AUGUSTA — The race to represent Ward 2 on the Augusta Board of Education came down to whoever could get the most people to write their name on the ballot.

No candidate took out nomination papers to be listed as an official candidate on the ballot, so it became to a race between two write-in candidates, Sara Squires and Chris Clarke.

Voting results were not available at press time.

Clarke, 30, a bus driver and football coach who lives on Eastern Avenue, said during the campaign he would advocate for more funding for schools and said the city’s youth are its future and he would think of them first when making decisions on the board.

Squires, 38, public policy director for a local nonprofit organization and a resident of the Mayfair neighborhood, said she had a positive experience in Augusta schools and she wants to give back to the community. She said she would work collaboratively to improve communication among the school system, parents and others in the community.

The Ward 2 Board of Education seat now is held by Deborah Towle, who will be forced from the seat by the city’s term limits rule, which restricts school board members to three consecutive three-year terms.

Augusta voters also decided the fate of two bond issues that wouldauthorize the city to borrow funds.

One would allow the city to borrow $870,000 for fire safety apparatus purchases. More specifically, $675,000 for a new firetruck, to replace a 1994 truck; and $195,000 to buy a new ambulance, to replace a 2010 ambulance.

The other would allow the city to borrow $1.16 million for paving and other work on city streets, sidewalks and facilities. Projects proposed to be paid for with that money, according to the city’s capital improvement plan, include $350,000 for the reconstruction of Cedar Street; $400,000 for paving of city streets; $135,000 for “mill and fill” resurfacing projects on North, Cony, and Bridge streets; and $250,000 to reconstruct Leavitt Road.

Neither of those two borrowing proposals is expected to increase property taxes, as the bonds would be paid back with proceeds in taxes from natural gas pipelines and other taxable natural gas infrastructure in the city, collected in the city’s natural gas tax increment financing, or TIF, account.

TIFs allow municipalities to collect property taxes generated by new development and dedicate it to specific uses allowed under state law, including infrastructure, downtown revitalization, public safety equipment or economic development projects. By sheltering such money in a TIF, municipalities avoid reduction in state aid to education and other negative tax effects.

Running uncontested were incumbent Jennifer Day, at-large city councilor; incumbent Linda Conti, Ward 1 councilor; Edward Hastings, chairman of the Board of Education; and Jason Bersani, at-large school board member.

Eric Lind was the only candidate on the ballot for a Ward 4 council seat, though resident Joyce Grondin said, just days before the election, she was running as a write-in candidate.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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