AYER -- Ayer weeded out two of its selectmen candidates on Monday night, electing a new three-member board filled by Jannice Livingston, Christopher Hillman and Gary Luca, according to unofficial election results released Monday night.

Meanwhile, Susan Copeland took 58 percent of the vote for new town clerk and tax collector, beating incumbent John Canney with 583 votes to 406.

Livingston will serve the maximum three-year term because she received the most votes, in accordance with the law reducing the board from five members to three. With 546 votes, Hillman receives two years and with 535 votes Gary Luca receives one.

Pauline Conley received 436 votes and newcomer Michael Pattenden received 374.

There were a few write-ins for the new three-member board, including six for former Selectman Frank Maxant, one for Todd Moore and one for Brenda Gleason. There were also 485 blanks.

There were only eight blanks in the town clerk race and 12 for tax collector.

The voter turnout was about 19 percent, with 997 of the town's 5,074 registered voters casting ballots.

The other 10 races were left uncontested. Board of Health member Pamela Papineau will have another three-year run on the Board of Health, while Louisa Bresnahan received another three years as a library trustee.

Tree Warden Mark Dixon also renewed his three-year term with 780 votes out of 997. There was one write-in for Kim Lebal and 216 blanks.


Regional School Distirct Committee Member Michele Granger was re-elected for another three years with 778 votes. There was also on write-in for Kim Lebal and 218 blanks.

One five-year planning board position had no candidate, but attracted write-ins. Jeremy Callahan received the most write-ins at 34.

Francis Callahan was re-elected as a three-year commissioner of trust funds with 792 votes, while Richard Skoczylas was elected as the town's new three-year constable.

C. Edward Cornellier was re-elected as an assessor for three years. Incumbent Daniel Graham and Richard Durand took the only two park commissioner positions, each set at three years. Kyle Gordon received the open two-year seat on the planning board, although there were also 12 write-ins for Jeremy Callahan.

Excitement filled the atmosphere on Main Street throughout election day, as supporters of candidates for selectmen and town clerk/tax collector waved to passersby.

The choices of voters exiting Town Hall varied. Resident Paul Magno said he voted Hillman, Luca and Livingston for selectmen. He chose Copeland for town clerk and tax collector.

"Hillman has done a fantastic job, and with John Canney's recent history I think we need to see some change there," he said.

But Mike Nelson said he voted for Canney, whom he often talks to.

"I like his beliefs and ideas, and he seems like a real gentleman," he said.

Bobby Drew said he voted for Copeland because he has known her for a long time and feels that she is a good choice. He said he did not really have an opinion on the selectmen, although he voted for Luca, Hillman and Conley.

Standing in Town Hall after the election results, Copeland said she is glad it's all over.

"It speaks volumes that everybody's ready for a change and ready to move forward," she said.

Hillman said he's happy about his two-year term.

"I think we'll work well together," he said of the new board.

Luca also said the board will work well together.

"I'm happy that the public still has faith in me to do the job," he said.

And Livingston left town hall with a big smile.

"It's an honor," she said. "And thank you to everyone. I will do my best."

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