School budgets go to voters in Scarborough, South Portland

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SCARBOROUGH – Residents here and in South Portland will vote on their respective school budgets at the June 14 primary elections.

Voters will also decide whether to continue approving the budgets by referendum for the next three years. Opting out would mean the school budgets would be adopted by elected municipal officials and the boards of education, rather than ratified by a public referendum vote.

The proposed school budget in Scarborough is $47.5 million, about $39.8 million of which would be funded by taxes. Combined with the municipal budget, the gross budget totals $87.8 million. The town will be expected to raise a net amount of $60.3 million through taxes.

The projected increase in the tax rate is 2.65 percent, to $15.90 per $300,000 of valuation – up 41 cents from $15.49 this year. The increase would mean an additional $123 on the average home owner’s annual tax bill.

Voters will also cast ballots in party primaries to choose candidates for the legislature, none of which are contested.

In House District 28, which covers the town from east to west, Republican state Rep. Heather Sirocki hopes to be nominated for a fourth term. Town Councilor Chris Caiazzo is a first-time Democratic candidate.

In House District 29, which covers southern Scarborough, Republican state Rep. Karen Vachon is seeking her second nomination. The Democratic candidate is Mary Starr.

State Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, is seeking her third nomination in Senate District 29, which covers Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and Scarborough.

Daniel Fortin, a Republican from South Portland, and Cape Elizabeth Town Council Chairwoman Martha “Molly” MacAuslan, an independent, are also on the primary ballot.

Scarborough Town Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina is seeking the Democratic nomination in Senate District 30. The seat occupied by first-term state Sen. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, who is again seeking her party’s nomination. District 30 includes parts of both Scarborough and Gorham.

Voters can request absentee ballots at the town clerk’s office at 259 U.S. Route 1. More information can be found at 730-4020, or scarboroughmaine.org.

Voting will take place June 14 from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. in the gymnasium at Scarborough High School, 11 Municipal Drive.

South Portland

South Portland voters will be asked to approve a proposed $47.7 million school budget, which represents an increase of about 3.4 percent over this year’s $46.1 million budget.

Taxpayers will be expected to cover $40.1 million of the school budget, which represents an increase of about $893,000, or 2.3 percent more, and adds 33 cents to the mil rate.

Coupled with the municipal budget of $32.6 million, taxpayers would pick up about $61 million of the total budget, and see a total tax increase of 48 cents per $1,000 in valuation. The tax rate would increase 2.8 percent, to $17.88 from $17.40.

The city’s legislative primaries are also uncontested.

Colton Gross is the Republican in House District 31, and Lois Reckitt is seeking the Democratic nomination.

In House District 32, which covers southern South Portland and part of northern Cape Elizabeth, state Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland, is seeking his third nomination. Isaac Misiuk, a member of the South Portland Planning Board, is seeking the Republican nomination.

City Councilor Brad Fox is uncontested for the Democratic nomination in House District 33, where first-tem state Rep. Kevin Battle, R-South Portland, is again seeking his party’s nomination.

More information on the election and requests for absentee ballots can be found on the city’s website, southportland.org or by calling the city clerk’s office at 767-3201.

Polling places vary by district, and will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on June 14.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA.

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.