A live-in couple are among the six candidates running for Windham Town Council, but they won’t compete for a seat.

In three separate races, two candidates will go head-to-head on Nov. 6 for a spot on the council, while three candidates will compete for two seats on the board of Regional School Unit 14.

Planning Board member John Carlberg is challenging Dennis Welch for his at-large seat on the council. Former councilor Robert Muir will try to oust Matthew Noel from his seat, representing the West District. And two former councilors, Peter Anania and Carol Waig (Welch’s partner), will vie to fill a one-year vacancy representing the North District.

Carlberg, 47, owner of The Shelter Man in Windham, said figuring out how to fill vacancies in the business corridor and taking a proactive approach to the town’s infrastucture needs would be his priorities, if elected to the at-large seat.

He also wants to create a place for residents to take their bulky waste year-round.

Carlberg said owning a business has given him experience setting realistic goals.

“We need to identify our needs and map the best road to take us there,” he said.

Welch, his opponent, also believes bringing new businesses, and jobs, into Windham should be a priority. Specifically, he’d like to see more manufacturing companies.

Welch, 43, filled a one-year vacancy on the council and wants to serve a full three-year term to have more time to accomplish his goals.

“I think I have been a strong voice for the taxpayers of the town and would like to continue to speak for them,” he said.

Muir served six years on the council in the last decade and wants to serve another term, representing the West District, to bring back the voice of the residents — “something I feel has been lacking,” he said.

Muir, 65, who has been a vocal opponent of a proposed sewer project, said, if elected, he would be willing to make tough decisions to protect taxpayers and would encourage development without allowing higher density.

Noel, who already holds the seat, said the council has made strides toward becoming more focused and unified during the past term, and has improved its financial standing.

“There is still a lot of work to be done and I believe I can continue to contribute in getting it done,” he said.

Noel, 49, believes the town will continue to grow and needs to manage that growth by maintaining infrastructure needs, while keeping taxes down.

Those priorities are shared by Anania, who hopes to fill a one-year vacancy on the council, as he has done before.

Anania, 57, describes himself as a fiscal conservative who hopes to “maintain town services without raising taxes, as we come into better times.”

While Anania and Waig, his opponent, both believe the sewer problem needs to be addressed, Waig thinks the solution proposed puts too much of the cost onto the taxpayers.

“A bit more research is needed,” she said.

Waig, 46, said she decided to run for council because she heard no one else was running and wanted to make sure the North District was represented.

The Regional School Unit 14 board has two open seats, which will go to the top finishers in a three-way race.

Eric Colby, a political newcomer, is challenging current school board members Marge Govoni and Toby Pennels.

Colby, 50, has a son in third grade who has had “an awesome experience so far” in the district, he said.

“I want to keep Windham schools great for years to come,” Colby said.

Govoni, 71, said a priority for her is addressing the overcrowding issue in Windham schools. A member of the board Finance Committee, she said, delivering a high quality education without overburdening taxpayers would also continue to be a goal.

As a board member, Govoni said, she has frequently visited all of the district’s schools.

“I feel it has a positive impact on the staff when they see and talk to someone who listens and is responsible for doing what is best for them and their students,” she said.

Pennels, 53, has been on the school board for 10 years, and has served as chair and vice-chair of the board and chair of the Finance Committee. He is a graduate of Windham High School and has three grown children.

He did not respond to emailed questions about what issues are facing the district or why he is running.

Also on the ballot is the local referendum question about whether to spend $37.8 million to build a sewer system to serve North Windham and Windham Center, as well as 16 questions about whether to make changes to the town’s charter.

Although people have complained about knowing little about the proposed sewer project until recently, the possible amendments to the charter have gotten a lot less attention.

Many of the proposed charter changes are housekeeping items to make the language more accurate. They ask to remove references to the Windham School Department, now part of Regional School Unit 14, and to Foster’s Corner, which is more universally recognized as the intersection of routes 302 and 202, said Town Manager Tony Plante.

One amendment would remove the exception that says, unlike all other town employees, people who work at the Windham School Department and are members of the Windham Volunteer Fire Department can serve on the Town Council.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at

[email protected]