The Penobscot Times

Orono passes marijuana referendum, elects new councilors in municipal election

ORONO, Maine — Orono voters elected new councilors, school board members and passed a marijuana referendum in Tuesday’s municipal election. 

The municipality’s referendum question whether to allow marijuana establishments in town passed by 107 votes for a total of 472 favoring, and 365 voters rejecting the referendum. 

Voters also elected two new councilors and re-elected two incumbent councilors. Newcomers Laura Hoovler Mitchell and Geoffrey Wingard each won a seat for a three-year term.

Incumbent Cheryl Robertson also secured another three-year term. Thomas Perry, who is the current town council chairperson, beat out Anastastia Stanek for a two-year council term.

The Penobscot Times published profiles of the candidates on March 2. Candidates were asked to identify their primary goals as a potential councilor. 

Hoovler Mitchell said her primary goals were to expand access to quality housing, maintain fiscal sustainability, increase community engagement and bolster economic growth. Wingard also prioritized economic sustainability, as well as creating more opportunities for business development and affordable housing. 

Perry prioritized maintaining town services in fiscally responsible ways. Robertson said her primary goal was to continue building community awareness and find ways to improve communication about policies and events between town officials and residents. 

Along with councilors, voters also elected three school board representatives. Mark Brewer, who has served on the RSU 26 board since 2014, was re-elected to a three-year term, along with Brian McGill. McGill has served on the board for the last six years. 

Newcomer Patrick Rowe beat out incumbent Leo Kenney for a one-year seat. Rowe, who garnered approximately 439 votes, narrowly surpassed Kenney by 67 votes. 

Kenney previously served three terms on the school board. 

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