FREEPORT – District 2 Councilor Kate Arno will resign from the Freeport Town Council at the end of the month, forcing the town to hold its second special election since November.

Because Arno has not yet formally resigned from the council, no date has been set for the special election.

Arno is resigning because she has accepted a new job out of state, which she has already begun. She plans to submit her resignation at the Jan. 22 meeting.

“It is with mixed feelings that I announce I am resigning from the Freeport Town Council later this month,” Arno said. “Although we are retaining our home in Freeport, I am re-locating to Washington, D.C., to accept an exciting new position at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Nine years of my career was spent as a senior manager in public television, and it is exciting for me to return to the field of public media. At CPB, I will be the director of TV Community Service Grant (CSG) Policy and Review. The fund is CPB’s largest pool of competitive grant funds available to PBS stations throughout the country and U.S. territories.”

Arno was elected to the council in November 2011, with a term ending in 2014. She had most recently worked at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School in Portland as a senior manager/senior policy associate for the Violence Against Women Measuring Effectiveness Initiative.

Freeport held a special election Dec. 4 to fill the seat of District 1 Councilor Sara Gideon, who resigned in October because she and her family moved from District 1 to a home located in District 3. Under the town’s charter, moving from the district prevented Gideon from continuing to serve as a District 1 councilor. In November, Gideon was elected to the Maine Legislature as the District 106 representative. David S. Gleeson Jr. was elected to fill Gideon’s seat with just 36 votes.

The other turnover on the council came in the November as Andrew Wellen defeated longtime Councilor James Cassida for Cassida’s at-large seat and Melanie Sachs was elected after running unopposed to fill the at-large seat previously occupied by retiring Councilor Charlotte Bishop.

“Moving from Freeport was never part of my family’s plans and this opportunity developed unexpectedly,” Arno said. “I sincerely wish that it did not require relocating. Working with my council colleagues, our excellent town staff, and Freeport residents has been an exceptional experience.”

Arno said she was “honored” to have served the residents of both District 2 and the town as a whole.

“It has been an extraordinary opportunity and I am especially proud of the work we did with the 2012 budget, holding the tax increase to just under 2 percent despite shifts in state spending to local government,” she said. “I am also particularly proud of the hire of our new town manager, Peter Joseph, and of the significant improvements we made to better engage the public and improve communications.”

Council Chairman James Hendricks said he would miss having Arno on the council.

“She’s been fair-minded and level-headed,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working with her.”

Because he hasn’t received any formal notice of resignation from Arno, Town Manager Peter Joseph said he did not want to comment on her upcoming departure from the council. He said that according to the town charter, once a council seat becomes vacant with at least six months to go before the next general election, as will be the case this time, the council must call for a special election to take place within 60 days from the date of the resignation, making a March election likely.

Kate Arno

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