WATERVILLE — The City Council could look a lot different next year, as two councilors say they will not run for re-election in November, a third is undecided and candidates for a fourth council seat vacated earlier this month have not been chosen yet.

The Planning Board dynamics also are changing with the recent resignations of Jessica Laliberte and Lauren LePage, the daughter of Gov. Paul LePage. Mayor Nick Isgro is seeking to appoint Julian Payne and Alek Fortier to those vacant positions. The appointments are subject to approval by the City Council.

The council meeting next week was rescheduled from Tuesday to Monday because South End National Night Out will be held Tuesday.

At the meeting, councilors also will consider voting to declare a vacancy on the council since Lauren Lessing, D-Ward 3, resigned recently and moved to Iowa.

City Clerk Patti Dubois said Wednesday that the council will decide whether to advertise for the Ward 3 position, solicit applications and appoint someone to fill the spot until November; or wait until someone is elected in November. Meanwhile, party caucuses probably will consider nominees for the position.

There’s only one Republican among six Democrats on the City Council: Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4. The Waterville City Republican Committee plans to caucus at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the council chamber to choose candidates for not only seats on the council in wards 1, 3, 5 and 7, but also for Waterville Board of Education in Wards 1 and 7, now held by Democrats Sara Sylvester and Pamela Trinward, respectively. Both Sylvester, school board chairman, and Trinward, plan to run for re-election for another three-year term.

The Waterville City Democratic Committee plans to caucus at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Alfond Youth Center, according to Chairman Claude Francke.

Council Chairman Steve Soule, D-Ward 1, says he does not plan to run for re-election for a three-year term. Soule has been a councilor three years, two as chairman.

“I feel I am good at compromise, but in the past two years, a group of people have changed the climate with theories and innuendos that require a thick skin,” Soule said. “They claim an elected councilor needs to take the name-calling, but I disagree. We don’t ask our dentists or clerks in the store to ‘just take it.’ City government should be a diverse people with many ideas.”

Jackie Dupont, D-Ward, 7, who has served on the council three years and was a Planning Board member for four years before that, said she is not seeking re-election for a three-year term because she wants to spend more time with her family. Dupont was a member of the city’s charter commission in 2012 and leads the South End Neighborhood Association.

“I have spent the last 15 years serving Waterville in many ways, and it is an honor to live a life of service to others,” she said. “I also gave birth to my daughter, Maeve, at the end of my first year on the council. She has been my primary source of hope during these contentious times, and I want to be able to enjoy more of her toddler years. The long hours away from her were worth it and I feel I have represented the majority of my ward well, but it’s time to redirect my energy. Waterville is at a tipping point of prosperity and will be successful with strong stewardship.”

Councilor John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, says he has not yet decided whether he will run for his seat.

“Right now I’m up in the air,” he said. “I’m leaning toward running. There is such a potential turnover that I’m a little bit leery about leaving the council. Everyone would be new, essentially, and there needs to be some continuity there.”

Both the vacant Ward 3 position and O’Donnell’s seats are for one-year terms.

Sara Sylvester, a Democrat and chairman of the Waterville Board of Education representing Ward 1, said she plans to run for re-election for a three-year term. Democrat Pamela Trinward, D-Ward 7, plans to run for re-election to the school board, also for a three-year term.

Candidates chosen at caucuses to run for seats in the Nov. 6 election must gather 25 to 50 signatures from registered voters in their wards in order to have their names placed on the ballot with an “R” or “D” next to their names, designating Republican or Democrat, according to Dubois. Dubois said the deadline for submitting the signatures to her office is 5 p.m. Sept. 7.

“If someone wants to run without party affiliation, they can just fill out nomination papers and get signatures,” she said.

Voting on Nov. 6 is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Thomas College, according to Dubois.

Meanwhile, LePage’s notice of resignation from the Planning Board was emailed July 25. It reads:

“Good Afternoon Mayor Isgro, While I certainly appreciate your confidence in me on the Planning Board, I have work commitments that will prevent me from participating in an adequate fashion over the coming months. Please consider this email a formal resignation.”

Laliberte’s resignation, dated July 31, also was issued via email. It reads: “Mr. Mayor and Planner (Ann) Beverage: It has been an honor and great privilege to serve my community as a member of the planning board. However, at this time, I have made the decision to step aside. I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given the last several years. I wish the board all my best.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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