GARDINER — New city councilor Patricia Hart said she’s delighted and honored to serve Gardiner.

Hart, chairman of the Planning Board, ran against Matt Caron for the seat. She won with 270 votes to Caron’s 145.

“I really had a wonderful time going door-to-door, meeting people, seeing old friends and neighbors,” Hart said Thursday. “I’m looking forward to making sure what I heard from them is represented in the council.”

Hart, who represents District 2, said residents are concerned about their stagnant and declining incomes and the ability to pay their rising property taxes.

She said it’s time for the council to focus on neighborhoods. Sidewalks are in disrepair, she said, and there are issues with foreclosures and vacant houses.

“I heard consistently that people care about Gardiner and that a lot of them give their time and energy to the community, and I’d like to build on that,” she said.

City Clerk Deirdre Berglund said Hart can remain chairman of the Planning Board until she is inaugurated in January. That date has yet to be set.

Hart, 49, an economist and consultant who evaluates government and private sector programs, has been active in city government for 11 years.

Married with two children, Hart has a bachelor’s degree in economics and classical studies from The College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in resource economics from the University of Massachusetts.

“I’d like to congratulate the other councilors who won their races and Matt Caron for putting his best foot forward in the campaign,” Hart said. “He worked hard and deserves a congratulation for that.”

None of the other three council races were contested Tuesday.

Chris Leake was re-elected with 305 votes to represent District 1. Phillip Hart — no relation to Patricia — was re-elected to represent District 4 with 358 votes. And Thomas Harnett, a write-in candidate and former chairman of the Crematory Committee, was elected to the District 3 seat with 100 votes.

Rebecca Fles and Diane Potter were re-elected to represent the city on Maine School Administration District 11 Board of Directors. Fles received 1,028 votes and Potter, 1,217.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]


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