June 21, 2018
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Early voting opens in Bangor; residents to vote on council seats, state bonds

Brian Swartz | BDN
Brian Swartz | BDN
Bangor residents can get an early start on voting. Polls open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thrusday at the Cross Insurance Center. Absentee ballots are available until Oct. 31. On Nov. 5, polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor residents can vote this week if they want to avoid Election Day lines.

Polls are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main St. Absentee ballots are available until Oct. 31, according to the city clerk’s office. Voters may request an absentee ballot at the city clerk’s office on the first floor of City Hall, by calling the clerk’s office at 992-4222 or by visiting maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl.

The polls at the Cross Center will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 5. Community Connector buses will be offering free rides to the polls for voters on Election Day.

Early voters are advised to use the southeast entrance of the Cross Center, under the clock tower. Voting will take place in meeting rooms A-D. All entrances will be open on Election Day.

Bangor residents will pick from six candidates running for a trio of City Council posts. The candidates met for a forum on Sept.19, which can be viewed on the city’s website at bangormaine.pegcentral.com.

Council candidates, in order of their appearance on the ballot, are Josh Plourde, creative strategist at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center and member of Bangor’s Commission on Cultural Development; Nelson Durgin, incumbent city council chairman; Gibran Graham, marketing coordinator at the downtown book and toy store Briar Patch and board member of the Downtown Bangor Partnership; Victor Kraft, a Bangor-based private investigator and former police chief of Indian Island and Thomaston; Hal Wheeler, a former councilor who served from 1983 to 1986 and from 2007 to 2010; and current first-term city councilor Charlie Longo.

The three candidates vying for two seats opening on the Bangor School Committee pitched themselves during a forum the night before, which can be viewed on the city’s website.

The school committee candidates are Sue Hawes, a full-time instructor at Beal College and current city councilor who is terming out this year; Jay Ye, a physician and biomedical researcher who is wrapping up his first term on the school committee; and Sue Sorg, an 18-year adapted physical education specialist in the Bangor School Department who also has led local Special Olympics programs. One seat currently is held by Ye and the other was vacated by former committee member Kate Dickerson when she resigned in October 2012.

Both forums have been rebroadcast on the city’s local access channel leading up to the election.

Voters also will decide a series of statewide bond issues totalling nearly $150 million toward infrastructure improvements to roads and bridges, and universities, community colleges, Maine Maritime Academy and Maine National Guard facilities.

There will also be a vote on whether to approve a revised Bangor School Department budget.

Despite the fact that residents will be looking at a $42.62 million budget, compared to the $41.98 million budget passed in June, the tax rate will remain the same because of the increase in revenue from the state, according to the city. The revision came about because of funding changes in the state’s biennial budget.

If voters reject the adjusted school budget, it will mean the school department will have to cut $645,000 from its operations in order to match the budget amount that passed in June, according to school department officials.

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