Candidates for Bangor council, school committee to speak at Oct. 29 forum

Posted Oct. 17, 2012, at 5:37 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Residents will have a chance the week before the Nov. 6 election to hear from the seven candidates for Bangor’s City Council and the three people running for school committee.

The city will host a candidates’ forum for both races on Monday, Oct. 29. School committee candidates will address residents from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., with council candidates to follow, starting at 7:30 p.m. The forum will be held in council chambers at City Hall and will be broadcast live on WVII-TV, Channel 7.

Three seats are open on the council. Mayor Cary Weston and Councilor Geoffrey Gratwick are not seeking new terms.

The seven candidates looking to fill those seats are Chelsea Barrett Prybylo of Hudson Road, David Sawyer Nealley of Baldwin Drive, Megan Linmarie Shorette of Norfolk Street, Richard M. Bruns of Union Street, incumbent Councilor Patricia A. Blanchette of Old Orchard Drive, Pauline B. Civiello of Coombs Street, and Kenneth J. Huhn of Leighton Street.

A pair of school committee positions are also up for grabs with the departure of committee members Nichi Farnham and Beth Grant, neither of whom is running for another term. Marc G. Eastman of Elm Street, James M. Moore of Glencove Avenue and Sarah R. Smiley of Fifteenth Street are competing for the open seats.

Another vacancy on the committee, created by the Oct. 9 resignation of Kate Dickerson, will remain unfilled until the November 2013 election unless the City Council decides to hold a special election before that time, Bangor School Department Superintendent Betsy Webb said Wednesday.

A pair of amendments to Bangor’s charter also will appear on the November ballot. One change would add a provision to the charter to require voter ratification of council action to borrow money in certain situations.

The second amendment would change the name of the undesignated fund to “unassigned fund” and increase the target amount of that fund from 10 percent to 16.66 percent of the operating budget. The amendment also would increase the target balance from 5 percent of the previous year’s general fund to 8.33 percent and would exclude the provision to exclude debt service in determining the amount.

To view this year’s sample ballot, visit http://www.bangormaine.gov/image_upload/ballot_110612.pdf. For more Bangor election information, visit http://www.bangormaine.gov/index.php?id=2&sub_id=1174.

Election Day is Nov. 6, and all Bangor voters will cast ballots at the Bangor Civic Center. Because of construction on the new arena, vehicles should access the parking lot via the Buck Street entrance that runs behind the racetrack grandstands. Vehicles will exit near the Civic Center. Golf carts will help transport people from the parking lot to the building, and free buses will bring people to the polls on Election Day.

Editor’s note: Sarah Smiley, one of the candidates running for Bangor School Committee, is a columnist for the Bangor Daily News.

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