March 13, 2018 Municipal Election
Don't forget to Vote!
The March 13, 2018 Municipal Election will be held in the Council Chambers, 59 Main Street from 7AM-8PM.
There are 6 candidates running for the three Council seats: Maia Dendinger, Rueben Dendinger, Samuel Kunz, Daniel LaPointe, Thomas Perry and Cheryl Robertson. There are 2 candidates running for the two RSU#26 School Board seats: Mark Brewer and Brian McGill.
For more information about voting, see the Elections & Voting page.
Candidates Night - February 13th, 7-9PM
The Orono Town Council and School Board Candidates Night was held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 7-9PM in the Council Chambers. Community members asked questions to get to know the candidates. To view the recording of Candidates Night, visit the following link Town of Orono's YouTube channel.
Candidate Bios - Updated as candidates submit their biographies.
My name is Mark Brewer and I am seeking reelection to the RSU 26 (Orono) School Board of Directors. I live in Orono with my wife Tammy and four children, all of whom attend Orono schools. I am a Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine, where I have worked since 2004. In addition to my experience on the School Board, I volunteer extensively in the Orono community, primarily with the Parks and Recreation Department.
I believe schools are central to any community. They are where we educate our children, where we watch them learn and grow, and where we often come together as a community. Ensuring that our schools are strong and healthy is of the utmost importance, and this is why I want to continue to serve on the RSU 26 (Orono) School Board of Directors. The primary role of an Orono School Board member is to work tirelessly to ensure the best education possible for the students enrolled in Orono schools while at the same time being a responsible and prudent steward of the schools' resources, provided by the residents of Orono. Ultimately I would like Orono schools to be the best in the greater Bangor area, and eventually the best in Maine. We owe nothing less than this to the students who pass and will pass through Orono's school doors. As a member of the Orono community and a parent of Orono school children I pledge to work continuously to improve our schools.
My name is Brian McGill. I am asking for your vote for one of the two open seats on the RSU 26 (Orono Schools) Board of Directors. I am completing my first term on the board and am currently serving as the chair of the board. I have lived in Orono for eight years and have two children in the Orono Schools. One is currently in middle school and one in high school and both went to Asa as well. I am a professor (educator and researcher) at the University of Maine. Prior to my current career I was a business consultant for almost a decade. I feel like serving on the school board gives me a chance to combine my educational and business backgrounds to make a positive contribution to the community I live in.
Orono schools are a central and vital part of our community. They serve as an important community meeting point not just for parents but for the whole community. They attract new families to our town. And they prepare our citizens of the future to be employed and contribute to our town and the world. For this reason I am committed to making our schools the very best they can be. I believe as a board member I can play an important role in balancing the many educational and community needs with fiscal responsibility, providing a strategic vision, and setting processes for accountability and transparency that ensure all voices are heard in governing our schools.
Town Council Candidates:
I have lived in Orono since 2007. Although I may have been initially skeptical about moving to a smaller town, I quickly fell in love with the character and community of Orono. The vibrant art scene, the natural beauty of the trails system and land trust, the village district, university and strong public schools, and the people who live here all contribute to this incredible community. Orono is a wonderful place to raise my four year old daughter and I am proud to call it home.
Having worked in higher education in Vermont since 2001, Orono was a natural fit. While working at the University of Maine Admissions and Career Services offices, I earned my Master’s degree in Higher Education. Currently I am employed by Husson University in Bangor. I have also been the co-leader of a community service youth group based in the Church of Universal Fellowship since 2009.
It has been an honor to serve my first term on the Orono Town Council. It has also been an incredible learning experience. I look forward to continuing my involvement with Council as we strengthen the relationship between the university and the town, balance Orono’s excellent services with its limited resources, maintain the vibrant quality of life while attracting new families and businesses to the community. I also look forward to continuing as the chair of the Community Development Committee, the ongoing and gradual implementation of the comprehensive plan, and the many other projects we have been working on. This is an exciting time to be part of the Council and it would be my honor to continue working for you in this capacity.
I have lived in Orono for over 50 years – first as a University student, then as an employee of the Orono School Department for 33 years and now as a retiree. My wife Connie and I raised our two children here and they greatly benefited from the education they received and the resources the community offered. Orono has been a wonderful place to live and I look forward to giving back to the community through continued service on the Town Council.
In addition to serving four terms on the Council I have served as Chair of the Council Finance Committee, as a member of the Orono Planning Board, the Orono Library Foundation and several other community committees. For the past six years I have represented our senatorial district on the Maine Municipal Association’s Legislative Policy Committee which establishes a position on all pieces of state legislature affecting Maine towns and cities.
I decided to seek another term of the Council in order to continue my involvement in the important work ahead of us. This work includes continuing to implement the recommendations found in the Comprehensive Plan, working to develop budgets that balance the needs of the community with our finite resources, maintaining the high quality services that Orono residents enjoy, advocating at the state level for legislation that benefits municipalities and working to make Orono an even more attractive community for all residents.
I look forward to this important work and believe that I can make a significant contribution to the Council’s work.
Cheryl Robertson was raised in Bangor, earned her master’s degree in English and doctorate in Education at the University of Maine, and her bachelor’s at Simmons College and UM. She has been in the field of education for over 25 years, most recently as a consultant with the Restorative Justice Collaborative, and formerly as full-time faculty at the University teaching courses in diversity and multiculturism, among others. She currently teaches English at UM and UMA and also operates Wassookeag After School, a licensed after school program for the families of Orono. Cheryl moved to Orono from Bangor in 2007 because of time spent in Orono as a student. She knew that Orono could provide her 5-year-old son a safe community in which to grow and opportunities through sports, music and academic programs that are more readily accessible in a smaller community. Cheryl enjoys meeting new people, shopping local, supporting community events, as well as helping out a neighbor when the need arises. She also enjoys the beauty of the Penobscot River and regularly explores the Orono Land Trust trails. As a town council member, Cheryl hopes to use her professional and community experience to benefit the people, land and rivers of Orono in such a way that decisions made support the common good, maintain a thriving, healthy environment to raise children, generate economic growth and create long lasting bonds.