WINTHROP — Residents will cast their votes Tuesday to select a new town councilor in a special election that has seen six candidates throw their hats in the ring.

The winner will fill the seat vacated by former Council Chair Sarah Fuller.

Priscilla Jenkins, 79, is a former town councilor who served from 2008 to 2021 before retiring. She said several things happening in the town “are heading in the wrong direction,” which prompted her to run for office again.

Priscilla Jenkins Contributed photo

Jenkins said she would focus on increasing the revenue the town is generating as rising taxes continue to affect residents. She said she plans to accomplish this by building a healthy business environment, including addressing downtown parking issues. She wants to use some of the additional revenue to improve infrastructure and support the school budget.

The Town Council has been grappling with how to regulate quarrying and mining, after residents raised health and environmental concerns about a recent proposal. Jenkins said the idea of an active pit on top of a hill needs detailed studying and scientific input.

“The town needs to seriously consider the issue before granting a license,” she said.


Another key issue the winner of Tuesday’s special election will weigh in on is how, and whether, to regulate boat moorings in local waters. Jenkins plans to “look at (the issue) more holistically,” noting that there are different facets to the problem.

“Our lakes have gone from being a part of nature to being surrounded by humans all year. I also hear people used to be able to afford lake room and they can’t now, and they have a right to moor. So, we must look at it carefully,” she said.

Bernard Roy Weymouth Contributed photo

A restoration technician  who has never held public office, Bernard Roy Weymouth, 40, said he decided to run because of how officials handled the controversial mooring ordinance.

“It was a lot of unethical stuff done behind a smoke screen, and it can’t happen in a local government. It is not good for the community,” said Weymouth. He said he hopes to restore the transparency a municipal body needs.

“There is no need for a typical mooring ordinance, because a problem hasn’t presented itself,” he said. He acknowledged that there might be a few issues concerning moorings, but nothing warranting an ordinance.

Regarding the quarrying, Weymouth said the town needs to maintain the stance that it is open for business, but regulations and standards need to be strictly adopted and enforced.


A fleshed-out purchasing policy for the town is part of Weymouth’s plans too.

David Rheaume is a former town councilor who was first elected in 1996 and served for 12 years.

David Rheaume Contributed photo

“I am running because a lot of people came to me and asked me to because they don’t like how the council is being run,” said Rheaume, 70, noting that he thinks the council has disrespected residents in recent meetings. “I want to restore some dignity and respect towards the people.”

Rheaume is opposed to the quarry proposal and against having a mooring ordinance. He also wants better access to health care in Winthrop.

Gilles “Gil” Soucy decided to run after he helped mobilize the community against the quarry project. Though he has never held public office, he believes he can bring leadership and plans to improve local businesses to the table.

“With the prospect of state money getting reduced in the future, we have to focus on increasing our revenue,” Soucy, 67, said in a recent candidate forum held at the Bailey Public Library.


Soucy is also against the mooring ordinance. He told the Kennebec Journal that if residents decide that there is a need for an ordinance, “it has to be all the lakes, not one or two specific places; everything has to start from scratch after repealing the current ordinance.”

Gilles ‘Gil’ Soucy Contributed photo

Donald Ellis is a former councilor who served from 2013 to 2014 before working his way to becoming an assistant division director of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Ellis, who could not be reached for comment, noted during the candidate forum that he does not have a position on the mooring issues or quarry proposal. He said he wants to hear from both sides, and an independent expert, before deciding.

He also stressed the need for a long-term plan to streamline the spending of taxpayer dollars and to help shore up additional revenue in the future by utilizing local businesses.

Aaron White Contributed photo

Aaron White, 37, is a physician assistant and is running as a write-in candidate. A native of Winthrop, White wants to have a say in the town’s future.

“One of the most concerning things to me is the lack of a full-service health care system and the impact it has on the residents,” said White. “I want to focus on that.”


The housing crisis will also be a focus for White, which he hopes to address by “planning strategically and being careful about cutting services and spending judicially that encourages growth, not hamper it.”

White supports repealing the mooring ordinance, which he said was handled inappropriately. He thinks the best solution is for the state to regulate moorings if the people feel it is necessary because he said it does not make sense for towns to have different rules.

Knowing the town is invested in safeguarding its natural resources, White said he believes there must be a watertight set of regulations for quarrying and mining, and proper enforcement

He has not held public office in the past.

The election will be held at the Winthrop Town Office at 17 Highland Ave. from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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