Two newcomers have unseated incumbents in Petersburg’s Borough Assembly. All ballots were hand counted October 5.
Scott Newman and Donna Marsh will fill two, three year term seats on assembly. They received more votes than incumbents Jeigh Stanton Gregor and Chelsea Tremblay as well as former assembly member Kurt Wohlhueter.
Scott Newman earned the most votes at 587. Donna Marsh received the second most votes with 519. Stanton Gregor was 32 votes behind at 487. Chelsea Tremblay had 431 and Wohlheuter 239. Stanton Gregor has served on assembly for 8.5 years and Tremblay for three years.
In a candidates forum hosted by KFSK and the Petersburg Pilot prior to the election, Newman said he wants to bring the community together.
“The last couple years has been really hard on us as a community. And there’s been a lot of division. The assembly has been a source of controversy,” Newman said. “And we have a lot of big projects coming at us. And I feel like I would bring some common sense and a balanced approach and some common sense to the table.”
Marsh said she was running for office as a fiscal conservative.
“My desire is to add a conservative perspective to this body,” Marsh said, “to allow and encourage discussion of so many issues affecting the people of this town, and to rein in the overreach that’s been so prevalent in the recent past.”
Newman and Marsh agreed on several topics in the candidates forum. They both disapproved of how the borough managed the COVID pandemic response. Marsh called it an “extreme overreach.” Both said the community should first look to private enterprise for solutions to the housing problem and the child care shortage.
“Housing: yeah, I think we need to leave that to private enterprise,” Newman said. “I think we need to be careful about if we open up land, like who’s going to move in. There’s no doubt in my mind that people from down South, they want to, they want to move here.”
The two new assembly members differed on one issue: a new hospital. Newman said he supported the borough and Petersburg Medical Center pursuing one, but Marsh does not.
“I do feel passionate about the hospital. Crunching the numbers, to me, it does not make sense,” Marsh said. “I realize the hospital that is currently standing is in dire need of some repairs. But I think we need to be more creative to do something that is manageable to get the thing up and running, as well as maintain for the future.”
Incumbent Mark Jensen won the Mayoral election by a large margin. He received 642 votes. Bob Lynn had 363 votes and Jeff Meucci had 177 votes.
Jensen, who is a commercial fisherman, has been mayor for about a decade. He said in a mayor candidates forum that he’s running again because there is still work to be done.
“A couple things I would like to continue working on is getting the Coast Guard buoy tender to be stayed, ported in Petersburg when they build the new ships,” Jensen said. “Another thing I’d like to hope to see is the Scow Bay turnaround developed and potentially the bypass road behind the airport.”
There were three hospital board seats available. Cindi Lagoudakis won with 656, Joe Stratman with 663, and Kimberley Simbahon with 584. James Roberts lost with 516.
There were two seats available for the Harbor and Ports Advisory Board. Casey Knight and John Murgas got seats. They had 644 and 559 votes respectively. Scott Roberge and Raleigh Cook lost and were almost even. They had 420 and 408 votes respectively.
There were two, three-year terms on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board open. Sarah Fine-Walsh got 679 votes. Michele Pfundt was a write-in and also won with 170 votes. Lisa Schramek was also a write-in and lost with 136.
Propositions one, two, and three all passed by large margins. “Yes” votes led with 795, 881, and 708 votes respectively.
The election results will remain unofficial until the borough’s canvass board meets Friday at nine a.m. to certify the results.
The borough did not release the number of voters as of Wednesday night.