CAPE ELIZABETH — A digital business manager, a retired technology executive, a doctor and a public health manager have thrown their hats in the ring for two seats on the Cape Elizabeth Town Council this fall.

The seats are being vacated by Council Chair Valerie Adams and Councilor Christopher Straw, who have both declined to run for reelection. Adams has said she is not running because she is moving out of town. Straw did not respond to requests for comment from The Forecaster.

The candidates — Nicole Boucher, 34, a self-employed manager for digital business owners; Kevin Jordan, 64, a retired technology executive; Christopher Kleeman, 47, medical director of the Department of Gastroenterology at Mercy Hospital; and Gretchen Noonan, 42, a former program manager at Maine Medical Center, now a substitute teacher —  have all submitted nomination papers for the seats.

All four candidates were asked how they would continue helping Cape Elizabeth navigate the coronavirus pandemic. Boucher said she intends to continue to follow the guidance of state officials with regard to fighting the coronavirus pandemic and to work to keep local residents safe.

“We must continue to work to ensure that our schools have the support they need from the town to minimize community spread and that our businesses have the signage and education they need to reduce the risks to employees, customers and travelers,” Boucher said.

Jordan noted the importance of implementing advice and recommendations from experts.

“Following the guidance of health experts will enable us to put the pandemic behind us as quickly as possible, and being sensitive to financial stress will help our citizens and businesses ride though the crisis,” he said.

Kleeman said he worked as a volunteer to help test people for COVID-19 and as a doctor learned firsthand about how to prevent the spread of the disease.

“In the event of a major outbreak in Cape Elizabeth, I would be uniquely suited to help contain and prevent transmission of the virus,” he said.

Noonan noted Cape Elizabeth already has resources, such as a food pantry, school nutrition program, a local library and open spaces for recreation “to support residents during an event like” the coronavirus pandemic and said if elected she will continue to support those resources.

“I would also prioritize resources for fire and rescue (departments), as their services are essential and they risk exposure to COVID with every call for service,” she said.

When asked what else they will plan to do if elected, Boucher cited the importance of serving the local community.

“As a business owner and parent to a young student, I feel that I bring fresh ideas and perspective to the community as well as a strategic and collaborative approach to problem solving,” she said.

Jordan said he was concerned about the ongoing increase in the local property tax rate.

“We need to improve the budgeting process so that tax rates do not exceed inflation and the town can maintain a diverse community,” he said. “A diverse community is a strong and vibrant one.”

Kleeman said he was interested in helping the town develop sidewalks and bike paths downtown and wants to see more recreational opportunities, such as an outdoor ice skating rink. He also said he was “excited” to see renewable energy projects, such as a new solar panel project beginning near the transfer station.

“If elected, I vow to keep an open mind, hear both sides and do my homework when it comes to representing the town and people’s interests,” he said.

Noonan said she was not running “because I have an agenda to achieve or an ax to grind,” but said she supported active communities and neighborhoods that promoted walking.

“Well-lit sidewalks, wide shoulders, etc. are good for health, safety and aesthetics and as a councilwoman I would support sensible development in this area,” she said.

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