At about 11 p.m. April 25, the Scarborough Town Council set the date for the recall election of three school board members (Donna Beeley, Cari Lyford and Jodi Shea). Unless you are tuned in to the town’s political scene, you may not even have heard the May 8 election date until now.

Yes, by setting the May 8 date, the council seemed to be in a wicked hurry to hold this election. And they were. But not for a good reason.

I believe their sole motivation was to severely minimize both public notice of the election and the length of the important early voting period. This voter-suppression technique has only one goal – to keep the total number of votes cast in this citizen-initiated election to fewer than 3,147, thereby causing the recall election to fail under town charter rules.

The council could easily have selected June 12 as the recall election date. That’s when the state primary and school budget referendum elections will occur. But in what I believe is an attempt to protect their school board cronies who are facing recall because of their failed leadership, the majority of Town Council members put this personal agenda ahead of the public’s interest in a fair, open election with maximum citizen participation.

All Scarborough citizens should vote in this watershed election on or before May 8. A “yes” vote will not only begin a process of restoring responsive leadership to the school board, but it will also put the Town Council on notice that we demand principled, transparent and fair town governance.

Steve Hanly

Scarborough


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