Several local votes on tap in Hancock County

Posted June 11, 2012, at 12:03 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — In addition to the statewide primary congressional elections, several Hancock County towns will hold local votes Tuesday, June 12.

Three municipalities will hold referendums about their membership in Regional School Unit 24. Ellsworth, Hancock and Lamoine all have residents who want to withdraw from the RSU and who successfully have petitioned their municipal officials to hold referendums on the matter.

Voters in these three towns will decide if each of their towns should pursue withdrawing.

In each town, if a majority of voters favor pursuing withdrawing, the town then will work to draft a plan on what kind of school governance organization they want to adopt if they leave the RSU. That eventual plan would have to be approved by the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education and then by two-thirds of the voters of each town at a subsequent vote before any town officially leaves the RSU.

Concerned residents in all three towns have met with each other and discussed the possibility of forming an alternative organizational structure, similar to what exists on Mount Desert Island, if they leave RSU 24.

Democrats who live in towns represented in Maine House District 37 will have two names on their ballot to choose from Tuesday. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville, who currently holds the seat, is being challenged by former state legislator James Schatz of Blue Hill. Whoever wins will face Republican Madeleine Leach of Castine in November. District 37 consists of the towns of Blue Hill, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry.

Two Democrats, Emery Deabay of Bucksport and Deborah Deane of Brewer, are competing for their party’s nomination to run for state Senate District 31. The senate district includes the Hancock County towns of Amherst, Aurora, Bucksport, Castine, Dedham, Mariaville, Orland, Otis, Penobscot and Verona Island, plus most Penobscot County municipalities on the east side of the Penobscot River from Orrington to Burlington.

David Burns of Whiting and Kathleen Caso of Calais are opposing each other in the GOP primary for Maine Senate District 29. The district consists of all of Washington County, some unorganized townships just over the border in Hancock and Penobscot counties, and the Hancock County towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Great Pond, Osborn and Waltham.

Republican voters in several Hancock County towns will decide who should represent the party this fall in the race for county commissioner. Steve Joy, chairman of the commission, is facing a primary challenge from Matthew Boucher, who serves on the Ellsworth City Council.

Joy represents District 1 on the Hancock County Commission, which consists of Amherst, Aurora, Blue Hill, Eastbrook, Ellsworth, Gouldsboro, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis, Sorrento, Sullivan, Surry, Waltham, Winter Harbor and all the county’s unorganized townships.

In Bar Harbor, seven people are running for three available seats on the town council.

Five of them are running for two three-year terms on the seven-seat panel.

Peter St. Germain, an incumbent, is seeking re-election but another, Jane Disney, is not. Besides St. Germain, others in the race for one of the two three-year terms are Barbara Fenderson, Gary Friedmann, James Riley and Tom St. Germain.

Two people are running for a one-year term on the council. Enoch Albert was appointed to fill a vacancy created with Matthew Horton resigned from the council last fall, and the election is to fill Horton’s vacated seat. David Bowden and Lynne Williams are the candidates in that race.

In Bar Harbor unexpected vacancies on the council typically are filled with residents who agree to hold the seat temporarily and not to run as a candidate for that seat in the next election. Horton’s term was to run through 2013, so the election to fill his old seat is only for a year.

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