AYER — “Being that it’s 8 o’clock, the polls are now closed,” said Ayer Town Moderator Dan Swanfedlt. The polling machines began generating the final tallies for a busy Town Election season. A total of 1,049 votes were cast, or roughly 20 percent of the town’s registered voters.
Retiring Town Clerk Ann Callahan oversaw the balloting Monday, April 26 in the race to succeed her as Clerk and Collector.
MAXANT WINS SELECTMEN RACE
In a close race, 25 votes separated former two-time selectman Frank Maxant who won with 49 percent of the vote, or 512 votes. Close on his heels was Board of Health member and former decade-long Finance Committee member Mary Spinner with 47 percent of the vote, or 487 votes.
“I’m gratified that the Ayer voters thought it good to return me to the Ayer Board of Selectmen,” said Maxant. “I’m happy that the vote was a close one. Mary Spinner deserves thanks from the voters of the town for all her service to Ayer.”
Maxant was sworn in on the spot by Swanfeldt, who was himself an uncontested candidate for reelection to the Town Moderator post. Maxant succeeds outgoing selectman Cornelius “Connie” Sullivan, who opted against a fifth consecutive term run in order to run for seat on the state House of Representatives this fall. Maxant begins his new term at a meeting set for 1 p.m. at Town Hall Tuesday afternoon.
CANNEY SWEEPS CLERK/COLLECTOR
Maintaining the town’s tradition of keeping the Clerk and Collector positions together, Ayer voters delivered a landslide win to Ayer attorney John Canney for both spot. Canney received 63 percent of the vote (656 votes). Conservation Commission member David Bodurtha received 23 percent of the vote (245 votes) and Jamie Gibbons secured 12 percent of the vote despite having withdrawn from the race last week (121 votes).
It was a four-way race for collector, Canney stole the show again securing 59 percent of the vote (615 votes), compared to Bodurtha’s second place showing with 18 percent of the vote (188 votes) and Finance Committee member Glen LaPierre’s third place finish with 12 percent of the vote (121 votes). Gibbons withdrew from this race, too, but garnered 101 votes nonetheless (10 percent of the vote).
Canney credited hard work and good old fashioned campaigning for the win over the past two months. On Election Day, he had supporters armed with election signs stationed at several corners downtown.
Canney said he had a two-part winning message, “You need to treat people with respect and dignity, and you need to show a lot of energy and heart.”
GINTNER NAILS TREASURER POST
It was a close call but a decisive win for Stephanie Gintner as treasurer. The former Harvard Assistant Tax Collector and former Ayer Assistant Treasurer was sworn-in Monday night by Swanfeldt.
Gintner received 32 percent of the total vote (310 votes), followed by Devens Enterprise Commission member Marty Poutry with 28 percent of the vote (264 votes). Placing third was Glen LaPierre with 26 percent of the vote (245 votes). Selectman Gary Luca, who withdrew from the race, still garnered 15 percent of the final vote (140 votes).
INCUMBENTS TAKE CONSTABLE, BOARD OF HEALTH
Clark Paige returns as Constable post with a decisive 63 percent of the vote (663 votes) to challenger Henry Pare’s 24 percent of the vote (248 votes).
Board of Health incumbent Margaret Kidder secured her fifth consecutive win with 67 percent of the vote (701 votes). Challenger Lora Haines trailed with 23 percent of the vote (246 votes).
“NO” FOR CAPITAL EXCLUSION
Sixty-six votes brought down the Capital Exclusion ballot question. Despite its loss at the polls, the matter still appears on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for May 10.
The question asked whether the town should be allowed to assess an additional $404,524 in property taxes in a one-time revenue raising effort to pay for several items recommended by the Capital Planning Committee, including an emergency generator for Town Hall, DPW equipment and a new Jaws of Life for the fire department. The measure failed on a 407-341 vote, with 301 blank votes cast.
Proponents sought to purchase these items via a Capital Exclusion to avoid borrowing with finance costs. Town Meeting will have final say over whether and what items to purchase, if any.