WATERVILLE — The municipal ballot Tuesday will feature contested races in Ward 7 for City Council and the Board of Education, and voters across the city will consider three changes to the city charter.

Incumbent Ward 7 City Councilor Erik Thomas, a Democrat and the council chairman, is being challenged by Thomas A. McCormick Sr., a political newcomer who is running with no party affiliation. They are vying for a three-year term on the council.

Also in Ward 7, incumbent Board of Education member Pamela J. Trinward, a Democrat, faces opposition from Ronald A. Merrill, who is running with no party affiliation, for a three-year term.

In Ward 1, incumbent City Councilor Michael J. Morris, a Democrat, is running unopposed. In that same ward, Democrat Patricia Helm has no challenger as she pursues another term on the Board of Education.

Voting is set for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Waterville Junior High School at 100 West River Road, and the city and Colby College will offer voters free rides to the polls from two pickup locations: The Elm at 21 College Ave. The Concourse. A van marked “Voting Shuttle” will pick up voters at The Elm beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday and continue to do so on the hour through 8 p.m.

It will pick up voters in front of the Goodwill store at The Concourse beginning at 9:15 a.m. and continue to do so at 15 minutes past each hour through 8:15 p.m. Plans call for it to leave the junior high school beginning at 9:30 a.m. to return to both locations and continue to do so at 30 minutes past each hour, through 7:30 p.m.


Thomas, 46, has served as the Ward 7 councilor for three years and has been council chairman all three. Prior to that, he served for three years on the Planning Board and four years as a city councilor, representing Ward 4.

Thomas, assistant executive director at the Waterville Opera House, said he is running for reelection because he wants “to continue the work of the last three years which has moved the South End to the forefront of the conversation in city government.”

“The current bond discussion includes funding significant improvements to roads, sidewalks and public parks in the South End,” Thomas said. “That should receive final approval in late November and I’d like to see the work through if the voters choose to elect me to another term.”

McCormick, 59, is retired from Bath Iron Works and worked 33 years as a pipefitter and machinist. He said this is his first time running for public office. He describes his party affiliation as “unenrolled independent.”

“I was asked by friends and neighbors if I would be interested in running,” McCormick said. “My intentions are to be accessible to the residents of the ward, advocate for the residents of the ward, and fight to preserve the historical integrity of the ward.”

Trinward, 67, a field representative for U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, has held the Ward 7 school board seat for 18 years and is executive secretary of the board. She is past president of the Alfond Youth Center, a past board member of the Waterville Area Boys & Girls Club and a current member of MaineGeneral Community Health.


Trinward said it is important to use all available resources to keep children in school, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with schools facing many challenges, she wants to continue to bring her experience to the board.

“I am running to continue my work improving the high quality of education while paying attention to the budget constraints in Waterville,” Trinward said. “My previous experience representing Waterville in the Maine State Legislature and now working for Congresswoman Pingree gives me the unique advantage of knowing what resources are available from both the state government and the federal government.

“It is important that we continue to push both state and federal governments to satisfy their responsibility in educating the students of Maine.”

Merrill, 76, served on the Waterville Charter Commission in 2019 and 2020, representing Ward 7. He is the former regional director of the Business Association of Maine and is a substitute teacher in Maine School Administrative District 54.

A retired 30-year high school business education teacher and former instructor of substitute teacher training for the Waterville adult education program, Merrill said he is running because “our students must feel safe whether they are inside a classroom or outside on the playground.”

“They must receive a quality education with an emphasis on financial management and exposure to vocational classes to meet the needs of today’s constantly changing world and workplace,” he said. “I will consider each matter which comes before me, after debate of all aspects, to find the best possible solution.”


Voters face three proposed charter amendments related to filling vacant seats.

They will be asked whether to approve a change dealing with a vacancy in the mayor’s position requiring that within 30 days of the council declaring a vacancy, the council shall set the date for a special election unless the vacancy occurs within three months prior to the next regular municipal election. If the vacancy occurs within three months of the next election, a special election for mayor will be held on that next election day, according to the proposed change.

Voters also will be asked to consider approving a charter amendment that requires the nomination of candidates for mayor be made during the city caucus of each political party or by petition. Ward caucuses and city caucuses shall be held not less than 90 days prior to regular elections and not less than 50 days prior to special municipal elections, according to the proposed change.

The third proposed change asks if voters want to approve a charter amendment regarding elections, the nomination of candidates and filing of petitions. The amendment requires people seeking nomination by petition to file the petition to the city clerk’s office before 4:30 p.m. on the 60th day before the regular election, and on the 40th day for special elections.

New voters wanting to register to vote prior to Tuesday’s election or to change their address or name must do so in person between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, or at the polls on Election Day.

Proof of identification includes, but is not limited to, a valid driver’s license, state ID, military ID, passport, certified birth certificate or signed Social Security card.

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