HOULTON, Maine — Candidates vying for seats on the Town Council and the SAD 29 board will gather at the town office Wednesday night for a forum to discuss issues facing the community and its schools.
The forum, sponsored by the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce, will be held in council chambers beginning at 6 p.m. The debate takes place annually, but this is the first time in recent memory the event has featured candidates vying for school board seats.
Moderators will ask the candidates questions, and the public also will have a chance to phone in questions during the debate.
Town Clerk Cathy O’Leary said Tuesday that four candidates are vying for two open seats on the council. Incumbent John Fitzpatrick is hoping to retain his seat. He is being challenged by John White Jr., Matthew Carr and Philip Bernaiche. Councilor Paul Romanelli is termed out and cannot run again, so his seat represents the second open position.
Two seats also are up for grabs on the school board, as incumbents Kim Thompson and Francis Grant are not running again. Four individuals — Terry Spurling, D. Scott White, Fred Grant and Carl Lord Jr. — are vying for those slots.
Two people — Scott Austin and Albert Fitzpatrick — are running for the two open seats on the board of directors of the Houlton Water Co.
There are three slots open on the board of budget review, but only one person is officially on the ballot. Donald Keiser is running for one seat, and O’Leary said that a number of people have expressed interest in running as write-in candidates.
The candidate’s forum will be televised on the town’s public access channel. Anyone who would like to phone in a question for the candidates can do so by calling 532-7111 during the debate.