2015-11-27 / Community News

Donovan tabbed for town council chairman

Shawn Babine selected to serve as vice chairman
By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

Two weeks after voters elected two new councilors, the Scarborough Town Council appointed new leadership for the next year.

On Nov. 18, the council unanimously chose Bill Donovan to serve as chairman, taking over for Jessica Holbrook, who chose to not seek re-election after six years. Shawn Babine, who is heading into the second year of his current term, was chosen as vice chairman.

According to the town charter, the chairman “shall preside at the meetings of the Town Council, and shall be recognized as head of the town government for all ceremonial purposes, and by the Governor for purposes of military law, but shall have no regular administrative duties.” The vice chairman fills in when the chairman is not available.

Donovan has served on the council since 2013 and has for the last year been a member of the finance committee and chairman of the rules and policies committee.

Babine has the most town government experience on the council, serving on the Board of Education from 2000 to 2002 and on the Town Council from 2002 to 2011, when he resigned to take a job out of town. Babine, however, was not a unanimous choice like Donovan. Councilors Kate St. Clair and Peter Hayes voted against Babine, instead supporting Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina in the role.

Caterina served as vice chair last year, but indicated at the meeting she was not interested in continuing in the capacity and seemed surprised when St. Clair nominated her.

“If I knew you wanted it, I would have given it to you,” Babine said to Caterina.

“I didn’t,” she responded.

Although, she couldn’t get the support for her nomination, St Clair said she was optimistic about the upcoming council year.

“I congratulate Councilor Babine and Councilor Donovan,” she said toward the end of the meeting. “I truly believe we are going to have a good year. I am looking forward to it.”

Caterina agreed, “I think we are going to have a fantastic year.”

In one of his first official roles as chairman, Donovan named Babine, Peter Hayes and Chris Caiazzo as members of the council’s finance committee. Babine, who will chair the group again this year, and Hayes were members last year.

The council’s other committees: appointments committee, fair hearing authority, ordinance committee, rules and policies committee and liaison positions to other town boards will be decided and appointed at the group’s Dec. 2 meeting.

In an effort to get to know each other better and build stronger communications and working relationship, Donovan has organized a team-building retreat Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. at Piper Shores. Although it is a public meeting any time the seven council members convene, Donovan requested the retreat be closed to the public so councilors can focus on the team-building exercises.

The board of education also spent some time last week organizing itself for the next year, which will again be led by Donna Beeley and Kelly Murphy, who were elected chairman and vice chairman respectively on Nov. 5.

The board chose Jodi Shea to replace Caiazzo, who chaired the board of education finance committee for the past three years. Joining Shea on the committee are Cari Lyford and Christine Massengill.

The board’s negotiations committee, made up of chairman Jackie Perry, Murphy and Massengill. remained unchanged. Murphy will again chair the policy committee, which will be made up of Kate Miles and Beeley. The outreach and communication task team will include Lyford, who will chair the task team, as well as Miles and Shea, who led the group last year.

A number of liaison positions were handed out as well, including teacher evaluation and professional growth (Miles), health and safety (Murphy), facilities (Massengill), Sebago Alliance (Perry), vocational schools (Beeley and Lyford), education and business (Beeley) and legislation (Perry).

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