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March 13, 2014

Lomdonderry OKs budget, re-elects councilors

LONDONDERRY — Voters gave another three years on the Town Council to two incumbents, but said no to one resident’s petitioned request to manage the town’s forest.

In one of three contested town races, incumbent councilors Joe Green and Tom Freda both won another three years on the council, topping challengers John Robinson and Chris Melcher.

Green and Freda took the top spots with 1,037 and 832 votes, respectively. Robinson took 822 votes and Melcher earned 732 votes.

Only 2,021 of the town’s 15,906 registered voters, or 12.7 percent, came out to vote Tuesday.

Town moderator Cindi Rice Conley called the turnout “pathetic” as only 1,650 had cast ballots by 6 p.m.

“At least the weather is nice,” she said.

Another contested race for town clerk/tax collector gave Sherry Farrell the top vote count with 740 votes, over Adriana Komst with 595 and Deborah Nowicki with 373 votes.

A warrant article calling for the separation of those two positions also passed with voters, 1,432-431. That means the newly elected town clerk/tax collector will serve until next year’s election. At that time, a tax collector shall be appointed. The town clerk will maintain part-time hours.

In other races, Conley ran unchallenged and won another two years as town moderator with 1,511 votes; Dana Coons was the lone candidate for Budget Committee earning 1,382 votes; Annie Warner won six years as Supervisor of the Checklist with 1,466 votes, and Christine Tighe was the only candidate for the two-year Supervisor of the Checklist term earning 1,495 votes.

In a three-way race Melissa Coffey and Cynthia Peterson won the two open Leach Library positions with 1,051 and 949 votes, respectively for three years. Ray Brown received 619 votes.

Voters also OK’d the town’s $28 million operating budget.

But residents said no to a citizens petition asking that the town forest be placed under the town manager’s control and to begin a cleanup effort at the property near the Town Common by a vote of 431 votes in favor, and 1,432 against.

A collective bargaining agreement between the town and police union was also approved.

Other warrant articles approved included a $100,000 maintenance trust fund to repair town facilities; $2 million to fund sewer upgrades and systems; $180,000 to upgrade the town’s highway garage; and $275,000 to be placed in the town’s Roadway Maintenance Fund.

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