Gorham election worker Terry Towle checks in a voter Tuesday in Ward 2 at Shaw Gym. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Gorham voters approved a school budget with a 9% tax increase by just four votes Tuesday, narrowly averting a replay of last year when the budget was defeated and then required two additional validation referendums to get it passed.

The vote was 1,827 to 1,823 in favor of the $53.4 million budget.

“I think there are two important comments to share regarding this year’s budget vote,” school Superintendent Heather Perry said in an email Wednesday. “First, I think the results demonstrate the importance of every single vote and voice in our local democracy. Second, I think it demonstrates clearly to our school and municipal officials that we all still have work to do in regards to creating sustainable taxes in our community for the long-term.”

The school portion of the tax rate rises from $8.79 per thousand dollars of valuation to $9.59, an 80-cent, or 9% increase. The owner of a home assessed at $400,000 will see a $320 increase in their property tax bill, from $3,516 to $3,836, to support education.

Perry said school and town officials are ready to work as part of the joint Fiscal Sustainability Committee to address the tax issue.

“We look forward to our part in these important ongoing conversations and to seeking solutions together,” she said. “I would encourage Gorham community members to continue to follow the work of this committee.”

Gorham voters also approved, overwhelmingly, an $875,000 fire truck purchase, 2,666 to 980.


In a Democratic primary faceoff in House District 109, Eleanor Sato defeated Seven Siegel, a town councilor, 688-555. Sato swept Ward 1-1 and Ward 1-2.

Sato, 26, won her first election bid, but has experience as a party organizer and as a legislative aide in Augusta.

“I’m honored and grateful to have been nominated to run for state representative in the general election on Nov. 5,” Sato said in response to emails Wednesday. “Seven Siegel ran an admirable campaign, and I have no doubt in their ability to continue serving Gorham as a Town Councilor. I am committed to utilizing my professional expertise and lived experience to serve the people of Gorham. I hope I can earn your vote in November.”

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