GROTON -- Incumbents seized the day during town elections when, among their number, Peter Cunningham and Anna Eliot were returned to the Board of Selectmen and James Gmeiner reelected to the Water Commission all for three year terms.

Participation by residents however, was light with only 16 percent of the town's 7,658 registered voters showing up at the polls.

"For an election with contested races like the Board of Selectmen and School Committee, I think it was a low turnout," said Town Clerk Michael Bouchard.

Asked if a third switch in polling location over the last year from the Middle School to the former Prescott School to the Country Club might have had an effect on attendance, the Town Clerk was uncertain.

"I can't say yet if it's made a difference, but it's a good start," Bouchard said of the advantages of the Country Club site. "I've been told by a number of residents that the new location has made for a good voting experience.

And for those of the 1,220 residents who cast their ballots on a sunny May 20, many did so for reasons of civic duty.

"I love our town and love to support our elected officials," said Greg Sheldon. "I hope that whoever is elected, does the best job possible."

Others, however, had specific issues in mind.

"I'm just trying to stay involved," said Stephen Rodman of why he turned up at the polls. "But in general, I'm concerned about the school budget.


I wanted someone new on the School Committee but hopefully, whoever is elected will make sure that once it's fixed, it will stay fixed."

"I voted because I wanted to support the schools," said Karen Vanderborgh.

"I came out because there were a lot of contested elections including the Board of Selectmen," said Karen Myers.

"It was important to me to get the right person onto the Water Commission," said Cheri Crowell. "We live on the lake and we need someone who will work to keep the lakes weed free."

In the Board of Selectmen's race, Cunningham, who in the days leading up to the election had been forced to fend off accusations of violating the state's open meeting law, came in ahead of challengers Barry Pease and Shane Grant with 651 votes.

Eliot came in first place with 677 votes.

Pease and Grant drew third and fourth places respectively with votes totaling 558 and 260.

Cunningham and Eliot's fellow selectman, Joshua Degen, who had challenged James Gmeiner for his seat on the Water Commission fell short, losing to the incumbent by a vote of 691 to 426.

Meanwhile, vying for a three year seat on the Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee vacated by Jon Sjoberg, newcomer Jeffrey Kubick won over Brian Leblanc by a vote of 769 to 265.

In another heated contest, Barbara Lamont and David Zeiler each won three year terms as Trustees of the Groton Public Library with votes of 604 and 363 respectively.

The two had faced challengers Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Viau who each garnered 303 and 328 votes respectively.

Going head to head for an empty seat on the Groton Electric Light Commission, Bruce Easom edged out Olin Lathrop by a vote of 533 to 456.

With two open seats on the Planning Board, incumbent Scott Wilson was reelected with 791 votes while newcomer Michael Vega took 745 votes to replace departing member Jason Parent.

On the Parks Commission, incumbent Ginean Haberlin was reelected for a three year term with 778 votes. Likewise, Matthew Frary won a three year term as well with 733 votes replacing departing member Laurie Smigelski. Meanwhile, incumbent John Strauss,who went unchallenged, picked up another one year term with 882 votes.

In uncontested elections, Garrett Boles was elected to a three year term on the Board of Assessors; Jason Weber to a three year term on the Board of Health; Thomas Hartnett to a three year term as Commissioner of Trust Funds; Brooks Lyman for a five year term on the Housing Authority; Katharyn Dawson for a three year term on the Housing Authority; and Thomas Orcutt to a three year term on the Sewer Commission.