Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rotner & Newkirk Win, Articles Pass, Brackett Loses

Winner Kenny Rotner and a shiny first lady at his victory party
Breaking News:  CircumDecision 2013. Moyel Simcha reports that with the Rotner win, the board now has F.O.R.E. skin in the game.  (Thanks John & Ruth.)

It was a great night. Congratulations to Tom Newkirk on his definitive reelection. Congratulations to Kenny Rotner on getting elected by a wide margin. It was another landslide, folks.

I want to thank Carl Piedmont for a hard fought contest. He got lots of votes for a newcomer, but it wasn't enough in the tough field this year.  I'm hoping Carl stays involved and runs again next year.

Winner Tom Newkirk celebrates
All four ballot questions passed with wide margins.  The Sustainability article garnered the largest number of total votes (2075) and the narrowest margin of victory: 20 percentage points.  That's still a huge show of support for what appeared to be a very controversial question at the deliberative session.  Congratulations to Paul Gasowski and the Sustainability Committee.

The budget was approved by 24 points.   This is a big margin showing the board has really united the community behind them.  (Last year a budget barely above the default budget was approved by 11 points).  I congratulate the board on an incredible year.

After a 50% jump last year to over 3100, turnout was down to more typical levels, with 2162 ballots cast (OyC'mon).    That's more evidence the board has calmed things down immensely.

It's back to business tonight, with a newly added board meeting to discuss the division of the elementary schools and tuition students.   Speaking of which, Newmarket voted 1104 to 203 (84% to 16%) to "enter into non-binding discussion with Oyster River to send students."  It's pretty much up to us now.  One concern I recently heard expressed was that a tuitioning agreement with Newmarket might lower our property values, as people moving to get their kids into our schools choose our less expensive and lower taxed neighbor rather than Oyster River proper.  Deerfield, whose education committee came out with a strong recommendation to send its HS students to Oyster River last month, didn't have a ballot question about it.

Thanks so much to all who worked so hard to get these results. As always, it was great working with everyone. I want to especially thank my beautiful wife Ruth, who worked hard getting out the vote to great results.  And a great thanks to all my readers -- there were a whole lot of you the last couple of weeks, and I bet almost all of you voted.

Lee Results.  It appears we had good but mixed results from Lee (town results).  Congratulations to Carole Dennis, who won with 57% of the vote (Bugbee 30%, Brackett 12%).   It's been 20 years since a woman sat on the Lee Select Board.  I'm glad we were able to get the word out before the election that Carole had resolved her conflict of interest issue (thanks Krista).   Unfortunately, this meant our endorsed guy Scott Bugbee didn't pull it out, but we're pretty happy over here at ORCSDcleanslate as our primary goal, keeping Henry Brackett from being elected selectman, was achieved.  I'm sure Scott will run again soon. (Ruth suggested for next time he change his name to Bugbegone, which might be more attractive to the voters.)   Other Lee results: The raceway school failed (by just a few votes), all other questions, including the grass field and police cruiser, passed.  Jan Neill beat Scott Turnbull in the hotly contested Cemetery Trustee race.

I got our school ballot vote counts from FORE  -- thanks Stephanie.  I've added percentages to the raw tallies.

ORCSD Election Results    Posted on  by FORE Editor

Moderator – 1 year term
Richard Laughton – 1661 – elected   (77% of the 2162 ballots) 
School Board  – 3 year term  (Percent share calculated assuming everyone chose two, so 3410 votes = 200% of the voters, percent ballots uses 2162 = 100%).

Thomas Newkirk – 1470- elected        86% share   68% of ballots
Carl Piedmont – 682                              40% share   32% of ballots
Kenneth Rotner – 1258 – elected        74% share   58% of ballots
ARTICLE 3:  To approve the collective bargaining agreement for the Oyster River Educational Support Personnel Association (ORESPA)
YES – 1379 – passed    67%
NO – 690                       33%
ARTICLE 4:  To raise and appropriate the sum of $40,000 for the purpose of supporting initiatives requested by the Oyster River Sustainability Committee.
YES  - 1237 – passed     60%
NO – 838                        40%
ARTICLE 5:  To authorize the retention of year-end unassigned general funds in an amount not to exceed, in any fiscal year, 2.5 percent of the current fiscal year’s net assessment, for the purpose of having funds on hand to use as a revenue source for emergency expenditures and over expenditures or as a revenue source to reduce the tax rate.
YES – 1330 – passed     67%
NO – 666                          33%
ARTICLE 6:  To approve the operating budget, totaling $38,815,855.  Should this article be defeated, the operating budget shall be $38,546,021 (Default Budget).
YES – 1250 – passed     62%
NO – 782                         38%

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