Gardiner City Councilor Maryann White during a goal-setting session in February 2020 at the Gardiner Public Library. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

GARDINER — Maryann White, a third-term city councilor, has announced she is leaving the City Council at the end of the month.

White, 53, said she and her husband, William, are moving to Augusta after the sale of their house in Gardiner, where they have lived since 1997, is completed.

Maryann White

“I want to thank you and the city staff for making the last four and a half years enjoyable for me,” White wrote in her resignation letter to Mayor Patricia Hart. “I took the job as a city councilor seriously and enjoyed the privilege of serving.

“I also want to thank many of my fellow councilors for a respectful and fulfilling process. I wish you all nothing but the best and hope that finding my replacement is not a daunting process for you.”

Hart responded by thanking White for her work on behalf of Gardiner.

“Councilor White has served the city well over the past 4 1/2 years,” Hart said Tuesday night. “She was always professional, very well-prepared and paid great attention to detail.”

White was first elected to the City Council in 2016 as one of seven candidates vying for three at-large seats. She easily was reelection twice.

White’s decision to step down has been driven by the state’s hot real estate market and long-term plans she and her husband have to relocate to Nova Scotia after she retires from teaching in three years. White teaches mathematics at Lawrence Junior High School in Fairfield.

After seeing the strong, above-market offers that both her mother and aunt received earlier this year, White and her husband opted to list their house to take advantage of the high demand for houses in Kennebec County.

“We weren’t planning on this for three years,” White said. “We didn’t want to chance the three years, because we didn’t know if the market would last that long.”

Rather than buying another house, the Whites opted to rent, and found the rental market is as tight as the real estate market. They were finally able to find a place in Augusta.

She said she waited until it was clear the house would sell before she notified Hart she was stepping down.

“I really love serving Gardiner, and I did not intend for this to happen when I ran in November,” White said, noting she had planned for this current term to be her last one.

Gardiner Mayor Pat Hart, left, and City Councilor Maryann White during a goal-setting session in February 2020 at the Gardiner Public Library. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Under the Gardiner City Charter, the balance of White’s term will be served by a candidate chosen by a majority vote of the remaining members of the City Council. Because it is an at-large seat, it is open to any city resident.

Hart said most people do not know how much White quietly gave to many people in the city, volunteering to fill backpacks with food for children, working at church suppers, shopping and cooking for neighbors in need.

“The Gardiner community has greatly benefited from her years of service,” Hart said. “We wish her well in her move, but we will miss our good colleague and friend.”

White said her house has served her family well, and it is where the Whites raised their son.

“I have a lot of really good memories,” she said, “and it’s going to be hard to leave.”

At the same time, White said she looks forward to moving one day to Nova Scotia, where her son and his fiancée have settled and plan to raise their family.

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