June 21, 2018
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Economy, RSU key issues for Orono candidates

By Jessica Bloch, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — Competition is heavy this year for positions on the Town Council and school committee as voters go to the polls Tuesday in the municipal election.

There are five candidates for three council seats, and four candidates for two school committee positions.

Incumbent Councilors Lianna Harris and Thomas Perry are running, along with challengers Claudia Lowd, Daniel Lapointe and Judith Sullivan.

Outgoing Councilor Terri Hutchinson is not running this year.

In the school committee race, Roger Feeley, Alison Mitchell, Rosemary Sidelinker and Geoffrey Wingard are running for seats being vacated by Stefani Berkey and Robert Swindlehurst.

Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building.

A key issue for Town Council candidates is maintaining fiscal responsibility while bringing in new businesses.

“We have to manage our limited resources, or maximize the resources we have,” Perry said. “It’s a challenge that all municipalities are facing now.”

Other candidates said they’d like to see Orono work in cooperation with other local entities such as the city of Old Town and the University of Maine. Another big issue this year will be dealing with the voter-approved RSU made up of Orono, Veazie and Glenburn.

The new RSU is also a major concern to the school committee candidates.

“We probably won’t have another opportunity to make such broad-ranging changes and sweeping improvements in our schools in my professional lifetime,” Wingard said.

Other critical school committee issues include finding cost-effective ways to educate children and maintaining the identity of the Orono schools within the RSU.



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