Voters rename township and elect McQuarrie as newest selectman
Voters across the St. John Valley dealt with only a few local races or questions on Election Day, but also weighed in on four statewide issues.
Voters in Frenchville elected Andrew McQuarrie to fill a selectman seat left vacant in August when Dan Collin resigned. McQuarrie, who was the only candidate who filed papers in time and was on the ballot, received 155 votes. Write-in candidate Keith Pelletier received 43 votes.
Residents of T17 R4, which includes a portion of Long and Mud lakes and the village of Sinclair in the Unorganized Territory, voted Tuesday to rename the area Sinclair by a vote of 40 to 9.
In March, the House approved a bill sponsored by Roland “Danny” Martin, D-Sinclair, to make the name change, which Gov. Paul LePage subsequently signed.
In Eagle Lake, voters voiced their wishes, 190 to 94, to leave School Administrative District 27. Residents now own the former school building in town and will create their own school board.
On the statewide ballot, voters in the St. John Valley overwhelmingly rejected Question 1, which would have allowed a new casino in York County. More than 2,500 voters in the Valley turned down that project, while barely more than 800 voted for it. No single town in the area voted in favor of the proposal.
The casino proposal also failed drastically across the state, with more than 80 percent of voters rejecting it.
Voters in the region did approve a $105,000,000 transportation infrastructure bond, 2,696 to 730. Question 3 also passed statewide.
The bond money will be used to match an estimated $137 million in federal and other funds for construction, reconstruction and repair of state highways and bridges, among other infrastructure projects.
The approval of additional Medicaid funding was a tighter race, both locally and statewide. In the Valley, voters approved Question 2, by a vote of 1,834 to 1,601. Voters statewide also barely passed the measure, 59 percent to 41 percent.
Among the area’s largest communities, Madawaska voters were split the closest on the Medicaid expansion issue, with 406 in favor and 409 opposed. In Fort Kent, the measure passed 440 to 360 and in Van Buren voters approved it 202 to 146.
Along with Madawaska, the only other local towns to reject the Medicaid expansion were Portage Lake, Frenchville, Cyr and Hamlin plantations, and New Canada.
LePage has already signaled that he plans to block the implementation of Medicaid expansion in the state.
St. John Valley voters also approved a constitutional amendment regarding the management of state pension funds, as did voters statewide.