Voters oust incumbent Yarmouth town councilor, OK school budget

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YARMOUTH — In an election that attracted about 14 percent of registered voters, residents on Tuesday elected three fresh faces to the Town Council.

Incumbent Judiann Smith will serve another three-year term on the School Committee with newcomer Margaret Groban.

Newcomer Susan Bogle Krauss will join incumbent and longtime Trustee Irving Felker Jr. on the Water District Board of Trustees.

In a referendum vote, the $19.8 million school budget passed 779-210.

Town Council

In a race where six candidates fought for three seats on the Town Council, the newcomers stole the show.

Andrew Kittredge received 565 votes, Randall Bates had 536 and Leslie Hyde received 391.

They defeated incumbent political neophyte Jim MacLeod, who received 371 votes, former Town Councilor Mark Hough, with 305, and incumbent Councilor Bill Schaffer, who trailed with 299 votes.

Kittredge, 32, of North Road, is a project superintendent at CPM Constructors in Freeport. He said he is looking forward to his three-year term on the council.

“I am so excited,” he said Tuesday night.

Bates, 43, is a member of the Planning Board and lives on Tannery Lane with his wife and two children. After a narrow defeat at the polls last year, the criminal defense attorney at Strike, Goodwin & O’Brien in Portland said he is pleased to have received enough votes to serve on the Town Council. 

“We’re heading into a new time,” Bates said. “We have plans for the gateway to Route 1, the McKearny Village subdivision, and other exciting new developments. I’m looking forward to working with the town, the School Committee and seeing the changes ahead.”

Hyde, 56, ran the nonprofit organization Maine Teen Talks for the past three years and has worked in international business publishing. She is a resident of Pleasant Street and said she will be the first woman councilor in the past six years.

“I think we are overdue, and I think a big reason I was elected is because I am a woman and because they want to see a woman on the council,” she said.

She said she was sad Schaffer was not re-elected because he was her mentor and role model.

“I’m prepared to spend a lot of time learning what I need to learn as a councilor,” Hyde said. “It’s what I learned from Bill. I think I will learn a lot and will get to work with interesting people.”

Schaffer, 69, of Cumberland Street, said he thinks the three new councilors are wonderful. He said was pleased to recently get to know Kittredge, was hoping Hyde would be elected and said Bates will serve the town well.

“I think you need to look at the council as a whole and see what is needed,” he said. “I think the age (changes) and having a woman serve will be great for the council because with this election it will no longer be an ‘old boy network.’ I know everyone elected will work hard to get up to speed.”

Town Clerk Jennifer Doten said about 1,000 of the town’s 6,900 eligible voters turned out. For a June election with only municipal, school and water district candidates, the turnout was reasonable, she said.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the voter turnout,” Doten said. “Despite the weather and the lack of other issues, voters came to the polls to cast their ballots.”

School Committee

Incumbent Smith will serve a second three-year term on the School Committee with Groban of Starboard Reach.

Groban received 625 votes and Smith received 605. J. Philip Jones, 47, of East Elm Street, fell short with 450 votes.

Smith, 46, of Sandy Brook Lane, is married and has three children. She has worked at Spurwink Services for 16 years in human resources and as its director of regulatory and legislative analysis. She said she is looking forward to working with Groban and continuing to work with the other committee members.

“We are in a good place working with the Town Council,” Smith said. “I am hoping that a lot of changes to both committees will not disrupt the flow we have going.”

Groban, 54, is married and has three grown daughters who attended Yarmouth schools. As an attorney, Groban has worked as a federal prosecutor in the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Portland for nearly 30 years.

“I am happy to join the board and get started,” she said. “Any of us would have served the schools well.”

Water District Board of Directors

In the race to fill two seats on the Water District Board of Trustees, incumbent Felker, 68, of Hillcrest Avenue, was elected to another three-year term. He received 552 votes.

He will be joined by Krauss, of East Main Street, whose late husband served on the board for about 11 years. Krauss, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Falmouth Middle School, received 492 votes.

Felker said he is pleased to keep the seat he has held for 20 years.

“I think the fact that I am on again tells me that the customers are pleased and we must be doing something right,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue in the way we have. We have a good board of trustees and excellent staff.”

Felker and Krauss defeated newcomers Andy O’Brien and Bill Stees, who received 384 and 154 votes, respectively.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-361 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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