Bedford voters say yes to road renovations and no to new fire safety substation

Voters voted down Article 4, an article related to the construction of a South River Road Safety substation last week during the elections.

Sixty-six percent was needed to pass the article and despite an ample number of yes votes numbering 2,636, the no votes numbered 2,011. Fire Chief Scott Wiggin and other town officials had pushed for approval of the article, citing nearby and comparable towns, all of which have more than fire station, and the high number of outsourced emergency calls last year.

Elections for positions in Bedford town government and elections for positions in the Bedford school district were held, 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at Bedford High School, 47 Nashua Road.

Seats on the School Board for the Bedford School District were won by newcomer Bill Kassler with 2,535 and incumbent Bill Foote with 3,320 votes. Other candidates were Aaron Day with 1,129 votes and Jen DeAngelis, who accrued 1,387 votes. The total number of ballots cast was 4,729 – 31 percent.

Article I on the ballot related to contenders for the School Board. Subsequent articles – II, III, IV, V, VI and VII – dealing with salary increases, the operating budget and the acceptance of gifts all received votes of approval.

Town Council seats for three years went to winners Chris Bandazian with 3,570 votes and Jim Aguiar with 2,241 votes. Other candidates were Matt Philips with 1,298 votes and David Coles with 680 votes.

A post for Library Trustee for the duration of three years went to winner Anthony J. Frederick Jr., who accrued 1,969 votes. The runner-up was Bill Duschatko, who gathered 1,426 votes.

Trustee of the Trust Funds for three years would have gone to Ryk Bullock, who garnered 2,435 votes, running unopposed. Bullock, however, withdrew from running long before election day. According to Town Clerk Lori Radke, the Town Council, once in place, will appoint a trustee for a one-year period. The position will go on the ballot next year as a two-year position, along with another trustee position for a three-year period.

The post of town clerk for a duration of three years went to Lori Radke with 3,684 votes. Losing their bid at the position were Diane O’Neil with 438 votes and Courtney Hodgdon with 216 votes.

A post as town moderator, secured for two years, was Brian Shaughnessy with 2,426 votes. Losing the bid was Barbara Chagnon with 1,824 votes.

The position of Supervisor of the Checklist, a six-year assignment, was won by Joan McMahan with 3,332 votes. She ran unopposed.

Voters stated their wishes and voted in the affirmative for Article 3, an article that gave an OK to a plan to take on some debt to rehabilitate Bedford roads and related infrastructure. Voters who cast yes votes numbered 3,365. Voters who cast no votes numbered 1,302. Sixty-six percent was needed to pass the article and that mile marker was accomplished.

An added attraction, Kids Vote, on voting day was directed at motivating youngsters to understand the voting process and the fact that each vote is important. Irene Labombarde, a staff writer often published in the Bedford Journal, took note of the mock election. Children voted to decide upon school mascots, spirit week activities, their choice of playground equipment and more.

According to Labombarde, volunteer Lisa Nash was among those who helped the children with ballots closely resembling those of the adult voters who assembled at the high school on election day. Nash reported to Labombarde that 848 voters from kindergarten through eighth grade cast votes geared to the school attended by the voter.

The results came in with little contention. Peter Woodbury School voters chose Waddles as the name of the school’s mascot, a penguin. Memorial School students named their mascot, an eagle, Edward. Riddle Brook School’s spirit week in April will include Backwards Day. McKelvie School will add a spinner toy to the playground. Meanwhile, Midnight Madness at Ross A. Lurgio Middle School will feature a mechanical bull, according to Labombarde. Volunteer Nash deemed the event a success.

“This was our best turnout yet, I think we’re still growing,” Nash said. “I’m so proud of all our kiddos that came out to vote today.”

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