Thursday, December 12, 2013
PORTLAND — City voters on Tuesday returned Edward Suslovic to the City Council, as well as incumbents Jill Duson and John Anton.
Election clerks Gail Hannon, left, Erlene Stuart and MaryAnn Morin are ready to check in voters, including Cory Lasala, far left, at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland on Tuesday.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette
School Committee incumbents Kathleen Snyder and Jaimey Caron won, though Caron just barely edged newcomer Morton Soule by 65 votes. The District 3 School Committee seat went to Laurie Davis.
Suslovic beat newcomer William Mitchell 2,965 to 2,196 for the District 3 seat, which represents the Stroudwater, Libbytown, Oakdale and Rosemont neighborhoods,
Mitchell, son of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Libby Mitchell, was running for office for the first time and was endorsed by six of the nine current councilors.
Suslovic, a former at-large councilor, was seeking to return to the council after being beaten for an at-large seat in 2008.
"I knocked on over 3,000 doors in District 3," he said Tuesday night. "What I heard was a concern about the financial challenges facing us These are people who really value services."
Suslovic said that in light of budget pressure, less popular programs could be dropped while popular ones continue with higher fees.
Incumbent at-large councilors Jill Duson and John Anton cruised to re-election with 13,157 and 12,114 votes respectively.
Challenger Charles Bragdon received 9,440 votes.
Duson said she wants the city to continue working to support public education and programs to aid first-time home buyers, and trying to make the city a leader in environmental protection and sustainability.
"Portland works because Portland people work at it," Duson said as the final votes were being counted.
Anton said he plans to continue pushing the council to take a longer view with budgeting, such as crafting multi-year spending plans.
"We have an extremely difficult time ahead of us," he said. The council would do well to bring some stability to taxes and services, he said.
"It seems we've been in kind of a free fall," he said.
Bragdon, who owns A-Plus Family Taxi, was making another run for a council seat after losing in District 1 last year.
Voters filled three School Committee seats in Tuesday's election.
Incumbents Snyder and Caron won at-large seats with 13,250 and 9,538 votes respectively.
They were challenged by Morton Soule, a retired teacher, who received 9,473 votes.
Snyder, 40, is program development manager for the Maine Board of Corrections.
She is chairwoman of the finance subcommittee and led the effort to reinstate foreign language classes in the city's elementary schools.
Snyder said the district can look forward to developing multi-year budgets to better anticipate expenses and plan for needs.
Caron, 45, is a project manager and a structural engineer with Burns & McDonnell in New Gloucester. He served on the city's Planning Board for nine years before joining the School Committee, where he has chaired the facilities subcommittee and was a member of the finance committee.
Caron said he will continue efforts to bring accountability, leadership and a clear sense of direction to the committee.
Soule, 65, had taught English and Latin in Portland public high schools for 34 years before retiring eight years ago.
In District 3, Davis, a former Portland school administrator, received 2,824 votes.
Davis said she planned to use her experience in grant management, early childhood education and educational leadership instruction to promote programs that help students succeed.
She was endorsed by the Portland teachers union and the League of Young Voters.
Frank Gallagher, a former newspaper reporter, editor and columnist in San Francisco, received 1,573 votes.
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: