Elections Bring No Surprises, But Some Color From Write Ins


After the spring elections, there are new faces and familiar faces on boards in Manchester and Essex.  In Manchester, voters approved questions related to infrastructure expenditures and state-required consulting related to a new Essex Elementary School.

In Manchester last Tuesday, the polls at the Memorial School closed at 8 p.m.  According to Town Clerk Dianne K. Bucco, turnout was tepid: just 723 (16.67%) of 4,337 total registered voters turned out to weigh in on a slate of unopposed candidates seeking placements on local boards and just three financial questions that followed successful passage at last month’s Annual Town Meeting (ATM).

In Essex, the story was much the same.  Turnout was less than 10 percent of the town’s 2,962 registered voters, mostly because there were no competitive races and no ballot questions this year.  Peter Phippen was re-elected to his seat on the Board of Selectman, with 223 votes.  Then, for
the Board of Assessor Michael Cataldo was elected with 225 voting him into a one-year unexpired term, and Tina M. Lane was elected to a three-year term on the board.  On the Planning Board, Ariel Fernando Brain secured a five-year term.

Travis J. Good easily won Board of Health’s seat by 230 votes and Katrina S. Koch Sundquist won re-election for another three-year term on ME Regional School Committee (213).  On the Board of Library Trustees, Michelle Anne Stefka won by 229 votes the two-year unexpired term, meanwhile Jennifer Mayer was elected for the three-year term by 232 votes.

Eight people in Essex wrote in Nina H. McKinnon, who ran unsuccessfully last year for ME Regional School Committee, for that committee.  Another notable write in candidate was Elizabeth Walsh for Planning Board (54 votes).

Here are the election’s results from Bucco’s report from Manchester:

Jeffrey Michael Delaney won a seat on the Select Board, filling the spot vacated by Becky Jacques.  Delaney has been the administrator of the “Manchester, the What When Where How” Facebook group, a position he gave up after announcing a run for Select Board.  For decades, Delaney has served as Manchester’s delegate to the North Shore Technical High School, and his father served on Manchester’s Board of Selectmen (as it was then known) in the 1980s.

On the Planning Board, Sarah Hammond Creighton was re-elected easily with 528 votes to a three-year term.  Then, Peter H. Morton—running unopposed for the seat vacated by Christine Delisio—won his three-year seat with 515 votes.

Richard “Ric” Rogers was re-elected for a three-year term as a Library Trustee with 586 votes.  After seeking election and being appointed to fill the term until the polls, Sarah Davis won the one-year unexpired term with 595 votes, as a Library Trustee. 

Alan Wilson was re-elected as a one-year term Town Moderator, with 637 votes.   This was Wilson’s 30th successful election to Moderator.

For the three-year term on the Manchester Essex Regional School Committee, Christopher Alan Reed was re-elected with 556 votes.

Against the backdrop of smooth, unopposed elections, write in voting offered some opportunity for color.  Six voters in Manchester wrote in Delisio for Town Moderator.  Two wrote in John Jay for that position.  (John Jay was also the write in candidate for one voter to fill a Planning Board seat, and another write in vote cast him to serve as a Library Trustee).  Besides Jay, the Planning Board seat also saw write in votes for Ron Skates (2 votes), Donna Furse (5 votes) and John Keefe (1 vote).  At the regional School Committee, one write in vote supported Delisio for that committee, as did Jen Weise (4 votes). 

Laura Tenny (1 vote), Becky Jaques (2 votes), Edward Flammia (1 vote), and Georgia Pendegast (1 vote) were write ins for the Select Board. 

There were three compelling ballot questions up for a vote in Manchester, all seeking to ratify approvals for financial expenditures at last month’s ATM. 

The first sought approval of a $7.55 million bond (borrowed funds) to pay for needed improvements to the water and the sewer systems.  Voters passed Question #1, with 606 votes.  Question #2 (debt exclusion), was directly tied to Question #1, and asked voters to exempt the required debt payments on the $7.55 million bond.  This too was approved (546). 

The final question, Question #3, asked voters to approve the monies to fund the Essex Elementary School Feasibility Study.  This passed easily by voters (723).