TEARFUL TOWN CLERK PAT WATERMAN embraces Joyce Davis, Chairman of the Friends of Wolfeboro Town Hall, on hearing that Article 7 for the renovation of Town Hall had passed with 62.5 percent of the vote. Wolfeboro voters approved all 17 warrant articles on the ballot on Tuesday, March 11. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
March 13, 2014REGION — There were very few contests in area towns this year, but there were some surprises nonetheless.
In Wolfeboro, all warrant articles passed, including the Brewster Memorial Hall reduced scope renovation plan, which needed 60 percent approval and received 62.5 percent (1,080 Yes, 646 No). The related article authorizing temporary town offices in an unused wing of Huggins Hospital received 67.9 percent approval (1,152 Yes, 545 No).
The two controversial zoning articles also passed. Article 3, creating a new zoning district on Center Street/Route 28, passed 1,070 to 525. Article 5, a petition article allowing small illuminated "Open" sings at businesses was approved 1,026 to 631.
In the only contest race for a town office, Chuck Storm came in last in a field of four for three open positions on the Budget Committee. The votes were: Brian Black, 1,175; John MacDonald, 1,054; Steve Johnson, 1,033 and Chuck Storm, 767.
Tuftonboro is scheduled to hold its Town Meeting on Wednesday evening after this issue goes to press, weather permitting. Warrant articles, including the vote on the proposed new library, will take place at that time.
In the two contested races, incumbent Selectman Carolyn Sundquist survived a challenge from Bob McWhirter on a vote of 397 to 350. Jim Bean was re-elected Road Agent, easily defeating challenger John Lapolla on a vote of 500 to 225.
Tumbledown Farms owner David Guttadauro upset incumbent Selectman Bill Nelson on a very close vote of 117 to 114. Nelson announced at the end of Town Meeting that he was requesting a recount, which will be held next Tuesday, March 18, at 3 p.m. at the Brookfield town offices.
There were no other contested positions, but there were write-ins for three positions. Jim Freeman and John Merrigan were elected members of the planning board with write-in votes of 43 and 22 respectively. David Champy was the third write-in candidate with 9 votes.
Amanda Price was elected Town Auditor with 79 write-in votes.
Both zoning articles passed.
At Town Meeting held Tuesday evening following the elections, all 10 warrant articles up for a vote passed, including the $717,388 operating budget.
In the two contested races in Wakefield Relf Fogg had the distinction of losing in both. He came in fourth in a field of four running for three positions of the Budget Committee and he also lost to challenger Rosemary Stewart in the race for Asessor. The Budget Committee vote was: Jerry O'Connor, 353; Priscilla Colbath, 328, Lisa Kimball, 309 and Relf Fogg, 296. In the Assessor race Stewart received 323 votes to Fogg's 246.
Fogg was elected to the Wakefield School Board, however. The school board election had no contested positions and both warrant articles also passed.
Of the 36 warrant articles on the Wakefield ballot, all but three passed. Article 10, submitted by petition to remove "Boat and Marine Craft Dealers" from the list of permitted uses in Residential Zone III, failed on a vote of 193-382. Article 11 from the same petitioners to change "Boat Storage Facility" from a use allowed by conditional permit to a non-permitted use, also fell short by a vote of 197-374.
The last article defeated was Article 33, which proposed to change the percentage of Land Use Change Taxes deposited in the Conservation Fund from 100 percent to 50 percent, lost on a relatively close vote of 267-302.
School district results
In the only contest in the Governor Wentworth Regional School District election, incumbent Stacy Trites easily defeated challenger Bob Jones in Wolfeboro 1,156-256 and district-wide 2,379-800.
All four warrant articles also passed with comfortable margins.
Executive Council result
At press time the special election for the District 1 Executive Council seat formerly held by the late Ray Burton was too close to call. In local towns, however, Wakefield's Joe Kenney won over Mike Cryans 149-83 in Brookfield, 436-271 in Tuftonboro, 414-201 in Wakefield, and 969-697 in Wolfeboro.
Detailed election results will be published next week.