WATERVILLE — City Councilor Michael J. Morris is to become Waterville’s next mayor in January after defeating Planning Board member Matthew S. Boulerice by 625 votes in Tuesday’s election.

Michael J. Morris Courtesy photo

Morris, 50, a Democrat who represents Ward 5 on the council, received 1,834 votes to Boulerice’s 1,209, according to results deemed official Wednesday, City Clerk Patti Dubois said.

Morris, a strategy enablement and resource planning analyst for Bank of America, is to be sworn in Jan. 2 as the city’s 54th mayor at the council’s organizational meeting.

“I’m speechless,” Morris said by telephone late Tuesday. “I’m humbled by all the support of the people and everybody that I talked to. I’m elated at this point — I really am.”

Morris spent much of Tuesday at the Harold Alfond Athletic Center at Thomas College, where voting took place. He said he is excited about what the next three years hold for Waterville.

Morris said his first plan as mayor is to hold a town hall-style meeting with City Manager Bryan Kaenrath to get the pulse of the people.


After learning Tuesday of the mayoral race’s unofficial outcome, Morris commended Boulerice.

“Hats off to Matt — he ran a great campaign,” Morris said.

Boulerice, 33, a registered Republican who ran with no party affiliation, is the owner of Boulerice Management LLC, which redevelops often distressed and abandoned single-family or multifamily properties and sells or rents them out. Boulerice also owns New England Realty Group, a real estate brokerage company.

When informed by telephone just after 9 p.m. Tuesday of the mayoral race’s outcome, Boulerice said his campaigning efforts including knocking on more than 1,000 doors and talking to many people, but ultimately the voters decide.

Matthew S. Boulerice Contributed photo

“I feel good,” he said. “I think I did everything I could. That’s all you can do.”

Boulerice said his plan is to remain on the Planning Board, and he is happy with his business, on which he will now focus.


He had garnered signatures on a petition enabling him to run as an unenrolled candidate, challenging Morris, who was nominated for the position July 24 at the Democratic city caucus. Republicans did not nominate any candidates for mayor, and the sitting mayor, Jay Coelho, did not seek reelection after serving in the role for the past three years.

Morris has held the Ward 5 seat on the City Council since last year. Before that, he represented Ward 1 on the council from 2018 to 2022.

Morris graduated from Rockland District High School in 1991 and attended Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, from 1991 to 1992. Along with working for Bank of America, he has been president of the Waterville Football Boosters since 2020. He has served on the City Council’s Chamber Search Committee, Municipal Finance Committee and Recreation Committee, and on the Kennebec Regional Development Authority.

A 2008 graduate of Scarborough High School, Boulerice took a real estate sales agent course while a high school senior and took the state exam just after graduating, launching a career immediately. Coelho appointed Boulerice to the Planning Board, a decision supported by the council.

Morris has said his main goal as mayor is to build a city where every resident feels heard and empowered. He said his experience in civic affairs and his professional background equip him with skills to facilitate open communication and collaboration among the city’s diverse population. He said he wants to create a city that is economically prosperous, inclusive, supportive and driven by the skills of its residents.

Morris also said recently that he wants to help alleviate the city’s housing crisis and plans to work with municipal leaders to analyze the zoning map to find areas that are primed for new development.

He also said he wants to establish a Waterville Youth Council that would allow youth to develop leadership skills while earning community service credits.

At a mayoral debate Oct. 17 at Thomas College, Morris and Boulerice agreed on several matters, including that the city needs all types of new housing, addressing homelessness is important and attracting more business to the downtown area is necessary.

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