Property taxes, a new school and affordable housing are among the top concerns of the two incumbents and one newcomer vying for two three-year seats on the Cumberland Town Council.

Bob Vail and Michael Edes are seeking reelection June 14 and Brian Kilgallen hopes to unseat one of them.

Edes, 63, an independent who has served on the council for nine years, said the town needs to focus on keeping taxes stable while balancing the needs of the community.

A new SAD 51 school to accommodate Cumberland-North Yarmouth’s growing student population, a new police station and expanding the food pantry should be priorities, he said.

Kilgallen, 39 and a Democrat, agreed that a new school “is the most pressing issue” Cumberland is facing.



“The council’s role in that is looking at our capital program, looking at our services and maybe pulling back a little bit on our capital program in order to support a brand new school,” said Kilgallen, who has two children enrolled in SAD 51. “It’s our obligation to provide a new school as well as the quality of life that residents have come to enjoy. It’s a balancing of those obligations.”

Vail, a general contractor who describes himself as a liberal Republican, said a lack of housing affordability in Cumberland is a major issue as is “long-term livability.” Since the school budget accounts for about two-thirds of residents’ tax burden, he said, the town needs to work with the state to get more funding for education to offset property taxes.

Kilgallen, who develops affordable housing for a Portland-based nonprofit, said the council should work with local developers in addressing housing affordability “to see how they can be a part of the puzzle.”  A good start, he said, would be a review of zoning laws to ensure appropriate density in because affordable housing projects in town will compete with other communities for state and federal for funding.

Vail, who declined to provide his age, said affordable housing may look different than it has in the past because single-family homes have become unaffordable with the high cost of land and construction. He recently proposed creating a housing task force in Cumberland, which the Town Council will vote June 6.

“On some level, the town has to provide the land or a tax incentive (for affordable housing), he said. “Whether the developer is a town entity or a private entity, there has to be some state or federal dollars to help us achieve that.

“People are seeking asylum today, specifically Ukrainians. How do we do that? We have to have a collaborative approach at the federal, state and local levels,” he said.


Vail has has served on the Town Council for three years and was a member of the SAD 51 Board of Directors and the Cumberland Planning Board for 15 years each.


Edes, a father of two and the executive director for the Fraternal Order of Police in Maine, said affordable housing doesn’t stay affordable. After an affordable home is sold a second and third time it is priced out of reach for many, he said.

“We have to look at the new state law and see what we have to do to comply with it and then find ways to do more apartment projects or cluster housing,” Edes said, referring to a bill Gov. Janet Mills signed on April 27 that allows multi-unit dwellings to be built on lots zoned for single-family housing.

Cumberland’s election takes place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14 at Town Hall, 290 Tuttle Road.

Comments are not available on this story.