Low turnout at polls
Friday, March 15, 2013
HOLLIS – Only 555 of the 5,970 registered voters turned out Tuesday, Election Day, to cast ballots for various town officials, cooperative board and school district seats, resulting in a voter turnout of about 10 percent.
Polls also opened 10 minutes late because Town Moderator Jim Belanger and public works employees had to reassemble the voting stations in Lawrence Barn – something they had done the night before. When Belanger arrived to open the hall at 6 a.m. Tuesday, he found the booths had been folded up and pushed to one side of the room, and voter information sheets scattered. At first, Belanger thought it was vandalism and reported it to police. But, a police officer, who had passed by the barn Monday night, noticed people inside dancing. Belanger suspects that a zumba class may have used the hall. The group was not supposed to use the barn that night because it would be set up for voting. The case is being investigated.
The only contested races were for two, three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee – Mark A LeDoux and Peter Band were re-elected as selectmen for another three years, with 378 and 376, respectively. They beat challenger Spencer Stickney, who got 204 votes.
On the Budget Committee, Chris Hyde garnered 333 votes and Tom Gehan, 307 votes, to retain their three-year seats, beating challenger Riley Rodgers, who had 220 votes.
Thomas A Davies, running unopposed, will also keep his Supervisor of the Checklist post for another five years, receiving 478 votes.
Also retaining his seat as Trustee of the Funds is F. Warren Coulter, receiving 457 votes for a five-year term.
Jone LaBombard was also re-elected to Library Trustee for a three-year term with 467 votes.
Hollis School District
Drew Mason was re-elected town moderator for one year with 465 votes.
Challenger Rosemary Mezzocchi was elected to the School Board for two years with 307 votes, with incumbent Robert Mann coming in second place with 195 votes. Skip Snyder garnered 430 votes for the three-year seat on the School Board.
“I am excited to serve on the Hollis School Board for the next two years,” said Mezzocchi. “As a retired Hollis Brookline teacher and mother of four, I want to make sure that today’s students receive the same excellent education that prepared my children for their careers.”
Voters also gave Diane Leavitt another year as town clerk with 458 votes, while Claudia Dufresne was re-elected treasurer for one year with 458 votes.
The Cemetery Trustee seat went unfilled. No one filed and there were no write-in votes for the three-year term seat.
Cooperative – Hollis reps
The upset was Lorin S. Rydstrom defeating Raul Blanche by 43 votes for a two-year term in the Budget Committee. Blanche garnered 222 to Rydstrom’s 265 votes.
James Murphy was elected moderator for three years, receiving 454 votes. He also ran unopposed.
Representing Hollis will be incumbent Darlene Mann, with 385 votes, and Thomas Enright, 405 votes, for three-year terms on the Co-op Budget Committee, while Krista Whalen and incumbent James D. O’Shea were also elected to three-year terms on the School Board with 413 votes and 392 votes, respectively.
Hollis also had 13 amendments up for vote on the town ballot:
Amendment 1 – To amend Section XX of Town Zoning Ordinance to specify side and rear setbacks at 15 feet. Passed 372-151.
Amendment 2 – Limiting the number of home businesses to one in residential districts. Passed 277-254.
Amendment 3 – Prohibiting the sale of vehicles and gas stations in the “downtown” agriculture and business zone, and the historic district. Passed 284-232.
Amendment 4 – Limiting event specific signs to nonprofit organizational events and not for business uses. Passed 356-179.
Amendment 5 – Limiting the number of event specific signs to no more than three on one parcel. Passed 319-209.
Amendment 6 – Clarifying that business signs must be placed on business properties. Passed 399-93.
Amendment 7 – Prohibiting tattoo parlors in the downtown business zone and only in the industrial zone. Passed 336-160.
Amendment 8 – Defining hazardous materials to be approved by the Planning Board in the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone. Passed 361-116.
Amendment 9 – Clarifying the definition of building area requiring that driveways remain on owners’ lot. Passed 327-163.
Amendment 10 – Clarifyings the Historical District Commission’s review authority and expanding its review authority to include change or uses. Passed 306-212.
Amendment 11 – Explaining setback requirements between commercial buildings on the same lot are not necessary. Passed 364-144.
Amendment 12 – Clarifies an oversight of farm stands in the community and if review by Planning Board is required. Passed 329-188.
Amendment 13 – Clarifying and providing greater flexibility to the farming community for use of signs. Proposed by the Agricultural Commission. Passed 453-70.