Scarborough Town Hall

Scarborough Town Hall Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard

SCARBOROUGH —Three candidates running for a Scarborough Town Council seat in the June 14 election took part in a Candidates Night forum Wednesday, April 27, sponsored by the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce.  

During the Candidates Night, residents were able to hear from the candidates, Peter Freilinger, Nicholas McGee, and Martin Topol, the three candidates running for the vacant council seat. Candidates discussed their visions and priorities for Scarborough if elected. They also responded to public questions around growth and its impact on infrastructure and town services, their viewpoints on key town issues.

This race is to fill a vacancy on the Town Council created by the resignation of Paul Johnson, with a term to expire in 2024. The election to fill this vacancy will be held on June 14 at the Scarborough High School in person.

Peter Freilinger is a consultant and entrepreneur. He grew up in Cape Elizabeth and after graduating from Harvard, he spent 25 years building a career in finance and banking. Freilinger held many senior executive roles in San Francisco, Seattle, Alberta, and London. In 2018, he returned home to Scarborough. He serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Long-Range Planning Committee for Scarborough. In 2021, he helped develop the town’s comprehensive plan. Freilinger said during the meeting that he has some great ideas when it comes to managing growth, environmental change, and flooding on U.S. Route 1 and Pine Point Road.  

“I was born and raised in Maine,” Freilinger said. “Scarborough and this part of the world is kind of in my blood. I moved back here four years ago to be closer to my family. When I got back one of the things, I wanted to do was get involved in the community quickly. That is why I joined the Long-Range Planning committee; the Zoning Board of Appeals and am a member of the Personnel Appeals Board. The part of why I am running is because my son is in the fourth grade at Wentworth, I think it is important to show our kids what it means to be involved in our communities and it is important to do things as simple as raising your hand and offering to serve the community in whatever capacity you can.”  

Candidate Nicholas McGee is a Maine native and a small business owner of Summit Property Management. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Providence College. McGee has served on the Scarborough Planning Board for eight years, two as chairperson, and was chair of the Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee. During the meeting, McGee said that the town has needs like the library expansion request, primary school, growth along Route 1, and a new community center. 


“I did run back in November 2020 if my memory serves me correct. The reason I am doing this again was the reason I did it the first time,” McGee said. “I spent eight years working on the Planning Board and we spent a lot of time going through the projects that are happening within the town, working within our ordinances, and figuring out what challenges the community comes to a board with when dealing with government and also having to sit here and enforce the rules in government. Take that knowledge and experience and use it to benefit how we operate not just with people who have to interact with our government but also bring that vision for what this looks like for us for our kids 30 years down the road.  

Martin “Marty” Topol is a lawyer at Verrill Dana and moved to Scarborough from Boston 18 months ago. He attended Princeton and graduated from the University of Michigan Law in 2016. Topol served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Hampshire and was an intelligence analyst for the FBI criminal investigative division in Washington, D.C.  

“I am running for Town Council first and foremost because I believe that public service is a really important civic responsibility,” Topol said. “That is one reason I joined the FBI out of college. Serving on Town Council will let me get to know Scarborough better and at the same time, I hope it will let me give back meaningfully to the community and also help my neighbors. I agree with many of you as shown by the recent community survey that overall were fortunate to have things pretty good here in Scarborough. That being said though, there are challenges relating among other things to planning and dealing with the growth of the town the same challenges that many communities in Southern Maine are facing right now. I am running for Town Council not because I think I have all of the answers but because I have the traits that I would like to see in my town councilors fairness, open-mindedness, a willingness to study the issues, a willingness to listen to my neighbors about their concerns and if it helps, I am smart and hard working.”

During the meeting, candidates shared their views on the library expansion project. All three agreed with the current Town Councilors that the project should go forward to the November 2022 ballot. The councilors said the library is maximizing every space they have currently, and it is time to give them more space. 

Candidates shared their views on other issues including the community survey, growth management, the Downs project, and the GMO (Growth Management Ordinance) exemption. A lot of the questions that were answered by the three candidates were about what they will do about the GMO exemption and the new proposed Town Center. 

 The Special Municipal Election will coincide with the regular town School Budget Validation Referendum Election and the State Primary Election on June 14. Polling and ballot information can be found on the town website. On May 16, early voting will begin. For more information, go to the website   

Residents that were not able to make the meeting can view the Candidates Night on the YouTube video recording. This recording will air regularly on the Scarborough Community TV Channel 3.

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