State-wide Bond Questions Pass But Ellsworth’s Library Renovation Fails
Results are unofficial at this point, but it looks like Maine's two state-wide referendum questions, worth $100 Million have passed. Ellsworth's referendum didn't fare so well.
The bonds were covered by two questions, which both passed easily on Tuesday. One would authorize $85 million for infrastructure projects. Most of this money will pay to build, rebuild, or rehabilitate state highways. It will also replace and rehabilitate the state's bridges.
The other question will provide $15 million for housing for seniors. The aim is to build new, affordable homes for low-income households headed by a person who is over the age of 55.
A third question on the statewide ballot asked for a clean election overhaul. Early results suggest that this, too, will pass. Supporters of the measure say it will strengthen the campaign finance law that gives public money to candidates running for Governor and the Legislature. Critics, including Governor LePage, have called it a scam, saying that Mainers are naive if they think the changes will get money out of politics.
In other results reported by the BDN, Bangor elected three City Councilors, one new, one not so new, and one incumbent. Unofficial results have declared David Sawyer Nealley, Sarah Ann Nichols, and Joseph Perry winners. Nealley is the incumbent, while Nichols is new to the Council. Perry is a former state lawmaker. Brian Doore and Jennifer DeGroff will fill the two open School Committee seats.
In Brewer, Jerry Goss and current Mayor Matthew Vachon were re-elected to the City Council. Ashley Blanchard and Tammy Smith have been elected to the School Committee.
And, in Ellsworth, a bond that aimed to expand, renovate, and repair the city's library was defeated with 59 percent of the votes. The Ellsworth Public Library Board of Trustees sent out a press release this morning, pledging to come back to voters with a new bond proposal to preserve the historic Tisdale House, home to the Ellsworth Public Library for more than 100 years.
Chair of the Trustees' Board Ron Fortier says the people have spoken, but something will have to be done. He says he understands that people are upset about taxes, but the renovation will be more affordable.
"The other option is to find a new location and build a new library, which is more expensive than the preservation work." Fortier said. "But we will do our best to let this vote sink in for a few weeks, and then figure out a way to move forward."