OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Voters in Old Orchard Beach virtually decided to clean house in their local election Tuesday, as they recalled 6 out of 7 town councilors. The vote came after months of political infighting on a very divided council.
In March, 4 councilors voted to fire town manager Mark Pearson without cause. 3 supported him, and the debate got bitter. Pearson is now suing the town. Right after that vote, two campaign committees sprouted up: one to recall the 4 councilors that opposed Pearson, the other to recall those who supported him.
Tuesday, Bob Quinn was the only councilor to keep his seat. The vote was 1315-814. He supported Pearson, and said he was humbled by the support of his community. He feels the vote should help the town move forward.
Quinn said, "That came through loud and clear, that they don't want any more of that confrontational in your face type of stuff. They would rather see the town's business conducted in a more professional way."
The councilors that voted to fire Pearson were ousted by pretty wide margins. Laura Bolduc was recalled 1367-763. She will be replaced by Roxanne Frenette. Sharri MacDonald was recalled by a vote of 1385-748. Shawn O'Neill will take her place. Linda Milhot lost her seat 1330-801. Mallorie Pastor is her replacement. And Dana Furtado was recalled 1353-767. Joseph Thornton takes that seat.
Two other councilors supported Pearson and lost by smaller margins. Robin Dayton was recalled 115-1027. Jay Kelley is the replacement. Michael Coleman is asking for a recount. He lost 1073-1062. Should the recount fail, Kenneth Blow will hold that seat.
These new councilors have a lot of work to do quickly. The town doesn't yet have a budget and the fiscal year begins July 1.