LEWISTON — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Shannon as the new Ward 7 School Committee member, replacing Tina Hutchinson.

Thomas Shannon

Hutchinson recently announced her resignation, which is effective April 22. According to the city charter, the mayor appoints a replacement if the resignation falls within a year of the next election.

Shannon served on the School Committee for a number of years, and is a former chairman. He ran unsuccessfully for City Council in Ward 7 in 2017, losing to Michael Marcotte. Shannon also served a term in the state Legislature.

Only one member of the public spoke on the nomination Tuesday, and it was a familiar face to the council. Heather Everly Berube told the council she protested Shannon’s nomination because of a recent social media exchange in which she said he used “ableist” language that was insensitive to people struggling with mental illnesses.

Berube was responsible for a series of revelations that led to the resignation of former Mayor Shane Bouchard.

Councilor Alicia Rea initially made a motion to table the vote, which the council discussed, but it was ultimately scrapped after Councilor Zack Pettengill removed his second.

Marcotte said Shannon has represented Ward 7 for many years and that he “takes budgets seriously” and “looks out for taxpayers.” He said with the budget process wrapping up, Ward 7 needs representation.

“I’m done with the politics of personal destruction,” he said. “We don’t need to continue this black eye on Lewiston.”

The initial motion from Rea was to table the nomination until the next regular meeting May 7, but the seat will be vacant beginning April 23. The council also discussed the possibility of calling a special meeting before then, but ultimately decided to vote Tuesday.

Thomas Shannon

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