Election next week to decide new Scarborough councilor
Scarborough residents will vote in a Democratic primary for a legislative seat, fill a vacancy on city council and weigh in on the proposed school budget on election day, Tuesday, June 14.
South Portland and Cape Elizabeth will also hold school budget validation votes on June 14.
Jean-Marie Caterina of Scarborough and Drew Gattine of Westbrook are seeking the Democratic nomination for House District 126. The winner will face Republican Leslie Smith of Saco on November 8. The district covers northern Saco, northwest Scarborough and part of Westbrook.
Candidates Peter Freilinger, Nicholas McGee and Marty Topol are vying for an open seat on Scarborough City Council. The position remained vacant when Paul Johnson resigned in March.
All three candidates are concerned about granting a building cap exemption to developers of The Downs town center project. While the city’s rate of growth is also concerning, finance professional Freilinger, small business owner and property manager McGee and attorney Topol say they bring different experiences and perspectives to the table.
Scarborough voters will also vote on the city’s $51.9 million school budget, an increase of $2.2 million from this year.
Drivers of the increase include the creation of four new positions and an increase in health insurance, energy and fuel costs. About 80% of the total budget is allocated to personnel costs.
South Portland voters will weigh in on the school department’s projected $59.7 million budget, an increase of $4.6 million from this year.
About $47.8 million of the school’s budget will come from taxes. Much of the increase is due to a rapid increase in enrollment in the district. Between October 2021 and April 2022, more than 210 students enrolled in schools in South Portland. According to Superintendent Tim Matheney, many of the new students are multilingual learners who now make up about a fifth of the city’s student population.
The budget creates new English language learning and special education positions as well as a housing liaison for vulnerable students. South Portland currently serves about 20% of Maine’s housing-vulnerable students, according to Matheney, while South Portland only teaches 1.6% of students statewide.
Polls in South Portland will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
District 1 residents will vote at the Boys and Girls Club at 169 Broadway, and District 2 residents will vote at American Legion Post 35 at 413 Broadway. Residents of Districts 3 and 4 will vote at the Community Center at 21 Nelson Road, and residents of District 5 will vote at the Redbank Community Center at Macarthur Circle West.
Voters in Cape Elizabeth will decide whether to approve a $31.3 million budget, up $1.3 million, or 4.7%, from this year, and was authorized by council municipal by a vote of 5 to 2 last month.
Drivers of the budget increase include new positions, such as a second band teacher and a math instructional strategist, rising oil and fuel costs, and capital projects ranging from ventilation repairs to High School to Masonry Repairs at Pond Cove and Middle School Building.
Residents can vote from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14 at the Cape Elizabeth High School gymnasium.
Scarborough Council gives hotel more time to resolve issues