EFFINGHAM TOWN MODERATOR MICHAEL CAUBLE (center) poses with selectman candidates John Meisner (left) and Henry Spencer outside the polls on Tuesday, March 13. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
March 15, 2012REGION — Turnout was good in the region as voters went to the polls to cast their ballots in local elections Tuesday.
Robert Freeman easily won his bid for election to the three-year selectman's seat with 385 votes against Francis Lord who received 116 votes; Roy Barron received 41 votes; Leonard Shurtleff received 26 votes; and August Benson received 11 votes.
There were six candidates for two seats on the town's Budget Committee and David Babson (247 votes) and James Fitzpatrick (202 votes) won. It was a close race for that second seat with longtime committee member Belinda Cullen receiving 194 votes and Bruce Williams receiving 188 votes. David Helme and Kevin Houle received 114 and 48 votes respectively.
In the only other contested race here, in a surprise upset, longtime Ossipee Water and Sewer Commissioner Randy Lyman was unseated by Ski Kwiatkowski in a 316-219 vote.
Condict "Connie" Billings was elected Trustee of Trust Funds and Jane Goodwin was elected Supervisor of the Checklist. Raymond Wright and Aline Wilson were elected library trustees. Robert Gillette and Roy Barron were elected to the Planning Board while Jean Simpson and Leonard Shurtleff were elected to the Zoning Board.
The reign of 12-year selectman John Meisner has ended as voters here have chosen Henry Spencer to fill the three-year seat on that board in a vote of 149-90. Challenger Ronald Witham received 10 votes.
Paul Potter (150 votes) and George Bull (147 votes) were elected to two Planning Board seats, beating challenger Michael Cahalane (109 votes). Cahalane did win his bid for a seat on the town's Zoning Board.
There were several unopposed races. Town Clerk/Tax Collector Marilyn Maughan and Treasurer Laurie Caldwell were both re-elected. Celine Bergeron and Carol Pfister will serve as library trustees and Kate Cauble as Trustee of Trust Funds. There was no candidate for the other open Trustee of Trust Funds seat but Susan Yakutis was elected with 18 write-in votes. Tim Eldridge and Michael Cauble were elected to the Budget Committee.
Two former selectmen were trying for re-election to the Board of Selectmen, challenging incumbent selectman Neal Boyle for the three-year seat. Boyle held on to his seat with 151 votes with John Krebs receiving 108 votes and James Brown, 106.
There were no other contested races on the town ballot and the following were elected: Library Trustee Laura Robinson, Trustee of Trust Funds Kim Reis, Planning Board members Peter Park and Janet Meyers, and Moderator Don Johnson.
On the school ballot School District Moderator Don Johnson, School Clerk Dianne Park, and Auditor Michael Gaudette were elected in uncontested races. There were four candidates vying for two seats on the school board. Brett Taylor outpolled Steve Jones, II in a 240-99 vote while Brandon Knox won the second seat against Carol Stansell in a 214-123 vote.
Selectman William Farnum was hoping for a third term but was easily ousted by newcomer James Hidden in a 528-314 vote.
Six candidates were vying for two Planning Board seats. Steve Gray (487 votes) and David Little (455 votes) beat out David Goodson (314 votes) and Yvonne Staples (254 votes).
In other contested races, John Roberts (442 votes) ousted Alexandra Cook (366 votes) from the board of Cemetery Trustees; John Hartley (488 votes) was re-elected as Fireward East, beating Shawn Bross (203 votes); and Lisa Remick won the Supervisor of the Checklist position, beating opponent Peg DeLong in a 474-303 vote.
In a write-in contest, Mark Albee received 29 votes for Trustee of Trust Funds with David Haskell receiving six votes. On the school ballot, another write-in contest give Nichole "Coey" Littlefield (167 votes) the one year school board seat. Dan Rowe received 47 votes for that position.
Charlie Edwards outpolled Jerry O'Connor in the selectman contest, 351-322. Stephen Royle prevailed over fellow alternate Richard DesRoches for the open planning board position, 464-129. In the only other contested position, Angie Casperonis was elected Tax Collector over Roberta Takis by a 483-158 vote. All remaining positions were uncontested: Dino Scala was elected Moderator; Laurel Morrill was elected Treasurer; Nancy Bancroft was elected Supervisor of the Checklist; Dave Mankus was elected Trustee of Trust Funds; Mankus and A. Kenney were elected to the Budget Committee; David Stevens was elected Assessor; and David Tibbetts was elected Cemetery Trustee.
All of the 28 warrant articles were approved by voters. The article that won by the largest margin was Article 23 authorizing the town to enter into a 99-year lease with the Wakefield Food Pantry for one acre of town land and allowing the pantry to build a building on the land: that passed by a vote of 582-95. The closest vote was for Article 27, establishing an Agricultural Commission, which passed on a 325-292 vote, a margin of 33 votes.
In Wakefield school voting, Vivian Macedo and Steve Brown were elected to three-year terms by 385 and 332 votes respectively. Incumbent Judy Nason won re-election to a one-year term with 493 votes. In uncontested races Rick Sager won Moderator; Kim O'Connor was elected Treasurer; and Deborah Gautier was elected Clerk. The 11 other articles on the school warrant all passed.
Governor Wentworth District
Longtime school board member-at-large Ernest Brown, Jr. lost his bid for re-election in a 1508-956 vote to Effingham resident Timothy Eldridge. Eldridge won in each of the six school district towns except Brookfield and it was a close race (493-464) in Wolfeboro.
John "Jack" Widmer of Tuftonboro was re-elected to the board and received 2,231 in the uncontested race for that seat.
Uncontested, Kathleen King of New Durham received 2,089 votes and will serve a three-year term on the school board. Also uncontested, Randy Walker received 2,191 votes and will serve one year as school district moderator.
All of the money articles on the school warrant passed though Effingham and New Durham voters opposed several of the articles.
Article 2 asked voters to appropriate $32,007 to pay for the increase in salaries and benefits resulting from the collective bargaining agreement between the school board and the administrative team. District-wide the article received 63.2 percent of votes in favor with both Effingham and New Durham voting against it.
Article 4 asked voters to appropriate $246,512 to cover the cost items associated with the collective bargaining agreement between the school board and the union representing the teachers. The article received 60.6 percent favorable votes with, again, Effingham and New Durham voting against it.
Article 6 asked voters to appropriate $77,003 for the union agreement between the school board and district support staff. The article received 62.4 percent of votes in favor with Effingham and New Durham voters voting against the article.
Article 8 passed, receiving 71.3 percent of the vote in favor with all towns in support of spending $150,000 for repairs and improvements to schools and grounds.
Article 9, approved by all towns appropriates $40,000 to the health insurance reserve fund and garnered 80.4 percent of the vote.
Article 10, the district's operating budget of $46,215,193 passed in all towns, receiving 73.5 percent of votes in favor.