2017-09-15 / Community

In the Know

BALLOTS SET — The ballot has been finalized for this year’s round of city elections in South Portland, and it is mostly a matter of uncontested races, with one school board seat drawing no candidates at all.

There are three open seats on the city council. Incumbent Claude Morgan is the only candidate for the District 1 seat, while on the opposite end of the city, planning board member Adrian Dowling filed the only petition to represent District 5. The only contested council seat this year is District 2, where South Portland Land Trust president Katherine Lewis will square off against Christopher Breen, who works as a inventory analyst for Delhaize America’s Hannaford supermarket chain.

The Aug. 28 resignation of District 2 school board member Otis Thompson means there are four seats up for grabs this year on the board of directors for the South Portland school department. No one filed papers to run for District 2 however, and that race will now become a write-in contest, with the city council expected to offer the spot, though 2019, to whomever captures the most votes, if qualified. If there is no clear write-in winner, the council has the power to make an appointment to the position.

Among other available seats, incumbents Matthew Perkins and Elyse Tipton are the only candidates for Districts 4 and 5, respectively. There are, however, three candidates for the at-large seat being vacated by long-time school board member Karen Callaghan. They are Adelbert Street resident Stanley Beretsky and Heather Johnson, of Colchester Drive, along with Mary House, who currently has the board’s other at-large seat, which has a term through 2019. The three-year term for the Callaghan seat will expire in 2020.

HELP WANTED — South Portland is seeking an election warden and a ward clerk for District 4 and a ward clerk for District 5 to serve for the Nov. 7 election. According to City Clerk Emily Scully, these positions pay $15/hour including paid training time. Anyone interested in learning more about the duties and requirements of this public service job should call Scully at 767-7627 or email escully@southportland.org.

BOND RATING— South Portland has once again been awarded the highest bond credit ratings available. As part of a credit review requested as the city prepares to issue new bonds at lower interest rates to replace bonds taken out in 2010 and 2012, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings gave South Portland a AAA rating, while Moody’s Investors Service issued an assessment of AAA. According to a Sept. 11 press release issued by city finance director Greg L’Heureux, “the AAA and AAA ratings are the highest ratings that each service provides.”

In the announcement, L’Heureux noted that S&P’s AAA rating indicates “the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong,” while Moody’s Aaa ratings means South Portland’s credit is “judged to be of the best quality, carrying the smallest degree of investment risk.” The rating generally referred to as “gilt edged,” L’Heureux said.

The new borrowing essentially refinances old debt, a move that is projected to save South Portland more than $600,000 over the remaining life of the bonds.

– Compiled by Staff Writer Duke Harrington

Return to top