Waterville, Fairfield and Vassalboro residents chose local officials in Tuesday’s elections, while Madison voters split nearly evenly on the question of whether the town should allow recreational marijuana retail establishments.


In the City Council race for the Ward 2 race, incumbent Councilor Nathaniel J. White, 31, a Democrat and part-time Winslow firefighter who works full-time in patient registration at Inland Hospital, defeated newcomer Robert K. Hussey, 59, a Republican and senior manufacturing engineer for Huhtamaki, in a 257-195 vote.

In Ward 4, incumbent Councilor Sydney R. Mayhew, 51, a Republican and general manager for McDonald’s Romad & Co., on Bangor Street in Augusta, defeated challenger Christopher D. Rancourt, 38, a Democrat and conductor-supervisor for Pan Am Railways, 466-313.

In Ward 6, Councilor Winifred Tate, 47, a Democrat and associate professor of anthropology at Colby College who ran unopposed for her council seat, was re-elected with 351 votes.

In the Waterville Board of Education race for Ward 2, incumbent Susan M. Reisert, 53, a Democrat and pastor and teacher at Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Hallowell, defeated Republican challenger Patrick J. Roy, 70, a retired startup manager and night supervisor for Cates & Associates, in a 307-135 vote.


In Ward 4 incumbent Maryanne Bernier, 60, a Democrat and interventionist and coach for struggling student readers, as well as a coach to teachers in School Administrative District 54, defeated challenger Rebekah Kathryn Collins, 25, a homemaker who ran with no party affiliation, in a 594-133 vote.

In Ward 5 newcomer Julian A. Payne, 48, a Democrat and retired stay-at-home father, ousted incumbent Mary E. Fitzpatrick, 62, an independent and teacher at Mount Merici Academy, 368-251.

In Ward 6, incumbent Elizabeth A. Bickford, running unopposed, was re-elected with 337 votes.

In the vote for two citywide Kennebec Water District Trustees, newcomers Denise Ann Bruesewitz and Alexander Gregory Wild, running unopposed, received 2,570 and 2,282 votes, respectively. They will replace Joan Sanzenbacher and Kevin Gorman.


Newcomer Courtney Chandler defeated incumbent Town Councilor Jeff Neubauer, 597-447.


Neubauer was appointed to the council last winter after Robert Sezak resigned his position when he was elected a Somerset County commissioner.

Chandler, who works at J.C. Penney in Waterville, said she ran for Town Council to address poverty in town, get businesses to come and stay and to help improve infrastructure.

Neubauer, who works for Matheson Gas, serves on the town’s Economic and Community Development Advisory Committee and was previously a member of the School Administrative District 49 board of directors.

Shelley Rudnicki and Danielle Boutin were elected to the two seats available on the School Administrative District 49 board of directors with 722 and 858 votes, respectively. Rudnicki, 51, the incumbent chairwoman, owns Shelley’s Used Cars in Fairfield Center. She has been on the board for nine years and has lived in Fairfield 29 years.

Boutin said she decided to run to make sure her two children can get the best possible education in the district. She said she was born and raised in Fairfield and works for a few organizations, including Literacy Volunteers in Waterville and Friends of Messalonskee.

Mark McCluskey was elected to a seat on the Kennebec Water District with 1,034 votes.



Vassalboro residents elected John Melrose to the Board of Selectmen with 517 votes. He defeated Lewis Devoe, who got 169 votes; and Larisa Batchelder, who received 320. Melrose will complete the term of Phil Haines, who died in September. That term will last until the annual spring Town Meeting, when another election will be held for a three-year term.

Batchelder, 38, who owns Cozy Barn Antiques with her husband, had hoped to improve transparency and communication between the town and elected officials.

Devoe, 69, worked as the facilities manager for New Balance in Maine for 17 years and wanted to use his business experience to save the town money. Melrose, 66, has served in a number of government-related positions, including eight years as the commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. He said he ran for selectman to help keep the town on track and improve some of its operations.


Madison residents on Tuesday voted 445-421 to prohibit all types of retail marijuana establishments in town.


The vote was not about an ordinance, but was a way to “get a final direction” from residents on how next to proceed, Madison Town Manager Tim Curtis said in October.

A “yes” vote meant voters want to prohibit any retail sales. A “no” vote meant that residents are open to some sort of regulation. If the majority of voters vote “yes,” then the town will move forward with whatever steps necessary to prohibit retail sales. If they votes “no,” then the town will move forward with whatever steps necessary to regulate some sort of retail marijuana.

Meanwhile, the Maine House of Representatives voted Monday to sustain Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would create the legal framework for retail sales of recreational marijuana. The 74-62 vote Monday fell 17 votes short of the two-thirds margin required to overturn LePage’s veto.

The next step on the law approved by Maine voters last fall remains unclear, with a moratorium on recreational sales expiring Feb. 1. The Legislature reconvenes in January and could pass legislation then.

Madison residents have said during public hearings that allowing marijuana sales in town would be a boon to the local economy, which the recent closing of a paper mill and the loss of jobs there have damaged.

“Whatever business plan someone were to bring to the town for use of space or property taxes, we look at every business as to how it’s going to benefit the community,” Curtis said.


Under the part of the Marijuana Legalization Act approved by voters last fall, people still can grow up to six marijuana plants on their property and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use. The marijuana bill sets a 20 percent retail and excise tax, eliminates the grow cap and sets a two-year residency requirement for licenses.

It forbids giving marijuana away, drive-through windows, online sales and home delivery.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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