Twice as many people are running for Hampden Town Council and to represent the town on the Regional School Unit 22 board of directors as there are available seats.
Six people, including two incumbents, are seeking to fill three at-large seats on the council. Eight residents, including three incumbents, are running for four seats on the RSU 22 board of directors following a contentious summer debate for that board about masking requirements.
The competition for local office on this November’s ballot in Hampden stands out, as a number of other municipalities in the area, including Brewer and Belfast, are seeing no competition for local offices. In Old Town, no one is running for two vacant city council seats, and there’s one candidate in a race for two open school board seats.
One incumbent Hampden town councilor and one incumbent member of the school board for the district that includes Hampden, Winterport, Frankfort and Newburgh chose not to seek reelection.
Shelby Wright, who has served on the council for most of the last decade, said her job and family concerns factored into her decision not to run again.
“I thank all of the candidates running this November for their willingness to serve and for stepping up for their community,” she said. “Hampden is a wonderful community and I am proud to call it my home.”
Incumbent town councilors Ivan McPike and Eric Jarvi are seeking reelection.
The other candidates for council are Anita McCormick, Matthew LaChance, Kimberly Slininger and David Ryder, a former council member.
On the RSU 22 school board, member James Baines isn’t seeking reelection. He said that the recent growth of his small business, Black Bear Tech, is demanding more of his time. He also is working to increase membership in Libertarian Party of Maine.
“I was struggling to make the school board meetings as it was,” he said. “The time commitment for any elected office is not something I can meet anytime soon.”
Anthony Liberatore, Faye Anderson and Lester French are running for reelection to the school board.
Other candidates are Colleen Jolley, McKenzie D’Angelo, Jessica Barnes, Shelley Sargent and Delany Wilkes.
Jillian Sarnacki-Wood is running unopposed for a two-year term to fill the seat left vacant by Kimberley Moran in August. The Hampden Town Council appointed Sarnacki-Wood to the board in August after Moran resigned. Sargent also sought to be appointed to Moran’s seat.
There are two positions up for election on the Hampden Water District’s Board of Trustees but just one person, Andrew Emery, is running.
Hampden voters also will be asked to authorize a $4.5 million bond issue to support a municipal broadband network in areas of town where it is not available from private firms.
The election will be held Nov. 2 at the Skehan Recreation Center at the former Hampden Academy, located at 1 Main Road North. Polls will be open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m.
Absentee ballots are available at the town office. They also may be requested online through the Maine secretary of state’s website.