GARDINER — Former state legislator Gay Grant will fill the vacant seat on the Gardiner City Council until at least June.

Grant was one of two residents from South Gardiner to submit a letter of interest to the City Council for the District 4 seat, following the resignation in March of Marc Rines, whose term expires at the end of the year.

Scott Williams, a former city councilor, also expressed interested in being appointed.

Gay Grant will fill a vacant seat on the Gardiner City Council until at least June. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

In nominating Grant, District 1 City Councilor Terry Berry, said that on the eight-member council, there are fewer women than men.

“We seem to be rather lopsided with the male gender on this council,” Berry said. “It is a very short period of time, and both folks can run (in a subsequent election) and their constituents can decide who they want to set here.”

He said he made the motion with a heavy heart because he had served with Williams and had sat next to him at the council table.


With two members absent, the council voted unanimously for Grant.

“It is nice to have a better gender balance on the council,” Mayor Patricia Hart said. “It’s a different kind of discussion and 50-plus percent of our residents are women.”

To Williams, she said he was one of the kindest councilors she had had served with, and she encouraged both candidates to run in June and in November.

Grant, 62, served six years as a Democrat in the Maine House of Representatives representing Gardiner and Farmingdale. She’s a writer and editor, and a retired consultant. She’s also been a grant writer.

She currently serves as chairwoman of the Cobbossee Corridor Committee, which is expected to make its final recommendations to the City Council in May. The committee was created to assess the feasibility of completing the long-planned multi-use trail along the path of Cobbosseecontee Stream in Gardiner.

When the Maine Department of Transportation undertook the replacement of the Bridge Street and Maine Avenue bridges over the stream starting in 2019, it pushed along the development of the walkway, Grant said.


“The city established the citizen committee with some staff to look at where we were now and what we would continue to do with (the) DOT to finish up the plan if we could,” she said.

Grant also represents Gardiner on the state Department of Transportation’s Rail Use Advisory Council.

“I just want to see what way I can best serve,” she said. “That’s where I’m coming from.”

City elected officials had initially planned to take up the appointment of a new member at the April 5 meeting, but opted to extend the deadline when Grant initially withdrew and Williams was unable to attend the meeting.

Hart acknowledged that historically the council had voted by secret ballot to fill vacancies, but she had since learned that votes must be taken in the open.

Because this appointment is to fill a vacancy, Grant will serve until the next election, which will be the statewide primary June 13. At that point anyone may run to fill the seat until the November election, when the four district seats will be up for election.

Grant said she intends to run in both June and November. She will be sworn in next week.

In Gardiner, city councilors are paid $1,000 a year.

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