August 1, 2013

Waterville Democrats choose City Council, school board candidates

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — City Democrats Wednesday night nominated candidates for City Council and School Board to run in the Nov. 6 election.

The candidates will run against whomever city Republicans choose to nominate at their caucus,  scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers at The Center at 93 Main St.

Unenrolled candidates must get nomination papers from the city clerk’s office, fill them out, acquire signatures, and return the papers by 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6, according to Deputy city Clerk Joyce Tillson.

About 25 people turned out for Wednesday’s caucus, held in the council chambers.

Incumbent City Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, nominated himself to run for re-election to his seat for a  three-year term, after realizing he was the only resident of his ward in attendance Wednesday.

“Are you in favor of nominating yourself, sir?” said Edward Lachowicz, who ran the meeting. The question from Lachowicz, vice chairman of the Democratic City Committee, drew laughter from the group, as did O’Donnell’s next comment.

“I vote for myself,” he said.

O’Donnell, 55, has served on the City Council six years.

City Councilor Rosemary Winslow, D-Ward 3, was nominated to run for re-election to her seat for a three-year term. Winslow, 66, has held her seat 13 years; she also is secretary of the Democratic City Committee.

Lachowicz, 31, was nominated to run for the Ward 2 City Council seat currently held by Michael Owens, who is unenrolled. Owens, 30, was appointed to the seat in November when George Myers Jr. vacated the position. Lachowicz, husband to state Sen. Colleen Lachowicz, is co-chairman of the city’s Charter Commission and a trustee of the Kennebec Water District.

Joan Phillips-Sandy, 67, was nominated to run for re-election to her seat on the Board of Education in Ward 3 for a three-year term; she has served 17 years in that position.

Board of Education member Victoria Duguay, who represents Ward 5, chose not to seek re-election. No one was nominated Wednesday to run for election to her seat.

Incumbents J. Michael Talbot and Jeff Earickson were nominated to run for two at-large, three-year positions on the Kennebec Water District Board of Trustees. Talbot is treasurer and Earickson is clerk on that board.

The following also were nominated: Jennifer Johnson for Ward 1 warden; Alicia Barnes for Ward 4 ward clerk (Barnes is a member of the city’s Planning Board); and Jacqueline Dupont, for Ward 7 warden.

Lachowicz said voters Nov. 6 will consider approving proposed changes to the City Charter, including one that would eliminate election of ward clerks and wardens.

If voters approve the changes, people elected ward clerk and warden will not maintain their positions, he said. Instead, the city clerk would appoint one warden and seven ward clerks, he said.

Democrats voted to allow Lachowicz to search for candidates to fill positions for which there were no nominations made Wednesday.

Those empty slots, besides Duguay’s school board post, are for a Ward 1 ward clerk; Ward 3 warden and ward clerk; Ward 4 warden; Ward 5 ward clerk and warden; and Ward 7 ward clerk.

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz and state Rep. Henry Beck spoke briefly at the caucus; Colleen Lachowicz’s father, Peter Madigan, chairman of the Democratic City Committee, opened the meeting.

Tillson said that no unenrolled candidates had taken out nomination papers as of Wednesday.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
acalder@centralmaine.com

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