November 15, 2023

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

Thanksgiving is just ahead, and so too is the busy holiday season! We're taking this time before the hustle and bustle to reflect on the Scarborough community. We are thankful to you for making this a vibrant place to live and work. You voted in our local election, get involved in town issues that you care about, and make the most of the resources that Scarborough has to offer. Read on for upcoming reminders and updates on what's happening in our town.


Check our Town Calendar for a look at upcoming meetings. The next Town Council meeting is tonight, Wednesday, November 15. It will include the swearing-in of newly elected officials. View the agenda here.

Thanksgiving Week Trash Collection Changes

Please be aware of the following changes to the trash pick-up schedule for Thanksgiving week:

No trash pickup on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 23rd

• If your trash day is normally Thursday, it will be picked up on Friday, November 24th

• If your trash day is normally Friday, it will be picked up on Saturday, November 25th

If you have any questions, please contact Public Works at [email protected] or (207) 730-4400.

Results from November 7, 2023 Election

Municipal Election

Town Council

5638 Anderson, Jonathan E.

5621 Caterina, Jean-Marie

5037 Cushing, Jr., Donald W.

4804 Doherty, Scott W.

7322 Blanks

Sanitary District Trustees

6780 Greenleaf, Jason A.

6455 McDougal, Benjamin T.

6694 Summers, Ruth A.

8493 Blanks

Portland Water District Trustee

4513 Crockett, Leroy P.

3100 Pellenz, Nicole M.

1861 Blanks

Question 1 - School Building Project

3363 Yes

5913 No

198 Blanks

State Referendum Election

Town of Scarborough ballots cast

Question 1

6197 Yes

2748 No

520 Blank

Question 2

8104 Yes

1094 No

267 Blank

Question 3

2609 Yes

6669 No

187 Blank

Question 4

7717 Yes

1503 No

245 Blank

Question 5

5423 Yes

3399 No

643 Blank

Question 6

6636 Yes

2250 No

579 Blank

Question 7

2803 Yes

5994 No

668 Blank

Question 8

4165 Yes

4737 No

563 Blank

Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election


Thank you to our Clerk's office staff and all other election workers for their critical role in working the election!

Register/Renew Your Dog License

Dog license registration is now open for 2024, and licenses are valid through December 31, 2024. Register or renew your dog license in person at the Clerk's office or online (If you register your dog[s] online, you will receive your tag[s] at the beginning of the next month). All dog renewals must be completed by January 31, 2024. There is an additional $25 fee starting February 1st. To receive a license for your dog, please come into the Town Clerk's Office at Town Hall during our business hours, Monday through Thursday from 7:00am-5:00pm.


Winter Program Brochure: Register Now!

It's almost New Year's Resolution season and Scarborough Community Services is here to help! Their winter brochure has exciting new programs to help you learn a new hobby, focus on your fitness, or get social. SCS offers programs for all ages year-round with creative picks like dance lessons and dodgeball for adults, indoor sports and crafts for kids, plus senior trips and more. The winter brochure with all programs and registration is out now—be sure to give it a look.


Now Accepting Letters to Santa 🎅

Community Services is accepting letters to Santa! Have your kids tell Santa about all of the good things they have done this year and a few presents on the wish list. Drop off or mail your letters before November 30 to get them to Santa so he can get a letter to you in return!

Print out this fill-in letter template (double-sided), pick up a paper copy at the Hub or Town Hall Clerk's Office, or request a copy by emailing [email protected]. Have your child or children fill in the spaces with their information, wishes, etc., and Santa will be sure to reply before Christmas!

Completed letters can be dropped in the North Pole Express mailbox at the front of Town Hall or mailed to the address listed on the template.

Note to Parents: To make it a bit easier for Santa and his response, make a mark (like a star) next to an item your child wishes for that they are most likely to receive!


Upcoming Holiday Events for the Family

Gingerbread House Decorating

Friday, December 1, 6:00-7:30pm

$5 per gingerbread house

Register; Space is limited so be sure to register soon! 

What better way to get ready for the holidays than by decorating a gingerbread house?! You bring the creativity, we’ll provide the house and decorating materials. Free refreshments and crafts. Sponsored by State Farm Insurance Agent Michelle Raber.

Santa in the Park

Saturday, December 2, 6:00-7:30pm


Bundle up the family and head to Memorial Park to join us and our presenting sponsor, Saco and Biddeford Savings, in welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus to Scarborough! We’ll be getting in the holiday spirit with sweet treats, activities, music, fireworks, and more. Help us spread the holiday cheer by bringing a non-perishable food item to donate to the Scarborough Food Pantry.


Community Thanksgiving: Last Day to RSVP!

Scarborough Community Thanksgiving is hosting their 8th annual dinner this year on Thanksgiving Day, November 23. This is a free community meal sponsored by many businesses, organizations, and friends in Scarborough. The special event returns indoors this year at Wentworth School and includes a traditional Thanksgiving meal served between 11:00am and 1:00pm.

RSVP today if you plan to attend. Volunteer capacity has been reached—thank you for your interest.


3-Town Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive

Food drives are an impactful way you can support our community this holiday season. Project GRACE's annual ‘Fixings Food Drive’, originally conceived to complement the Kiwanis Club’s annual gift of turkeys for the food pantry, is now part of a collaborative three-communities initiative with Scarborough, South Portland, and Cape Elizabeth. They’re gathering traditional ‘sides and fixings’ like cranberry sauce and gravy and stuffing as well as the nourishing pantry staples like soups and stews, proteins, vegetables and fruits, and so much more. Visit for dates and times or to give online.

What Activities Do You Want in New Community Center?

Thursday, December 7

Two slots: 2:00-3:30pm and 5:00-7:00pm

Community Services Hub, 418 Payne Road

Scarborough Community Services is hosting an "Activities" charrette with architect design firm Utile. The Town has received input on program spaces for a Community Center from multiple surveys, and now we're looking to gather public input on what activities residents would like to see in each space. This is a step in the Community Center planning process and will help our Ad-Hoc Committee and Consult Team decide on the square footage and design/layout to best meet the activity needs. Join us on December 7 to share your thoughts.

Know a friend or neighbor who should be getting these updates? Let them know! Simply go to to sign up. Thank you for helping to make our town more informed.


Fire Department Hosted 2nd Annual Jr. Muster

On Sunday, November 5 the Scarborough Fire Department hosted its second annual Junior Firefighter Muster. The participating junior firefighters (14-18 years old) from across the state competed in the friendly competition meant to test their knowledge and skills as set forth by the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Firefighter I and taught by their respective fire departments. 

Nationally, the Fire Service is struggling to find qualified staffing to fill the ranks. Engaging and mentoring interested youth early on is a proven, effective means of recruitment and retention. Thank you who all who participated and attended. Thank you also to the many local businesses who donated to the event!


Now Hiring: Seasonal Plow Drivers & More


Nov 22: Passport Day at Community Services Hub

Wednesday, November 22

9:00am to 2:00pm

Community Services Hub

418 Payne Road, Scarborough

The Scarborough Community Services Office has assisted the U.S. Department of State with the acceptance of U.S. passport applications for the past ten years, and each year the need continues to grow. Passports applications are accepted at the Community Services Hub by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. While we hold limited Saturday hours throughout the year, we also try to offer days when school is closed and it’s a little easier on families.

For our Fall Passport Day, we will have multiple staff members on hand to answer all of your questions, assist you through the process, and accept your applications. We previously required appointments for our recent Passport Days, but are happy to be returning to a drop-in system. These days have been quite busy in the past, so please plan to arrive early to be sure that your application can be accepted.


Each applicant will need the following materials:

  • Evidence of Citizenship
  • Photo Identification
  • Passport Photo
  • 2 Checks or Money Orders

Additional documents may be required depending on individual circumstances

For more information on what is required to apply for a passport, please call the Scarborough Community Services Office at 207-730-4150, or you may visit the only official website for passports at Travel.State.Gov.


Town Conducting Community Survey

The Town of Scarborough is in the process of conducting a community-wide survey. This is an initiative of the Town Council and has been a critical tool for guiding council goals and prioritizing community investments (a nearly identical survey was conducted in the Fall of 2021). A random sample of households received a mailed copy and are encouraged to complete the survey and provide feedback to Town leadership on their experiences with municipal services. The survey consultant, ETC Institute, has social media ads serving as a reminder to those who received the mailed survey. The Town will open the link to the online version of the survey more broadly early next week for those who did not receive a mailed copy.


Council Corner: A Tale of Two Towns

By Don Hamill

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” From A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens novel about the French Revolution 

We are in many ways more like a city even though we still refer to ourselves as a town. At 22,135 residents (2020 U.S. Census) we are one of the largest towns and smallest cities in the State. Our population grew by 17% during the 2010-2020 decade. Our town website has referred to us as “one of the fastest growing communities in the state.”   

We are a town of treasures under pressure. Our topography ranges from rural farms to sandy beaches and rocky shores. We have the largest saltwater marsh in the state which is facing ecological and environmental threats from our rapid growth. Our great natural beauty and lifestyle are being threatened by our popularity as “an affordable beach community.” Our slogan on the welcome sign on the Maine Turnpike near our New Hampshire border touting Maine as “The Way Live Should Be,” could be rewritten to say, “Maine, the Way Life Was.”   

We have made several strategic decisions with vast implications for the town. Our comprehensive plan committed us to the concept of designated growth areas and multi-family housing. It proposes to prevent sprawl and improve the efficiency of services and costs (schools, essential police and fire services, trash collection), by concentrating development in designated growth areas. We may be reaching the limits of that theory.  

Neighborhoods share growing common concerns over traffic, safety, and spending. This weekend there were two serious accidents involving one fatality on a single stretch of highway that used to be a back country road to Portland. Frustration over a lack of responsiveness to appeals for traffic calming measures on Maple Ave and Sawyer Ave has galvanized neighborhood activism and spilled over into public comments at Town Council meetings.  

Rapid growth and spending dominated the last election cycle with a dramatic put down of the largest spending request of the public in our history by an ornery electorate on November 7. “Stop Spending” signs drove voters to the polls over a $160MM capital request for a large primary school on land in the Downs. This, combined with the cost and complexity of buying land in the Downs and expanding the size of our Crossroads Planning District (CPD) zone with an $80MM+ TIF/CEA - awakened the sleeping giant of public opinion which voted down the appropriation ballot measure convincingly by over a 63 percent margin in a high voter turnout. 

Time will tell if the next Council to be sworn in this week is up to the task. There will be a change of only a single member. We will elect a new “first of them among equals” as Chair.  

Can we demonstrate that we have heard the public and be able to forge a consensus to lead us on a path forward? Will we be attuned to the voice of the public? Will we be able to deliberate carefully and act decisively or will we remain in denial and keep spending like there is no tomorrow?  

We need to discern why the public voted this way before we can act.  Are we up to the task?  We must be. Failure is not an option.  

Scarborough Town Council

Jonathan Anderson, Chair • Jean-Marie Caterina • John Cloutier • Don Hamill • Nick McGee • Karin Shupe • April Sither

Town Council meets the first and third Wednesday of each month. Visit our Town Calendar for links to attend and view agendas.


Scarborough Public Library: Upcoming Programs

Learn to Use Venmo

Monday, November 20, 10:00-11:00am


Are you curious about Venmo, the cash-free way of sending money to friends and family, or for making purchases from small businesses? Join us for a quick lesson on what Venmo is and what it can be used for, followed by hands-on instruction on creating an account. Bring your smartphone and a voided check to set up your account.

Password Protection & Management

Friday, December 1, 10:00-11:00am


Join the USM Cybersecurity Ambassadors in talking about Password Protection and Password Manager apps. If you have a laptop, bring it, but we will also have desktop computers available. This is part of the Age-Friendly Scarborough Speaker Series.

Arts & Crafts Fair at the Library

Saturday, December 2, 1:00-4:00pm

Stop by the Library for a arts & crafts fair featuring local artists, jewelry makers, knitters, crafters, and more! There will also be a bake sale to benefit the Lions Club, a dollar sale for kids*, and live music from the Wentworth School Chorus at 2pm!

*Regarding the Dollar Sale, the idea is to give kids a chance to buy a gift for a loved one without parental help. For only a dollar, a kid can pick out a little something for a parent/grandparent/sibling/friend all on their own, or with the help of our Teen Advisory Board. Money raised goes towards TAB activities, like our Library Lock-ins. Do you have small items that you'd like to donate? Ideas include pretty mugs, inexpensive jewelry, and small decorative items. Please contact Elsa Rowe 207-396-6279 if you'd like to contribute.


Monday – 9am to 5pm • Tuesday – 9am to 7pm • Wednesday – 9am to 7pm • Thursday – 9am to 7pm • Friday – 9am to 5pm • Saturday – 9am to 5pm • Sunday – Closed

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