WATERVILLE — Only residents of Ward 2 will face a contested race in city elections when they go to the polls Nov. 6.

Siobhan Leslie Kümm and Edward L. Lachowicz are vying for a seat on the charter commission in that ward.

All the other candidates for charter commission, as well as for City Council, Board of Education and a warden position are uncontested.

Kümm, a student pursuing a degree in English with a concentration in government, said she is running for charter commission because, with all the activity occurring nationally, it is important not to forget the local level.

“Things start at the bottom and work their way up,” Kümm said. “I think if everybody is active and involved at the local level, that is the greatest way we can effect change.”

Lachowicz, a student pursuing a degree in social work, said he is running for a seat on the charter commission because he thinks the job, more than any other in the city, requires someone who is “extremely meticulous about language.”

“The city charter is basically our local constitution, and every word is important,” Lachowicz said. “I ran because we need someone who knows why things are written the way they are, knows how they need to be changed, and what is great just the way it is.”

He is husband to Colleen Lachowicz, D-Waterville, who is running against Thomas H. Martin Jr., R-Benton, for the Senate District 25 seat.

The charter governs how the city operates. The 10-member charter commission includes seven members elected by voters and three appointed by the City Council, and one of those may be a councilor.

A commission is chosen periodically to determine if changes to the charter are necessary to help improve city operations. The commission may conclude that no changes are necessary and recommend no changes. Voters have the final say, as they vote on any proposed changes.

The city’s first charter was adopted in the 1970s; the last revisions were made in 2005.

City Manager Michael Roy said the current charter requires the city to ask voters this year if a charter commission should be established to revise the current charter or create a new one, and voters will consider the same question again every seven years.

Maine voters in 1969 approved an amendment to the state constitution that allows the city to adopt local charters, according to the city’s website. The action became known as home rule. Prior to home rule, towns and cities in Maine were required to go to the Legislature for approval of most proposed changes in how they wanted to govern themselves. A charter may cover any governance not denied by state law, or already covered by state or federal law.

In other local elections Nov. 6, the following candidates are running unopposed:

* Council Chairman Charles F. Stubbert Jr., D-Ward 1, and Councilor Karen A. Rancourt-Thomas, D-Ward 7, are up for re-election for 3-year terms.

* Board of Education members Sara J. Sylvester, D-Ward 1, and Pamela J. Trinward, D-Ward 7, are up for re-election to 3-year terms.

* Bernard C. Huebner in Ward 1, Democratic City Councilor Rosemary J. Winslow in Ward 3, Donald N. Dufour in Ward 5 and Jacqueline E. Dupont in Ward 7 for Charter Commission.

* Democrat Penelope M. Rafuse for warden in Ward 4.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

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