WATERVILLE — The former city councilor representing Ward 1, Mike Morris, is the nominee for the Ward 5 council seat vacated last month by Rick Foss, who said he is moving to Winslow.

Councilor Mike Morris, D-Ward 1, listens Oct. 1, 2019, during a Waterville City Council meeting. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

Morris resigned his seat earlier this summer because he moved out of the ward, but was chosen at Monday’s Waterville Democratic Committee caucus to be the Ward 5 nominee, for a three-year term.

“I enjoyed my time immensely in Ward 1 and being involved in government,” Morris said after the caucus.

Morris will run in the Nov. 8 general election against whomever the Waterville Republican Committee nominates as its candidate for the open Ward 5 seat.

While candidates who win in the general election don’t take their seats until January, if Morris wins in November he would immediately fill Foss’ unexpired term, which would have two months left in it.

Brandon Gilley, a deputy for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office who works in the transport division of that department, was nominated to run for election for Morris’ former Ward 1 council seat. The term is for two years. If Gilley wins in the general election, he would take the seat immediately, as the election is being considered a special election, according to City Clerk Patti Dubois, who attended Monday’s caucus to register and enroll residents.


City Councilor Thomas Klepach, D-Ward 3, was nominated to run for reelection for his seat, also for a three-year term.

Spencer Krigbaum was nominated to run for reelection for his seat on the Waterville Board of Education in Ward 5, for a three-year term.

Joan Phillips-Sandy, chairman of the Waterville school board. Morning Sentinel file photo

Joan Phillips-Sandy, chairperson of the Waterville Board of Education who represents Ward 3, is not running for reelection.

Phillips-Sandy, who has been on the board 26 years, nominated Erin McDermott for her seat, and McDermott was chosen by a show of hands.

A 1994 Waterville Senior High School graduate, McDermott said after the caucus that she recently moved back to Waterville and has a daughter who will enter sixth grade at Waterville Junior High School. McDermott said she has worked in education the last 23 years, starting as a special education teacher, and currently works on quality improvement at the May Institute in Massachusetts. It is a nonprofit organization that works with people who have developmental disabilities. McDermott serves as a privacy officer and oversees policy development.

J. Michael Talbot and Jeff Earickson were nominated to run for reelection to their seats on the Kennebec Water District board of trustees, for three-year terms.

Waterville is one of only a handful of municipalities in Maine in which residents nominate candidates for municipal office by caucus. Those nominated through caucuses must submit a petition to the city clerk’s office signed by a certain number of voters. Those wanting to run for local office who are not affiliated with a political party or not successfully nominated for office through a caucus may submit a minimum number of petition signatures and become candidates on the ballot, but without noting party affiliation.

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