SCARBOROUGH — Four candidates are vying for two, three-year seats on the Town Council, with Bill Donovan seeking a third term and Katy Foley leaving after one term.

Challengers include Betsy Glysteen, who unsuccessfully ran for School Committee last year, Kenneth Johnson and Robert “Will” Rowan, who is looking to return to the council. Last year, Rowan ran for a second term, but lost to Paul Johnson and Don Hamill in a four-way race for two seats.

Residents will be voting at Scarborough High School on Nov. 5, when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

William Donovan

Donovan said he is running for re-election because he has strengthened the town’s fiscal condition and quality of life since he began his term in 2013. A lot still remains to be done, he said, and his background and experience will help the town achieve its goals.

Donovan said the strongest need lies in the expansion of the community center, local library and schools, noting that affordability is a critical component. He believes residents should vote for him because he has been a strong voice for the town that has put words into action. Donovan said he’s helped pursue economic development initiatives that have created good jobs. He has supported energy and land conservation efforts, as well as public education initiatives.

“Good schools are a winner for everyone. They are a cornerstone of our economy, quality of life and democracy,” Donovan said. “Further, good schools increase property values to the benefit of homeowners and create pride in our community.”

Betsy Glysteen

Glysteen said she is running to provide voters a choice in how they want to see the town run. She believes the biggest issue facing the town is how to manage growth while keeping the town and the tax rate affordable for all, particularly families and seniors.

She said her past municipal experience would make her a good councilor. As a resident of Scarborough since 1996, she also owned a camp on Frye Island and her political knowledge was used to help the small town of five people because Scarborough has had enough people stepping up to the plate. Now, however, she feels it’s time she got involved in helping Scarborough refocus its priorities.

“It’s all about finding a balance and helping people prioritize … I bring some good ideas and tools to the table that will help people figure out what is important to them,” she said. “They can share that with me and I’ll take that forward. I would be there to represent the people and not always to represent my own viewpoints.”

Kenneth Johnson

Johnson said he has seen the town evolve dramatically in his 35 years, and he feels it’s time to give back to the community, particularly in a time where the town seems to be practicing what he considers “irresponsible growth management.” Instead of sitting on the sidelines and complaining, he said, he decided it would be more productive to get involved.

The town has a problematic debt issue, he alleged, and as a fiscal conservative he hopes to play an important role in long-term plans to rework the tax rate and improve the lives of retiring residents who struggle. He also hopes to mend communication among officials and residents, saying that somewhere along the line, residents began to feel as if their voices went unheard in policy decisions.

“The communication is borderline non-existent,” he said. “Without that, folks in the town feel uninformed, left behind, and that’s a top priority for me because an awful lot of other issues can be solved if communication channels are solved and people can engage when necessary.”

Robert ‘Will’ Rowan

After serving on council from 2015-2018, Rowan ran for a second term last year but lost to Paul Johnson and Don Hamill in a four-way race for two seats. He hopes to be re-elected to council this year because he wants to see the town represented by leaders driven by facts and data, not emotions.

He also said the town is facing a cycle of rapid growth, which will have a direct impact on schools and strain services. He hopes to broaden the local property tax relief initiative, preserve underdeveloped land and work to reduce the amount of borrowing on the annual budget.  If chosen, he hopes to build up the town’s reserve funds for a more solid financial footing in the future.

“I’m a level-headed, data-minded guy, I work hard, and talk to people who disagree and are aware of my bias,” he said. “I’ve had great experience in terms of leading this town before, and it’s from my experience and disposition of being open and willing to listen that makes me the right choice for our residents.”

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