BELFAST – Drawing strong support from three of the city’s five voting precincts, it appeared that Head of Tide resident Anita Robertson was holding a commanding lead Tuesday night in the five-person field in the race to represent Ward 5 on the City Council.
Robertson was leading Swan Lake Avenue resident Albert Douglas by a vote of 552-285.
Unofficial results were recorded in Wards 3, 4 and 5. Tallies from Wards 1 and 2 were delayed when a voting machine broke down during the counting of ballots after the polls closed. Turnout at the polls was heavy all day.
In other municipal election results, Mayor Michael Hurley was re-elected without opposition to another two-year team to the city’s top political post.
Also winning re-election to two-year terms on the council were Ward 3 Councilor Catherine Heberer and Ward 4 Councilor Carlton “Mike” Rauch, both unopposed
Four candidates were unopposed in the race for seats on the SAD 34 board of directors. Main Street resident Alan Wood was elected to fill an unexpired two-year term and Birch Street resident Stephanie Karod, Belmont Avenue resident Bruce Farrell and Sea Breeze Lane resident Lewis Baker were each elected to three-year terms on the school board.
Robertson appeared to be on her way to victory for a one-year term on the council by carrying easily all three wards that reported results. Whittier Road resident Paul Dean followed Douglas with 258 votes, Air Mail Lane resident Victoria Sears was fourth with 147 votes, and Patterson Hill resident Blaine Richardson trailed the field with 117 votes.
Although each of the five Belfast city councilors represent one of the city’s individual wards, they are elected citywide. The Ward 5 seat, along with the Wards 1 and 2 seats, will be back up for election next year.
Unlike other campaigns where the candidates were clearly divided, those competing in this year’s Ward 5 were by and large in agreement with the basic issues confronting the city. Each said that the city needed to manage development and commit itself to maintaining its small-town way of life. Most of the candidates reiterated their opposition to big-box stores and the need to retain public access along the waterfront. They also voiced their support for the planned $3 million renovation of the footbridge across the Passagassawaukeag River.
As a result of the unanimity among the candidates, the election boiled down to a popularity contest, and it was Robertson who appeared to carry the day. Robertson is a city native and has served on numerous boards and committees over the years. She is a member of the Waldo County YMCA board of directors and served on the city committee to save the footbridge.
The mayor and council members will take the oath of office at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 10.