March 23, 2018
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South Berwick residents to weigh in on town councilors, school board director

By Crystal A. Weyers, Foster's Daily Democrat

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Maine voters will soon be headed to the polls to weigh in on five state bond issue items, but South Berwick residents will also decide if two incumbent Town Council members will maintain their seats and if a new SAD 35 School Board Director will be named.

The sample ballot, available on the South Berwick town website, lists Town Council incumbents Russell H. Abell and John C. Kareckas for re-election. Each Town Council term is for three years. If residents wish to not re-elect Abell or Kareckas there are also two blank write-in spaces available.

Abell, 42, of 30 High Knoll Drive, was appointed to Town Council at a special election earlier this year to fill the vacated seat of former Councilor David Burke. He has served on the council for the past nine months and has lived in town for approximately eight years.

“I’ve enjoyed my time so far,” said Abell. “I’d like to be involved in guiding the future of the town and participate in shaping future decisions.”

Abell has a Master’s degree in geology from Virginia Tech University and works as an Environmental Consultant for Geo Syntec Consultants in Portsmouth, N.H.

Kareckas could not be immediately reached for comment, but if re-elected this would be his second term on Town Council. He also served on the town’s Planning Board and the Great Works Regional Land Trust.

Also on the ballot is Joseph Long for SAD 35 Director. This School Board position lasts for three years and there is a blank write-in space if residents would like to elect someone besides Long.

Long, 59, of 67 Earls Road, has lived in town for more than six years and is married to a “nearly-lifelong resident.” They have a 5-year-old in the local school system.

Long said, “I am a strong believer in the value and importance of public education. As cliche as it sounds, our children are our future. In my opinion, we define the country we want to live in by how well we educate our children.”

This is Long’s first experience with running for an elected office. He currently works as a Product Program Manager at Sonos, Inc. and has a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Fisher College and Nichols College.

Long said the School Board faces the challenge of maintaining high quality educational standards in the face of budget constraints and he would like to be a part of helping those challenges be met.

Elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall’s third-floor auditorium.

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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