Write-ins abound in Southampton town election

  • Southampton Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/18/2022 4:00:32 PM
Modified: 5/18/2022 3:58:46 PM

SOUTHAMPTON — Town Clerk Luci Dalton bustled around her office Wednesday morning as she swore in newly elected candidates and contacted the five people who received write-in votes in the town’s annual election.

Although the majority of candidates that were elected ran unopposed in Tuesday’s voting, there were several vacancies on three committees. New voting machines made their debut Tuesday. 

“Our new machines worked great and we were really happy with the flow as voters moved to the correct machine for their precinct,” Dalton said.

For the first time as a two-precinct town, 303 of the 4,496 registered voters participated in the election — 186 voters from Precinct 1 and 117 from Precinct 2.

As of Wednesday, Dalton said that only two of the five write-in candidates had accepted their election wins.

Both of those candidates are on the Finance Committee: Donna Whiteley with 73 votes for a one-year term and Rebecca Plimpton with 69 votes for a two-year term.

The committee had three vacancies after Whiteley, whose term expired this year, did not come forward at the town’s caucus.

A third candidate, Mark Theroux, received two write-in votes for the three-year term on the committee, but declined to accept the position.

Neither Plimpton nor Theroux have served on the committee in the past, Dalton said.

Marci Theroux received one write-in vote for a one-year term on the Personnel Policies and Procedures Board, but declined to accept the position. John Lumbra, Select Board liaison, is the only remaining member on the board.

Member Kristie Ann Slattery resigned from the the personnel board in September, and members Robin Richard and Derek Geser resigned in October, according to Dalton.

Joann Alderman and Donna Whiteley were appointed to that board in November, according to Fowles. However, their terms expired on election day.

The other two vacancies on the board — a two-year and a three-year term — didn’t receive any write-in votes.

The board maintains the town’s centralized personnel record system, monitoring the effectiveness of rules, regulations, procedures and practices. It also reviews the town’s classification and compensation plans, and evaluates and classifies positions and reviews requests for reclassification.

Dylan Mawdsley, who was reelected to the School Committee for William E. Norris School, also received 23 write-in votes for the second vacant seat on the Park Commission. As of Wednesday, Dalton said Mawdsley had not declared whether he would accept the position. 

By a vote of 155-148, residents supported a Proposition 2½ debt-exclusion override to pay for the purchase of a new loader for the highway department. Dalton noted that the question failed in Precinct 1 but was supported in by Precinct 2.

The question will now go before voters at the annual Town Meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7 at the cafetorium at Norris Elementary School, 34 Pomeroy Meadow Road.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

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