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Joyce Endee

Brewster Hall rehabilitation article falls short by 20 votes

Most articles pass in all towns, with few surprises in elections

WOLFEBORO VOTING BOOTHS were often full on Election Day last Tuesday, March 8, though turnout in most towns was light only 16 percent of registered voters turned out in Wakefield. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
March 10, 2011
REGION — The much-discussed and closely estimated $4 million proposal to rehabilitate Brewster Memorial Hall and provide new town offices came very close to approval in Wolfeboro on Tuesday, winning 58.87 percent of the votes cast but falling short of the 60 percent approval needed. The vote was 1,042 in favor and 728 against. To have achieved 60 percent, 20 votes would have had to shift from against to in favor (1,062 vs. 708).

Of the remaining 32 articles on the Wolfeboro warrant, all but six passed by comfortable margins. All six rejected articles were submitted by petition, including a zoning article on group homes, two competing articles on town offices, an article allowing part of Brewster Hall to be rented, an article requiring a sealed bids policy, and a request for $10,000 to fund a memorial to General James Wolfe.

In the three contested positions for elective office, Linda Murray and Dave Senecal were re-elected to three-year terms, finishing ahead of challenger G. Thomas Bickford by at least 189 votes; Dave Bowers was the clear winner among four contenders for the one-year term as selectman; and Brian Black, John MacDonald and Stan Stevens all pulled well ahead of challenger Don Faul for three-year Budget Committee seats. Among the uncontested Wolfeboro positions, Town Clerk Pat Waterman won the highest number of votes (1652) followed by Town Treasurer John Burt (1502).

In Tuftonboro incumbent Carolyn Sunquist won re-election for another three years, fending off a strong challenge by challenger Ted Wright, winning 373 votes to his 309. Road Agent Jim Bean easily won re-relection for three years, winning 401 votes against his nearest challenger, Jeff Moody, who received 190 votes. In the third contested position, for library trustee, Paul Matlock won 346 votes against Tony Lyon's 274. As in Wolfeboro, the Town Clerk led the vote count in the uncontested contests, with Heather Cubeddu getting 678 votes and Tax Collector Jackie Rollins winning 660.

In Brookfield former Selectman Bill Nelson was re-relected to the Board of Selectmen by a margin of 133 to 18 against Susan Marquis. Jim Freeman and Steve Michalsky won the planning board seats. All articles passed except the proposal to hold Town Meeting on a separate day than election day: that fell short by 16 votes.

In Wakefield none of the town elected positions were contested. Of the 34 remaining articles on the town warrant, all but three passed. The three that failed were: Article 5, a proposed zoning change to reduce the minimum required living area of a multi-family unit to 600 square feet; Article 29, a proposal to combined the Town Clerk and Tax Collector positions; and the controversial Article 31, a proposal to survey and design a Parks and Recreation building on the Wakefield ball field property using funds from a sale of timber on that lot.

In Wakefield school voting, Priscilla Colbath won re-election to the school board by a comfortable margin of 87 votes ahead of her nearest challenger, Vivian Macedo. The nine other articles on the school warrant also passed.

In the Governor Wentworth Regional School District voting there were no contested positions. Jim Manning won re-election as board member from Brookfield, Stacy Trites won re-election as board member from Wolfeboro, and Charlene Seibel won re-election as board member-at-large. Board member terms are for three years. Randy Walker won re-election as Moderator for a one-year term. The four other articles on the school warrant also passed; however, the vote on Article II, the Support Staff Agreement, drew 1449 no votes (vs. 1993 in favor) and was voted down in Effingham and New Durham. Those two towns also voted against the operating budget, Article V. Since majority votes prevails, all articles passed despite these dissents.

Tuftonboro held its Town Meeting on Wednesday evening after press time. Full details of that meeting as well as detailed results of March 8 voting in the four towns will be published next week.

Martin Lord Osman
Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
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