New presidents and vice-presidents were appointed to Brunswick city council and school board on Monday.
Jim Mason was unanimously elected president of Brunswick City Council, succeeding former councilor John Perreault who did not seek re-election in 2021 after 12 years of service. Mason was first elected to the board in 2017 and served as vice president for two years.
As chairman, Mason said his goal is to make sure that any advisor who wants to put an issue on the agenda can do so. Looking to 2022, he said the council’s two biggest challenges will be the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and managing the budget ahead.
“I think all of the councilors are very aware that the budget season is about that balance, and I think finding common ground that is acceptable to the majority of the council is the hardest thing we do,” Mason said. “I think the president’s big responsibility in this is just to manage the discussion. “
Councilor Dan Ankeles, first elected in 2018, was unanimously appointed vice president.
At the school board, Beth Bisson was unanimously appointed to chair the group after previously serving as vice-chair for a year. Bisson, who was first elected in 2020, succeeds Billy Thompson who still sits on the board but has not sought another year as president.
Bisson said managing the school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be one of the most pressing challenges for the board through 2022. The launch of the school department’s strategic planning process , which hasn’t been done for over five years, will be a different business, she said.
“This is really an opportunity to hear the community as a whole talk about their greatest needs and their greatest concerns and priorities,” said Bisson. “So, as Chairman of the Board, I look forward to working with the rest of the Board and really encouraging the participation of the Brunswick community in this strategic planning process. “
Sarah Singer was unanimously named vice-president of the school board. Singer was first elected to the school board in 2014.
Board and school board members elected in November 2021 were also sworn in on Monday.
Erica Carley Harris was sworn in for her first term on the school board along with incumbents Celina Harrison and Joy Prescott.
On the board, newcomers Abby King and Sande Updegraph were sworn in along with an incumbent Anklees.
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