By Andrea Ray | Apr 12, 2017 Sippican Week
Greenwood “Woody” Hartley III won a seat on Rochester’s Board of Selectmen Wednesday night with a little over 50 percent of all votes.
After a hard-fought election season, Hartley swept to a Selectman chair with 584 votes out of a total of 1,159 cast. Incumbent Richard Nunes, vying to return to his chair after several terms, garnered 326 votes.
Fellow candidate Ben Bailey garnered 239 votes. He inspected the number sheet with raised eyebrows.
“Wow, he really took it, didn’t he? Good for him,” he said earnestly of Hartley.
Hartley, who spent 18 years as Rochester’s Town Moderator, was visibly emotional in victory. He thanked the citizens of Rochester for turning out to vote, and his family for supporting him. “I know my father would be very proud,” he said as he and his family left Rochester Senior Center, where polling took place.
The Board of Selectmen race held a surprising number of twists and turns for a normally sleepy town. During Candidates’ Night in late March, Nunes accused Hartley of having several interests in conflict with a possible Selectmen seat – Hartley’s wife is a longtime member of Rochester’s School Committee, and his sister is the President of the town’s Womens Club.
Professing himself disappointed in the accusatory tone, Hartley denied any conflicts of interest. He stated that his sister and wife are both volunteers for their respective committees and made no money from their positions.
More sparks flew when Rochester residents received a mailing in favor of Hartley, describing Nunes and Bailey as two peas in a fiscally-irresponsible pod. Hartley denied that he was the source of the mailers, noting his previous distaste for “politics at the level of the recent national elections.”
In other election news, Naida Parker will return as Town Clerk with 897 total votes. Tax Collector Beatrice Renauld garnered 931 votes; Herring Inspector William Watling received 942 votes; Board of Health member W. David Souza received 920 votes.
Arnie Johnson returns to Rochester’s Planning Board with 873 votes; Plumb Library Committee members Phoebe Butler and Rhonda Reints received 885 and 816 votes; Cemetery Commission member David Shaw received 921 votes; Water Commission member Fred Underhill received 909 votes.
Board of Assessors members Jana Cavanaugh and and Deb Lalli received 904 and 895 votes respectively.
Rochester School Committee members Meghan Bennett and Anne Fernandes received 678 and 747 votes respectively.
Joe Pires, won a write-in campaign for a vacant seat on the ORR School Committee.
Question 1, which would have allowed a 15-year property tax increase, of about $40 per resident per year, to finance repairs and resurfacing of Hartley Road and High Street, was denied by voters. They voted it down by 588 negative votes to 323 positive votes.
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