Two South Portland residents hope to replace Mayor Linda Cohen as the District 4 city councilor.

April Caricchio and James Gilboy are competing to succeed Cohen, who opted not to seek a third term.

Attorney Misha C. Pride, meanwhile, is the only candidate on the ballot for the District 3 seat being vacated by Councilor Eben Rose, who also decided not to run for re-election.

Caricchio, who has lived in the city for 25 years, said she wants South Portland to be a place where her children can come back to work, be part of the community and raise their own families.

She said she is running because she brings a different perspective and experiences from her life growing up in public housing, raising her family as a single working-class mother and working with vulnerable populations such as the elderly and children with special needs.

“I’ve brought three children through the system, one with special needs, been a small-business owner in the area for 15 years, been a landlord and a homeowner in the city,” she said.


Caricchio said she is in favor of the short-term rental ordinance that will be the subject of a citywide referendum Tuesday, and believes it is a reasonable compromise, although she also sees the ability to rent rooms as a way of supplementing income and wants that to remain a viable option.

She said the council has to be vigilant about protecting the environment because so much of the future depends on it. From tourism to quality of life, she said, there are intricate ties with the health of the natural landscape.

“I deeply appreciate what it means to have clean air, and I recognize you can’t undo damage to the environment. We need to protect what we have,” Caricchio said.

Gilboy said he often thinks outside the box, which is necessary when facing issues affecting the city.

Gilboy has previous experience in city government, having served on the School Board from 2002-2015. He got involved in the community when he moved to South Portland from Massachusetts 16 years ago.

Gilboy said he sees both sides of the short-term rental debate: protecting property rights and the ability to make extra income, and the desire to preserve the character of a neighborhood.


He said it is a good idea to get the full scope of voters to weigh in on the issue, and he supports going to referendum, but said the city has voted one way before, with the council later maneuvering around the decision. Gilboy said the issue may end up in court litigation.

Gilboy said he supports the consolidated middle school plan, which he believes will ensure students have access to the same education and opportunities.

He would also like the city to be more active in promoting businesses.

Juliette Laaka can be contacted at 781-3661, ext. 106, or at:

Twitter: JulietteLaaka

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