June 22, 2018
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Houlton elects two councilors; Bernaiche beaten

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — Voters elected new municipal and school board representatives and mirrored those around the rest of the state in their decisions regarding many of the seven referendum questions, results showed Wednesday.

Town Clerk Cathy O’Leary said steady voter turnout kept election officials busy throughout Election Day.

Three people were running for two open seats on the Town Council.

In that race, incumbent Nancy Ketch retained her seat with 1,596 votes, and newcomer Frederick Grant secured 1,482 votes to best longtime Councilor Phil Bernaiche for the second slot. Bernaiche received 716 votes.

Three seats were open on the SAD 29 board, with four candidates. In that race, Bruce Clark secured 1,600 votes, and Lori Holmes secured a second seat with 1,515 votes. The third seat went to Tammy Goetsch, who received 1,159 votes. The fourth candidate, Paul Cleary, received 1,136 votes.

Gary Severson and Gary Hagan ran uncontested for two open seats on the Houlton Water Co. board of directors.

Forrest Barnes ran unopposed for an open seat on the Cary Library board of trustees.

There were three open seats on the board of budget review, and two candidates, Carl Lord Jr. and Galen Wilde, secured positions. The third slot will go to a write-in candidate.

Houlton voters were in favor of repealing the state’s same sex marriage law. On Question 1, 1,455 voters were in support of repealing the law, with 633 against it.

Voters rejected Questions 2 and 4, a pair of tax-related referendums that sought to reduce the excise tax on some vehicles and place limits on state and municipal spending.

In Houlton, 1,517 people were opposed to reducing the excise tax, with 536 in favor of it. On Question 4, which sought to impose spending limits on state and local budgets and require voter approval on any increases, the vote was 1,325-723 in opposition to the measure.

Regarding the school consolidation law, 1,312 voters wanted to repeal it, while 736 people wanted it to stay on the books.

Question 5 asked voters, “Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?” In Houlton, the vote was 918 in favor and 1,150 opposed.

Voters opted to approve the sole bond measure on the ballot but voted 1,087 to 918 against Question 7, which sought to amend the constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions.



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