Scarborough voters rejected a $6.75 million project to expand their library by 253 votes – a margin of 9 percent of the total vote.

Cape voters chose Republican Jennifer Duddy, over Town Councilor Mike Mowles, to face off against Democrat Cynthia Dill in November for the House seat representing district 121. Duddy received 652 votes, while Mowles garnered only 318.

Cape voters also approved, by a margin of 1,158 to 847, an initiative to stop the creation of so-called “cut-through” streets, which connect dead-end neighborhoods.

The vote on the library expansion attracted 2,723 voters to the polls Tuesday – shy of the last primary vote in 2004, which attracted about 3,000 voters. Of those who voted on the library, 1,488 voted against the expansion, and 1,235 voted in favor of it.

“We, of course, respect the decision of the voters,” said Scarborough Library Director Nancy Crowell. “But we still have to do something. Doing nothing is not an option.”

On Thursday the library board will meet and discuss options for possible next steps. Whatever those steps are, Crowell said it will be a public process involving suggestions from members of the community.

In Cape Elizabeth, candidate Duddy arrived at the polls Tuesday afternoon at 6:30 a.m. and didn’t leave until the results were posted around 8:30 p.m. that evening. “I was thrilled to have a decisive victory,” said Duddy.

Duddy said she thought her door-to-door visits helped her convince voters she was the best candidate. She said she didn’t know how a ruling against her opponent by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices the day before the election might have affected the results.

Commissioners found that Mowles violated election ethics by including quotes from Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe without their permission.

“I did so many things that were positive in my campaign, I worked very hard…I can’t tell you what impact the violation had,” said Duddy.

In a press release, Mowles congratulated Duddy “on winning a hard fought primary race. Mowles also vowed to support Duddy in the November race against Democrat Cynthia Dill.

Mowles said he tried to run a positive campaign and was surprised when Duddy turned “unnecessarily” to negative campaigning at the end.

Mowles wouldn’t speculate on whether the violation affected the election results, but said now he is interested only in clearing his name. “I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s a common practice. When someone says something nice about you, you use it in your campaign,” he said.

Library expansion

The library question was the biggest draw for voters, according to Town Clerk Tody Justice and Election Manager Guy Gledhill. “If we didn’t have the library, I think we’d have very few people,” said Gledhill

Scarborough resident Dexter Eaton voted Republican as he always does. While thinks the library is a bad idea because it’s so expensive, it didn’t necessarily cause him to come out and vote.

“I vote because I always vote,” he said.

Bob Morrissey calls voting “my duty. I can’t complain and listen to the ads on TV and then not vote.”

Like Eaton, the library did not cause him to come and vote – he always votes. Unlike Eaton, he wants to spend the money to renovate the library. “I believe you have to have it. The kids need someplace to go and get information,” he said.

Debbe Trudel said she opposed the library expansion. “I feel very strongly against the referendum. We need to reign in our spending. We need to keep our taxes down as well. It’s expensive to live and it’s especially expensive to live in Scarborough.”

The plans for the $54 million in school projects influenced her vote, she said, as did the high school project.

“I think the schools are more important than the library. I’m so strong for this to go down. I think it’s important to have both a library and the schools but now is not the time for the library,” she said.

No short-cuts

For Tom Wright, the no short cuts vote, was a “no-brainer.” Despite living in Broad Cove, a neighborhood about two miles long with only one-way in and out, he favors dead-end neighborhoods, just in smaller sizes.

“Ours is kind of rough. Our problem is, it’s about 220 houses. That’s 20 times larger than the average neighborhood. I like the feel of smaller neighborhoods,” he said.

The no short-cut petitions was a neighborhoods groups reaction to a proposed 42-unit development called Spurwink Woods, which connects two neighborhoods through two dead-end streets.

Dave Clay, also a Broad Cove resident, said he favors limiting, not eliminating short-cuts. He said the town’s focus on emergency access is usurping the neighbors right to live in smaller quiet communities.

“Everybody is so worried about access and not so much about lifestyle,” he said.

Nina Powers lives on Stephenson, a dead-end street with about five homes on it. Powers voted in favor of limiting short-cuts through dead-end neighborhoods. With a 5-year-old son, she wants the security of knowing her son is safe when he’s playing outside.

“We want to keep it quiet,” she said. “We want to see lots of kids riding their bikes and big wheels.”

Maria Hughes said she was voting against the no short-cuts petition. She lives in Stonegate, and travels to Purpoodock golf course frequently. If she wanted, she said, she is in an ideal position to use the short-cut proposed by the developer, but she wouldn’t want to and she can’t imagine why anybody else would either.

“I wouldn’t use it. It’s in a neighborhood, it just wouldn’t be practical,” she said.

Spurwink Woods, the development, which prompted the no short-cuts referendum, is up for final approval from the town next week. Developer Jim McFarlane anticipates receiving final approval with his proposal now on the table.

“I think we get approval. We’ve met all the criteria. I’d be surprised if I didn’t get it,” he said.

Within the proposal is a plan to build a gate, which would be accessible by emergency access vehicles only. This would stop all traffic from passing through and using the new road as a short-cut. The neighbors requested this gate prior to the vote and with a slim majority of support from the planning board, McFarlane decided it would behoove him to include it in the plans. The alternative was building sidewalks on Columbus Road, which would have cost more than the gate, said McFarlane.

McFarlane expects that now that the neighbors won the vote, they will appeal his final approval when it is granted. “I expect they are working very hard on it right now,” he said.

McFarlane still believes that the neighbors’ arguments for increased traffic are invalid, but he is anticipating having to revise his plan if the neighbors appeal his plan based on the results of the no short-cuts vote. He is devising a new plan, which might include a loop road connecting from Spurwink Road onto the Maxwell Farm Road, if he can gain cooperation from the Maxwell family.

Duddy over Mowles

John and Maria Hughes, registered Republicans, met Duddy on the campaign trail and liked her as a person, so they voted for her in the primary. “She’s a fresh new voice. I don’t think she’s a typical politician,” said John Hughes.

Wright said he didn’t know a lot about Mowles, but when Duddy knocked on his door, he was impressed by her conviction to reduce costs, especially in the Department of Health and Human Services. “I don’t want to cut services, but government has grown much too big in Maine.”

Duddy believes her strong showing at the polls was due to her visits to so many homes in Cape. “It’s hard to know how much ground you’ve covered,” said Duddy, but she estimated that she made appearances at 80 percent of the registered Republican households in Cape. “I reached hundreds of Cape voters,” she said.

A letter to Mowles from the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices states that Duddy reported Mowles to the commission for using quotes from Sens. Snowe and Collins on campaign fliers that misled voters to believe the senators endorsed Mowles.

The quotes, dated Oct. 2004, on the fliers were classified by the commission as endorsments, which require written authorization from the source, which Mowles did not have. The ethics commission found him in violation. He will meet with the commmission on June 22, when he hopes to clear his name.

Cape turnout

Cape voters turned out strong for a primary election, with 26 percent of voters casting a ballot. Cape Town Clerk Deborah Cabana said the citizen initiative to limit short-cuts between neighborhoods drew out the brunt of the voters.

“A lot of people were here for the referendum and just happened upon the primary,” she said.

While 970 registered Republicans voted in the primary, 2,005 Capers voted on the no short-cuts petition.

Cabana said primary turnout was up slightly from 1,948 in 2004, and up from 1,439 in 2002. Cabana said the election went smoothly thanks to the professionalism of the volunteer crew. “They were sharp,” she said. “It was their election and they did great.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.