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Regional round-up of Town Meeting 2013 results

Another year of town meetings is in the books; what follows is a brief round-up of what happened at some of our regional contests.

In Rutland City, incumbent Mayor Christopher Louras won another two-year term, defeating challenger (and president of the board of aldermen) David Allaire. Louras garnered 2,032 votes to Allaire's 1,611. 

Of the 12 people seeking alderman's seats, the six winners were Charles A. Romeo, Thomas DePoy, Edward Laarson, Jon Kiernan, John P. Cassarino and David Wallstrom.

Voters also approved a city budget of $18,666,507 and a school budget of $47,277,683, and the social service articles passed. A nonbinding article on the use of chloramine as a secondary disinfectant in the water supply failed, 1,150 votes for and 2,402 against.

Voters had only one contested race to decide, and that was between Donald J. Chioffi and Chris Kiefer-Cioffi. They chose Donald Chioffi by 499 votes to 420 for Keifer-Cioffi. While the general budget of $868,150 passed, the proposed school budget of $8,127,036 failed by just 22 votes: 479 to 457, which means another vote will have to be scheduled.

West Rutland saw a three-way race for a three-year term on the school board, with Francesca Giardi prevailing over challengers Tony Morgan and Michael Moser. They won 180 votes, 151votes and 98 votes, respectively. Five people, including Moser, competed for a one-year seat on the board. Tom Callahan took that seat with 216 votes, followed by Blake Cushing (176 votes), Peter Baird (155), Moser (154) and Maureen Warner-Blackman with 120. The $1,101,006 town budget passed, as did the school budget of $5,497,878. A $400,000 bond article to improve the bathrooms in the town hall also passed.

Woodstock passed its town and school budgets ($4,133,755 and $3,006,254, respectively) on a voice vote at the business meeting on March 2. In a paper ballot vote at that same meeting, voters chose to appropriate $60,000 to buy a new digital movie projector for the town movie theatre, 123 in favor and only 31 against. In Australian ballot voting on March 5, there were no contested races, but voters decisively rejected an initiative to hire a part-time economic development director, with 361 people voting for the idea and 520 voting against. An article calling on the congressional delegation to support various gun control measures, such as banning assault weapons and stronger background checks, won overwhelming voter approval, with 707 voters backing the idea and only 186 against it.

Bridgewater still does town meeting the traditional way, with all discussion and voting occurring on the floor. Voters chose John Timken to fill the unexpired term of the late Nelson Lee, who had been a Bridgewater selectman for 20 years. Seth Shaw won a two-year term on the school board. Voters also approved a town budget of $708,693, and a school budget of $995,033. The social service articles all passed, as did a proposal to spend up to $150,000 on a new town truck.

Plymouth voters saw no contested races, but did choose to eliminate the auditor's position in favor of using a certified public accountant. Voters also appropriated $10,000 to find a use for the now-closed school building.

The town had a bare-bones warning this year, no contested races, and the town budget of $809,044 passed. Rochester voters decided to fund the White River Valley Ambulance in over Valley Rescue.

The only contested race in Ludlow was for a pair of three-year seats on the Union #39 school board: Bruce Schmidt, (208 votes) and Susan Barton (191) defeated Daniel R. Buckley (137). The Union #39 school budget of $3,674,133 passed as well.