|By Debbie Gardner|
HAMPDEN The Town Election on May 7 drew more voters than usual, but it wasn't the Proposition 2 1/2 override vote to fund road repairs that seemingly brought people to the poles this year.
According to Eva Wiseman, who was elected to another three-year term as Town Clerk, a total of 1,290 of the town's 3,509 registered voters came to the polls last Monday.
"On a regular Town Election, that's pretty good," Wiseman told Reminder Publications. "The average turnout is between 25 and 30 percent, the overrides always draw more people."
She confirmed that this year's election drew 37 percent of the town's registered voters.
But an examination of the ballots showed the override wasn't the draw this time around.
"The ballot question had 77 blank [votes], the Selectman's race had 26 blanks, the Treasurer's [race] had 27 blanks," Wiseman said. "The fact that there were fewer [blanks] on those indicates that more people came out for the town races."
In those races, challenger Vincent J. Villamaino defeated incumbent Duane E. Mosier by a count of 671 to 592 to win a three-year seat on the Board of Selectman.
In the treasurer's race, incumbent Tracy L. Scibaldi defeated challenger Donna M. Easton-Vicalvi by a vote of 808 to 455. Scibaldi will serve another three-year term.
The Proposition 2 1/2 Override vote, which asked the town to approve a temporary tax increase to fund a $1.5 million bond to pay for road repairs passed by a mere 24 votes.
The count was 618 in favor, 595 opposed to the Override. Wiseman said all incumbents seeking re-election to a variety of town posts ran unopposed and were re-elected.
Richard E. Patullo will serve another one-year term as Town Moderator, Stanley W. Witkop will serve another three-year term as Town Assessor, Kathleen Hutchinson will serve three more years as a Library Trustee and Richard A. Hatch, Sr. will hold the post of Cemetery Commissioner for another three-year term.
In addition, voters returned Mark A. Goossens to the post of Park Commissioner for another three years, and all three of the Town Constables up for re-election Arthur A. Booth, Jr., Miles M. Hapgood, Jr. and George K. Stone, Jr. were re-elected.
The two candidates for positions of the Planning Board also ran unopposed. John L. Matthews III was elected for a five-year term, and Cornelius R. Flynn will serve on the board for two years.