Town Councilor Frank Governali, former Councilor John McGinty and political newcomers Caitlin Jordan and James Wagner are running for two seats on the Cape Elizabeth Town Council.

Governali, who was appointed to serve the final year of the term vacated by Paul McKenny, said his priorities are maintaining the town’s assets, such as the quality of life, its schools and its natural beauty; balancing short-term financial pressures and long-term planning; and working toward fairer school funding with school officials and representatives to the Legislature.

Governali, 55, a retired financial analyst, says he has the skills and the time to contribute to the town.

He says the town is quite efficient but there are places where the budget could be tightened.

He wants Fort Williams Park to move toward self-sufficiency, possibly by expanding the gift shop, adding concessions and charging tour buses.

He does not support a pay-per-bag trash system but thinks that education at the transfer station and composting could help bring down costs.

McGinty, 59, a retired police lieutenant who is now a town firefighter, said he has no particular agenda other than to serve the community and work toward good, efficient governance.

At a time when the town faces serious financial challenges, he says the town can benefit from the budget experience he gained during his three terms as a councilor.

McGinty said his top priority is maintaining the excellence of the town’s schools, followed by public safety, public works, the library and Town Hall.

He wants to evaluate all municipal departments for efficiencies and look for areas for cooperation or consolidation, which could be done across communities.

McGinty would consider commercial operations at Fort Williams Park that would not interfere with passive recreation.

He also favors education on recycling and opposes a pay-per-bag system.

He wants to draw business development to the town center without causing traffic problems or changing the town’s core character.

He also supports a review of the comprehensive plan.

Jordan, 27, a lawyer who passed the bar exam last year and is now managing Alewives Brook Farm for her parents, was prompted to run by her cousin, outgoing Councilor Penny Jordan.

Caitlin Jordan said her priorities include schools, maintaining Cape Elizabeth’s character and preserving open space.

She says she can offer a fresh perspective on the Town Council, as well as the perspective of someone with deep roots in town.

“I see a lot of people moving into town and wanting to change it — making it bigger and better in their eyes — while I want to keep it a small community,” she said.

Rather than building the town up, she would like residents to appreciate what Cape Elizabeth already offers, such as natural beauty.

She said she favors open space over projects like condominiums.

Jordan says the town is efficient — especially since residents are having more input — but there may be ways to tighten the budget by combing through it.

She supports the concept of charging tour buses at Fort Williams Park if it doesn’t mean too much of an administrative burden on the town.

Wagner, 44, a lawyer and an owner of The Local Buzz, said his priorities are land use, maintaining and increasing open space, and securing additional state funding for the town’s schools.

He also stressed the need to listen to all groups. Wagner has been active in politics — he’s chairman of the Cape Elizabeth Democrats. He said he has the flexibility as a self-employed person to hold office and he believes his skills as a lawyer would be useful to the town.

Wagner wants the town to look at ways to acquire more open space, whether through purchases, easements or reaching out to owners of farmland before property passes to younger generations.

He says tightened enforcement of a requirement that developers offset their land use would be helpful.

Wagner wants to create a more downtown feel in the center by drawing additional businesses to existing space or new construction, and possibly reconfiguring the intersection.

The town could help new businesses consider Cape Elizabeth by providing more guidance about the process, including a welcome packet that explains business-related requirements in plain English.

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

[email protected]