Seven candidates are running for three seats on the non-partisan North Yarmouth Select Board in a political arena made tense by local development concerns.

Incumbents James Moulton and David Reed are being challenged by Paul Whitmarsh, Andrea Berry and Amy Haile for two, three-year terms. Newcomers Kevin Robinson and Katherine Perrin are running for a one-year term in the June 14 election.

Residents and elected officials have been split recently on issues concerning growth, with some who want to maintain the town’s rural character and others who would like to see more families and businesses move to town, specifically in the Village Center.

In a March referendum that stirred up contention, voters approved setting a cap of 15 on the number of building permits issued each year in both the Village Center and Village Residential zones.

Berry, who is 41 and a Democrat, said the town should develop an open space plan that prioritizes land for conservation.


“The response to development we see is because of what a new development looks like, barren ground, sparse plants,” she said. “I believe that nature can help us all feel like it’s a rural place even if there’s a house behind those trees. We can still maintain forested lands and make sure open spaces that are put into developments are usable and visible.”


The Select Board and residents need to find common ground, she said,  including a shared value of the town’s parks and open spaces and a vision for how those could be improved. Hosting more community events, like ice cream socials, would remind everyone that they’re all neighbors who want what’s best for the town, she said.

Berry has lived in North Yarmouth for about seven years and is the executive director of the nonprofit Wild Seed Project, which is based in town. She is treasurer of the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, serves on the board of Resources for Organizing and Social Change and volunteers for the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition’s Prison Book Project. A former member of the SAD 51 Communication Committee, she graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in archeology.


Haile, 49 and a Democrat, said recent negativity in town is one of the main reasons she chose to run. She didn’t feel it “represented the town she moved to and fell in love with” a decade ago. Everyone in town needs to take a deep breath and prioritize the major issues, she said.

She said she would look into restructuring zoning to find a “middle ground” on development, with different building caps for different areas.

Haile works at the University of New England and has previously volunteered as a youth soccer coach. She has a degree in English from Carleton College and a master’s in education from Simmons College.

Moulton, 73 and a Republican, said tension in local politics is a reflection of what’s happening nationwide with people  everywhere “polarized top to bottom.” It’s important to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and all need to be treated with respect, he said.



The Select Board needs to “straighten out our zoning and firm up our laws.” He said the pandemic and booming real estate market “created the perfect storm” for fast development and the town just needs to work through where they want to go from here.

Moulton, an auto repair shop owner, has lived in town most of his life, he said. He served on the Cumberland County Budget Advisory Committee for six years, the SAD 51 School Board from 2002 to 2005 and 2012 to 2015, and the Select Board for about five years.

Perrin, 38 and a Democrat, feels there has been a disconnect between longtime North Yarmouth families and new residents. Everyone needs to communicate more effectively “in order to bridge that gap,” she said.

She is in favor of listening to “proven, professional expertise” when it comes to analyzing sustainable growth in North Yarmouth.


Perrin has lived in North Yarmouth since 2014 and works as a clinical social worker. She previously served for six years on  the SAD 51 Board of Directors, including two years as chairperson.

Reed, 23, a longtime North Yarmouth resident who recently graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in political science, said people need “to stop playing political games” that contribute to tension among elected officials and residents.


Issues around development in town should be up to the voters, he said, and the role of the Select Board is to be a body “that listens to the public and gives them a chance to vote and facilitate productive conversation.”

Reed, a Republican who has worked as a landscaper and a tutor, has served on the Select Board since 2021, following a special election.


Robinson, 66, who also declined to share his political affiliation, said he feels the Select Board has already done a good job of getting the community to come together and collaborate.

He was in favor of the new building permit cap, he said, believing that development doesn’t need to come to a full stop but should be thought out and well-managed.

A mobile mechanic who has lived in town most of his life,  Robinson is president of the North Yarmouth Veterans Memorial Association and co-chairperson of the Economic Development and Sustainability Committee. He was also awarded North Yarmouth Citizen of the Year in 2017.

Whitmarsh, 54, said the pace of development in town “has been far too great” and people need to focus on the town as a whole when it comes to maintaining its character, rather than just focusing on the Village Center. They also “need to figure out as a whole town where we want to go,” he said.


The airline pilot and Navy veteran has lived in town for about 22 years, he said. He has volunteered as secretary for a homeowners association, treasurer for a youth sports club and as a member of a church council. He declined to disclose his party affiliation.

Berry, Perrin and Haile are running a joint campaign and are endorsing each other for seats on the Select Board.

Voting will take place at Wescustogo Hall and Community Center, at 120 Memorial Highway, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14.

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