BRUNSWICK — Of the six seats up for reelection on Brunswick’s Town Council and School Board, only one seat is contested.

Councilor-at-large Kathy Wilson is facing a challenge from Whitney Parish.

Wilson said she’s choosing to run again because she enjoys the work and the chance to give back to the town she’s lived in for decades. “I love Brunswick, I was born here, I grew up here, I’ve worked or lived here my whole life, and I’m still here. And I’m 72,” she said.

Wilson owns a pet grooming business, and was involved with the town through committee positions even before her election as a councilor. She currently serves on the Human Rights Task Force, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, and is chair of the Finance Committee, among others. She also serves on the state’s Animal Welfare Advisory Council.

“I was very involved, even before I decided to run, because I really like the town and I’m very happy doing it,” she said.

During her time as a councilor, the council has made some decisions that generated some controversy – including a decision to sell 946 Mere Point Road that ended up leading to a court case by residents against the council.

Wilson said she strives to keep an open mind and listen to opinions to reach a sound decision. “It’s hard to make decisions that are going to be best for everyone, and sometimes you have to make a decision that favors one over the other,” she said. “I try to think, ‘what’s it going to be like in 20 years, or 50 years?’”

Wilson’s opponent, Whitney Parish, moved to Brunswick three years ago but was born and raised in Maine and has ties to the area.

Parish works in social services, particularly in areas of advocacy for domestic violence. She also serves on state advisory committees for mental health, and was the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine Board’s secretary for the last three years.

“I am not a stranger to board politics, to policies, to procedure and the importance of them,” she said.

Her experience with people from all walks of life through her career, as well as her age, will bring new and valuable perspectives to the council. “I am a bit younger than the other councilors and the candidates. I think that’s an important perspective, if we want to bring in younger folks to sustain our community and our future,” she said.

Parish said a key focus for her is balancing the town’s future with its history. “I think bringing in businesses and development while also maintaining the integrity of the town, and what we view it as the community, is important.”

The other two council races, Districts 5 and 7, are uncontested, but the present councilors are not running for reelection. Councilors Sarah Brayman and Dan Harris both decided against another term. District 5 candidate Christopher Watkinson and District 7 candidate James Mason are running for those positions instead.

For the School Board race, Sarah Singer, William Thompson, and James Grant are all running for reelection, facing no competition for their positions.

Voting in Brunswick will occur at the junior high school, 65 Columbia Ave. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information on elections, including absentee voting, visit www.brunswickme.org.

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