CAPE ELIZABETH – When the ballots are tallied in Cape Elizabeth on Nov. 5, there will be at least one new face on both the Town Council and the School Board.
In each race, a three-person field featuring a lone incumbent is vying for one of two open seats with a term of three years.
On the council, Frank Governali is stepping down at the end of his first term.
“I don’t feel compelled to do multiple terms,” he has said, calling it “ideal” to have “continual refreshing of the Town Council.”
That will leave Caitlin Jordan, 30, manager of her family-run Alewives Brook Farm on Old Ocean House Road, to square off for re-election against two relative newcomers, Martha “Molly” MacAuslan and Imad Khalidi.
Park Circle resident MacAuslan, 54, is a real estate consultant and part-time graduate student at Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts. She has not previously held elective office, but she does chair the town’s library planning committee.
Khalidi, 61, of Pilot Point Road, is a U.S. citizen of 20 years born in Jerusalem. He runs Auto Europe, an international car rental reservation business based in Portland. He also has not previously held elective office.
Jordan is a Cape native with a law degree and “a very small practice” run on the side when not busy with her duties on her family farm. She is executive officer of the Cape Farm Alliance, vice president and treasurer of the Cape Business Alliance and manager of weekly farmers markets in South Portland and Scarborough.
“I find myself very busy and involved in the community, and I feel I represent a segment of the community not otherwise represented on the council,” she said. “I can bring a unique and interesting perspective to many of the topics that come before us.”
Khalidi said he feels honor-bound to serve his adopted country, first on the municipal level and then, “maybe one day” in the State House.
“When I came over here I had nothing. America gave to me, and it is my duty and obligation to give back to America,” he said, listing his priorities as education funding, land preservation and relieving the tax burden borne by senior citizens.
MacAuslan said she is running for Town Council, “because I have time right now, and I care.” Also, MacAuslan said, she is “dedicated to the ‘one-town’ concept” in Cape that calls on all departments, including its elected bodies, to work collaboratively.
“I’m all about stewardship and managing the tax implications of maintaining and improving town resources,” she said of her potential tenure on the council.
On the School Board, Mary Townsend is stepping down after five years “to pursue other opportunities.”
That will leave William “Bill” Gross and Susana Measelle Hubbs to face incumbent Michael Moore, 42, of Manor Way, an adviser with Bigelow Investment Advisors in Portland now seeking his second term on the School Board.
Gross, 44, of Sea View Avenue is a retired telecommunications engineer who ran unsuccessfully for the School Board in 2012, while Measelle Hubbs, 46, a homemaker and artist living on Belfield Road, has logged time with the middle school parents association.
Gross said at an Oct. 3 candidates forum sponsored by the advanced placement government class at Cape Elizabeth High School, that he was “running because I am not satisfied.”
Gross said that after putting two children through the entire K-12 curriculum, and then volunteering (based on his education and work experience) in a physics class, he realized that the basic teaching methods used “year after year” are “about 100 years old.”
Gross also said he thinks the school department can make better use (compared with discussed plans) of a $700,000 “windfall” due to come in 2016 when an outstanding bond is paid off. He also said he wants to get in on renegotiating the teachers contract that expires in 2014.
“I’m not satisfied with the teachers contract we have now,” he said. “I think we can get a better contract, better for our teachers and better for our school.”
In contrast, Measelle Hubbs, the mother of three Cape students, said she is “very excited and encouraged” with the direction of the school system.
“I believe that a strong public education system benefits everyone. We are all stakeholders in our public education system and therefore all responsible and accountable,” she said, explaining her decision to run for a seat on the School Board.
Moore, seeking his second term, touted his first term, in which the board hired several new administrators, including Superintendent Meredith Nadeau, all dedicated, he said, to “a culture of change and innovation.”
“I am excited about where Cape Elizabeth schools and community services programs are headed,” he said, “but I will not shy away from difficult decisions or questions.”