Incumbents Bock, Jonynas returned to selectboard; school budgets pass

Photo on the Homepage: Christine Balch, Muriel Briggs and Sindy Pisha hand out ballots at Chester Town Hall on Election Day, Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Photo by Cynthia Prairie

By Cynthia Prairie

With 638 Chester residents voting by the time polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Tom Bock and Arne Jonynas were returned to office for one-year terms on the Chester Selectboard, with Jonynas beating out challenger Kathy Pellett, a former state legislator, by only seven votes. The final tally is Bock with 383 votes, Jonynas with 357 and Pellett with 350.

Last night, Bock said, “We had three well-known, three good candidates … It shows that people are happy with the budgets, with the way the current selectboard has handled things.” Pellett offered her congratulations to both Bock and Jonynas, adding, “I look forward to staying involved with issues that are important to the town, and … will continue to be very active in town affairs.”

Incumbent Derek Suursoo was unopposed and will sit on the selectboard for another three years.

School budget items

Every school fiscal item on the ballot was approved, although the Green Mountain Union High School budget won by a much slimmer margin than the others. Following is a breakdown:

$5.6 million for Green Mountain Union High School District No. 35 ….. 601 yes/400 no (Voters from Chester, Andover and Cavendish);
$5,000 for GMUHS to create and fund a technology equipment and repair fund ….. 719 yes/272 no (Voters from Chester, Andover and Cavendish);
$3.6 million for Chester-Andover Elementary School District No. 29 ….. 509 yes/217 no (Voters from Chester and Andover);
$50,000 for CAES for the Capital Improvement Reserve Fund ….. 518 yes/212 no (Voters from Chester and Andover);
$3.1 million for River Valley Technical Center School District ….. 450 yes/168 no (Voters from Chester).

Romney wins presidential primary in Chester

In the open presidential primary, in which voters could cast their ballots for either party without regard to their own party affiliation, President Barack Obama, unopposed on the Democratic side, garnered 250 votes. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney received 125 votes, followed by Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, both with 78, Newt Gingrich with 33, John Huntsman, the former ambassador to China who dropped out of the race weeks ago, with 10, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who also dropped out of the race, with 6.

Uncontested, returned to office

And in uncontested Chester races, Bill Dakin will again serve as town moderator and Chester Town School District moderator for one more year. For the next three years, Wanda Purdy will be lister and Chester Town school director; John DeBenedetti will be town grand juror for one year; Geralyn Donohue will have three more years on the board of Green Mountain Union High; Tonia Fleming will fill two years of an unexpired term as Chester-Andover Elementary School director; town auditor will be Ted Spaulding for three years; Shirley Barrett, for three years, and Sandra Walker, for two, will be Trustees of Public Funds; Alice Forlie and Bruce Parks will continue on the Whiting Library Board of Trustees, joined by Lynda Tallarico, all for three-year terms; and Amy Howlett, Susan Kibbe and Heidi Buxton Ladd will site on the Budget Committee for the next three years.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Kathleen Karl says:

    It was so great to be able to check LOCAL election results so easily and so early in the morning! Thank you Cynthia!