Pittston residents are set to meet Saturday to vote on a proposed $1.95 million spending plan, and Monday to decide whether to recall Selectman Joe Caputo and fill vacancies on the Select Board and Gardiner-based Maine School Administrative District 11 school board. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

PITTSTON — Voters in Pittston are set to consider a $1.95 million proposed spending plan at Saturday’s annual town meeting, and two days later choose a new selectman and decide the fate of another selectman in the municipal election.


Town officials have proposed to spend nearly $300,000 more than last year, balancing the increase by tapping excise tax revenue to offset some costs.

Most of the increase is an additional $250,000 proposed for the culvert replacement savings account.

Town Treasurer Christian Jensen said the town has contributed $50,000 on an annual basis, but it is not enough to keep up with the culvert replacements.

“We have two culverts in need of replacement,” Jensen said. “One is the Pinkham Road, and they have an engineer working on that now, and hopefully we will have it installed this year.”


The other culvert in need of replacement is on Blodgett Road.

Jensen said voters are being asked to release $64,000 from the highway excise tax revenue account for anticipated overspending in the current fiscal year. Town officials are asking to use excise tax to pay for the unanticipated expenses for an engineer to look at Jewett Road and other culverts or road damage from rainstorms.

Some budget increases are due to inflation, but others reflect increased spending requests for Town Office maintenance, service from Gardiner Ambulance, cemetery maintenance and additional support for the town’s Veterans’ Memorial, according to officials.

Pittston’s property tax rate is now $9.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. It is too early to confirm the new property tax rate because neither the Maine School Administrative District 11 budget nor the Kennebec County budget has been approved.

The town meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at Pittston-Randolph Consolidated School at 1023 Pittston School St.



The municipal election in Pittston is scheduled for Monday, with voting set for noon to 7 p.m. at the Town Office at 38 Whitefield Road.

After months of controversy, voters are to decide whether to recall Selectman Joe Caputo, who was the focus of a recall petition at the end of 2023.

Voters are also to decide two contested races, one for the open seat on the Select Board, for which Terry Marks, Cathy Jewett Thomas and Timothy Lawrence are running, and the other for a seat on the MSAD 11 school board, for which Linda Caputo and Alex Stone are vying.

Mary Jean Ambrose, who has served for years on the Select Board, has opted not to seek another term.

Two newcomers and a longtime budget committee member are vying for the seat.

Terry Marks, 31, is running for a spot on Pittston’s Board of Selectmen. Photo courtesy of Terry Marks

Terry Marks, 31, said his interest in municipal politics comes from watching his mother, Tina Marks, work as the deputy town clerk in West Gardiner.


Marks has no experience in elective office, but, if elected, said he wants make board duties more efficient and work collaboratively with the other board members.

“I see an opportunity to be a voice for the residents,” he said. “I’ve followed the town stuff for six months now, right before the recall hit. I found an interest in it. They said they wanted a young person to be involved, and I’ve always had an interest in politics.”

Marks, who grew up in Gardiner, has lived in Pittston for eight years with his wife, Jazmyne Marks. He works at Bath Iron Works as a material handler.

Like Marks, Timothy Lawrence, 61, said he decided to run for the Select Board after having watched town meetings over the past couple of years.

Timothy Lawrence Kennebec Journal file photo

“I’ve heard what’s going on for years and years and years,” Lawrence said, “and recently, even before the recall, it’s gotten particularly nasty, and I didn’t like what was going on.”

Lawrence has also lived in Pittston for his entire life and works on Lawrence Farm, his family farm.


He has served on the Pittston Budget Committee and other town committees dating back to the 1980s. He is also running for another three-year term on the Budget Committee.

Lawrence said he is glad the town livestreams the Select Board’s meetings so more people can get involved, but he hopes the town upgrades its technology to improve the audio.

“If I were to get elected, there are a number of things that need to be done,” Lawrence said. “An Ordinance Review Committee to review and update any ordinances that need to be done. I would personally keep a close watch on spending and taxes, with my background on the Budget Committee.”

On the issue of Caputo’s recall, both Lawrence and Cathy Jewett Thomas, 56, said they think the petition brought by Cheryl Peaslee was based on feelings rather than facts.

The date of the recall vote was delayed so town officials could await a legal opinion on how to conduct a recall, and whether to rescind the town’s recall ordinance that conflicted with state law over the grounds for a recall. Voters tossed out the town ordinance last month at a special town meeting.

Cathy Jewett Thomas Photo courtesy of Cathy Jewett Thomas

If elected, Thomas said she will urge transparency on the Select Board, citing the ongoing uncertainty about the recall as an example.


“I hear, and this is what I think, that it’s a lot of emotion shared,” she said, “as opposed to facts shared.”

Thomas said several people in late fall asked her to consider running for the Select Board.

“My answer from the get-go is that I’m 100% committed, if elected, but not 100% convinced I have the skills needed,” Thomas said.

Thomas served for six years as president of the Kennebec County Extension Association, which provides support staff and basic operations for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Kennebec County.

Thomas and her brother took over Jewett Builders, her family’s business, after their father retired. If elected to the Select Board, she said her knowledge of accounting and experience running the business should help her, including with balancing the budget.

Thomas has lived in town all her life. She is married to Jim Thomas, and they have an adult daughter.



Linda Caputo is running for Pittston’s spot on MSAD 11 school board. Linda Caputo.

The two candidates running to fill Jim Lothridge’s seat on the Gardiner-based MSAD 11 school board agree on many issues. 

Linda Caputo, 69, and Alex Stone, 43, said the district’s policy that grants protection to transgender students and guidance to the administration, which has generated debate and concern among parents, is based on state law that cannot be changed by the school board. 

“There is a disconnect and a misunderstanding between the parents and the administration on this policy,” Stone said. “The parents don’t fully understand the policy, and the administration feels like they’re being attacked. This is such a sensitive issue that the parents and administration need to have as many conversations as possible — with open ears and minds — before they finalize anything.” 

Caputo said she is focused on children.

“This is someone else’s child,” she said, “and education is for all children, not all children like your children.”


Caputo, 69, said she decided to run to return to the education world following her retirement in 2019, after having taught for 34 years. She was appointed to serve the final year of Jane Hubert’s school board term, and ran unsuccessfully last year for a board seat.

If elected, Caputo, who holds National Board of Certified Teachers certification, said she can provide a voice from the education sector.

“I think I have enough experience with children and the world of education that I can help guide new decision-making,” she said.

Stone, 43, said he decided to run to be a voice for the children that is not swayed by politics. 

Alex Stone Photo courtesty of Alex Stone

Stone, who has no experience in elective office, is a construction superintendent at Crooker Construction in Topsham. He has lived in Pittston with his family since 2016. Two his five children are enrolled in MSAD 11 schools.

Caputo and Stone said they encourage vocational education and support strong communication between parents and teachers.  

“We aren’t encouraging the trades enough,” Stone said. “Not everyone is cut out for college, and not everyone wants to go to college. And it wouldn’t hurt our kids to learn what blue-collar people do.”

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