By Beth David, Editor
Fairhaven’s election was pretty ho-hum with no contested races on the ballot when voters went to the polls on Monday, 4/3. A blank line under the Board of Public Works, however, ended up creating a contest between two write-in candidates. Newcomer Cameron Durant, 28, soundly defeated former Selectboard member and former BPW member Geoffrey Haworth, 214 to 62.
Incumbent Jarod Lussier pulled himself out of the race too late for anyone to take out nomination papers, which created the blank space on the ballot.
The lack of contested races produced a lack of interest. The total number of voters casting ballots was 559, a dismal 4.9% turnout.
Mr. Durant visited all the polling places on Monday, but spent most of the day at Town Hall, precinct one, handing out stickers for voters to put on the ballot.
Another newcomer, Nicholas Carrigg, won a seat on the Planning Board with 346 votes. Incumbent Cathy Melanson received 345, to retain her seat.
“I’m happy it was a simple process,” said Mr. Carrigg at town hall waiting for the numbers to come in. “I’m happy I get to serve the people of Fairhaven.”
Other races, all uncontested and all filled by incumbents were: Charles Murphy, Selectboard; Pamela Kuechler and Brian Monroe, School Committee; Jeannine Lopes, Board of Health; Brian Wotton, BPW; Keith Silvia for an unexpired term on the BPW; John Rogers, Commissioner of Trust Funds; Jay Simmons, Housing Authority.
There were also many empty spaces for Town Meeting member in some precincts and many tie votes in some precincts. Check with the town clerk, 508-979-4023, Ext. 3, to find out how to become a town meeting member. Town meeting is on May 6.
As is tradition in Fairhaven, people gathered at Town Hall waiting for the counts. Town Clerk Eileen Lowney announced her preliminary numbers live on government access, channel 18, in the banquet room. Candidates, both winners and the vanquished, then had an opportunity to directly address voters.
Mr. Haworth did not appear at town hall, but Mr. Durant took advantage of the opportunity to thank his wife and his supporters, especially his grandmother Terry Pereira, who stood outside holding a sign from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“I promise to work as hard as I can and do the best I can,” said Mr. Durant.
“It was a fast 30 days,” Mr. Durant said later on in the evening. “I was really nervous, not about losing, but about giving it my best effort.”
He said that he felt the postcard mailing he did, which included stickers, was important. At the very least, it showed that he was taking the race seriously, he said.
Mr. Murphy, who is starting his fourth term on the Selectboard, thanked his family and his team and said he looked foward to the next three years and “making the town better than it is.”
Keith Silvia, who had been appointed to his position on the BPW, ran to finish out the unexpired term. He thanked the voters for their support and said he was looking forward to working with Mr. Durant.
Brian Monroe, who won re-election to the School Committee, said it was a “lot of work, but I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun.”
Pam Kuechler, who also was re-elected to the School Committee, echoed the comments and the thanks, adding that she was proud to serve on the SC and looks foward to the next three years.
Brian Wotton, who was uncontested for his re-election to the BPW, gave words of encouragement to the newcomers and thanked outgoing BPW member Jarrod Lussier for serving.
Mr. Wotton said it will be his fifth year serving.
“I really enjoy it,” he told the voters. “I really enjoy helping out the town.”
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