TOWNSEND — Three years ago, Sue Lisio won a three-way write-in contest for a seat on the Board of Selectmen by 45 votes. Yesterday, she was on the ballot with two other challengers and defended her seat by a 276-vote margin.
A three-way race for an open, three-year term ended with incumbent Lisio being re-elected. Candidate and Board of Health Chairman James LeCuyer received 172 votes and former Harvard Postmaster Gerald Copeland received 91 votes. A total of 724 residents cast ballots at the polls, 12 percent of the total 6,020 registered voters in town.
Local business owner Janice Fiorentino said she gets to the polls every chance she can.
“People really should vote, it’s important to be involved in town,” she said. “This is an important election. The school-ballot question affects people.”
That question passed by 13 votes, 336-323, approving a debt-exclusion option for the North Middlesex Regional High School feasibility study. Townsend’s share of the $900,000 study is about $357,200, according to Town Administrator Andy Sheehan. Ashby defeated the question in their election.
The money will be raised through tax revenue outside the provisions of Proposition 2 1/2 and provides the town administration options on how to appropriate the funds for the feasibility study bond if approved at Town Meeting in May.
Only 65 voters left the question blank; for many, it was the reason they said they were at the polls.
“The school is most important thing on the ballot. The accreditation isn’t just a big thing for the school, it’s big for the town too,” said Donna Fuchs.
Though voters like Fuchs felt the future of the school has a large bearing on things like property values, others felt differently.
“Teachers make the school, not the building,” said Robin Silva.
Simone Coble said the ballot question was important, and she was interested to see how it comes out.
“I come out and vote to support my town, it’s my right,” she said.
In other election results, Townsend resident Ronald Dionne was elected to the Board of Water Commissioners. He ran unopposed and received 483 votes.
Also running unopposed was Associate Planning Board Member Julie Johnson, who was elected to an open five-year seat on that board. She received 513 votes.
Incumbents who were running unopposed and were re-elected were Amanda E. Dwight Entertainment Fund commissioner Susan Gerken, Board of Assessors member Laura Schifrin, Board of Health member Christopher Genoter, Cemetery and Parks commissioner John Barrett, Library Trustees Kimberly King and Suzanne Doust, North Middlesex Regional School Committee member Robert Templeton, two-year Recreation Commissioner Sharon Whittier and three-year Recreation Commissioner Richard Corsini and Town Moderator Gene Rauhala.
Resident Arthur Dinon used his votes as statements of support, even with unopposed candidates.
“I only vote for the candidates I think do a good job,” he said.
Several positions had no candidates, but were filled by write-in scatterings which are to be announced at a later date, according to Assistant Town Clerk Kathy Spofford.
They include a three-year term on the trustees of soldiers memorials, which got 22 write-in votes, a three-year term on the Recreation Commission which got 21, the position of Trust Fund commissioner which got 11, and a five-year term on the Housing Authority which got 16.
Follow Luke Steere at twitter.com/LSNashobaPub.