, of Elizabeth Street, who is running for a vacant seat. He runs the Down Front ice cream parlor in the summer and works construction in the winter.

• Patrick Flynn, of Centennial Street, who is president of the Casco Bay Lines Board of Directors.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.



Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or