CAPE ELIZABETH — Political newcomer Aaron Mosher is taking on incumbents Caitlin Jordan and Penny Jordan in the Cape Town Council race this fall.

There are two seats available on the town’s governing board, but no contest for two open seats on the School Board, as incumbent Kimberly Carr is running for re-election and Philip Saucier is seeking the seat being vacated by Susana Measelle Hubbs.

Incumbent Matthew Beck of South Portland is running unopposed for the open seat on the Portland Water District Board of Trustees.

Absentee ballots are available now through Oct. 31. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at Cape Elizabeth High School. Contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 799-7665 for more information, including registering to vote.

All three council candidates said this week that fiscal responsibility is at the top of their agenda and all agreed that one of the biggest issues facing the town is short-term rentals.

Caitlin Jordan

Jordan said that growth, with its accompanying challenges, is one of the most important issues the town is grappling with.

She said growth engenders conflict and debate about land rights and land use, especially when it comes to maintaining the town’s character. That’s why, Jordan said, short-term rentals have become such a hot issue in Cape.

“I think growth and land use are going to be the biggest issues for this coming year,” she said.

As a councilor, Jordan said, she can’t have a personal agenda and must approach each issue with the best interests of residents and the town in mind.

Jordan said voters should support her because “I love our town and want nothing more than to preserve our way of life while balancing that with growth and a (changing) world.”

Penny Jordan

“What I bring to the table is an understanding of how the town has changed over the years,” Jordan said.

As a councilor, her goal is to represent small business owners and to help maintain Cape’s agricultural landscape, she said.

In addition to short-term rentals, Jordan said, implementing the updated Comprehensive Plan and ensuring continued shoreline access are also among the big issues facing the town.

She agreed with Caitlin Jordan that managing growth, along with the needs of “our diverse citizens,” are top priorities.

An issue on the horizon, Jordan said, is what to do about Cape’s fire and rescue services.

The town has always relied on volunteer firefighters, but with a significant drop in the number of people signing up, the town may have to move toward hiring full-time professionals, she said.

Jordan said residents should vote for her if they like the work she’s done over the past three years and if they have “confidence in my problem-solving and decision-making.”

Mosher

Mosher agreed with the others that short-term rentals are a hot-button issue, but also said continuing the excellence of the school system in the face of declining state funding is a key concern.

Overall, he said, “I want to make sure (councilors) are good stewards of town funds and that residents can rely on us to spend wisely.”

One reason he’s running is to continue what he called an “efficient town government.” Mosher also said it will be important for the council to have good data as it makes decisions.

He’s also concerned with the number of lawsuits the town is currently defending.

Mosher said voters should support him because “I will bring some fresh energy to the council.”

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