WATERVILLE — The dynamics will change on the City Council as a result of two new councilors having been elected Tuesday, but current councilors say they look forward to getting to know them and working to ensure a smooth budget process next year.

Lauren Lessing and Nick Champagne were elected to the council in wards 3 and 5, respectively, replacing longtime Democratic councilors Rosemary Winslow and Chairman John O’Donnell, who will leave office at the end of the year.

Lessing, 47, is a Democrat and director of academic and public programs at Colby College Museum of Art. Champagne, 29, is a Republican and professional engineer for A.E. Hodsdon Engineering. He also is chairman of the city’s Planning Board.

The current seven-member council will meet once more this month and twice in December. The newly elected councilors will take the oath of office Jan. 3, during the council’s first meeting in 2017, according to City Clerk Patti Dubois.

“Rosemary and John have been public figures for a long time in the city of Waterville, and they have done a fantastic job while they were on the council, and they realized that it’s time,” said Councilor Nathaniel White, D-Ward 2. “They’ve done their service and it is time for them to move on.”

White said he looks forward to working with the new councilors.

“I’m really excited to see how those changes are going to affect the council,” he said. “I really think that the two new candidates, Lauren Lessing and Nick Champagne, will be really good for Waterville, with Lauren as a director at the museum and with the revitalization of downtown. That’s important, having that kind of bridge from Colby to the city. And Nick Champagne is a very smart young man. I went to school with Nick. He graduated a year or two after me in high school. I think he is really the best candidate for Ward 5 and I’m very happy for him.”

A council that is predominantly Democratic will now have two Republicans. Sydney Mayhew, who represents Ward 4, is now the lone Republican councilor.

Mayor Nick Isgro, a Republican, said Wednesday that he thinks the addition of Champagne will provide “a little more balance to the council,” although he noted he doesn’t think it has to do with political party, but rather adding “more balance to the discussion.”

“I think first, it is important we be thankful for the length of service John and Rosemary have given to the community,” Isgro said. “At the same time, I think it’s always good to bring in new and fresh perspectives, so I think having two brand new people will help offer that. I hate to preconceive how things are going to go. I’m looking forward to working with the new councilors.”

Councilor Dana Bushee, D-Ward 6, said she does not know Lessing or Champagne well but was impressed by their campaigns.

“I’m excited to work with them,” she said. “The last election, Sydney and then Steve and Jackie came on board, so I’m used to having the seats changing. From what I’ve seen of Nick Champagne, he seems to be a positive person and seems to be really open-minded.”

Lessing brings a different dynamic as a parent and Colby employee, according to Bushee. She said she will miss O’Donnell and Winslow and hopes councilors can get to know each other before delving into important issues.

Bushee, who joined the council in 2013 and now will be the longest-serving member on the new council, said she plans to nominate Councilor Steve Soule, D-Ward 1, for the role of chairman. She described him as independent-thinking and open-minded.

“I think he’ll have the support of the council,” she said. “Everybody seems to respect him a lot.”

Mayhew said he welcomes Lessing and Champagne to the council.

“I’m very excited about it and I think, with all of the divisiveness that has happened over the contentious budget we had, this new energy and analytical approach that will come with these two new councilors will be welcoming,” Mayhew said, “and I’m hoping there will be a better connection with not only constituents, but better working relations with the school board as well.”

Mayhew, describing himself as bipartisan and one who works across the aisle, said he looks forward to working with councilors regardless of political party.

“I think we need to be more proactive with this budget than last, sitting down earlier and hammering things out, versus what happened last year,” Mayhew said. “We actually went back and forth in deliberations with the budget for six months, and I can attest to that. We worked on this budget that was so contentious and included a veto and override.”

Like the other sitting councilors, Soule said he looks forward to working with Lessing and Champagne.

“The two leaving the City Council have been great to work with and the two replacing them will be instrumental in bringing some great ideas to the group of seven,” Soule said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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Twitter: @AmyCalder17