As Cavendish votes, Gross celebrates a hard won defeat

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Dressed for a cold day outside, Steve Perani casts his ballot before going back outside to help Abe Gross with the ‘Don’t Vote for Abe Campaign.’ Photo by Shawn Cunningham

With contested races for town four offices approximately ten percent of Cavendish voters either showed up or cast absentee ballots in the delayed Town Meeting election on Tuesday.

One hundred eleven votes were cast with 15 of those being absentee ballots received by noon.

George Timko garnered 59 votes while veteran candidate Michael Kell pulled in 46. Kell beat Timko in 2019, but resigned a few months later to take a job out of state. Timko was appointed and then elected to replace Kell in the position. Kell has also run against select board member Michael Ripley and state representative John Arrison.

Theresa McNamara handily took the Town Grand Juror position with a vote of 92 to 16 for Eric Krasnauskas with 16. But Krasnauskas was not to be denied, taking the Town Agent position unopposed with 86 votes. Both of those positions are considered ancient and relatively powerless today.

Doris Eddy took 73 votes to land a one-year position as a Trustee of Public Funds. Wendy Reiger polled 29.

Reluctant candidate Abe Gross realizing that he has inadvertently voted for himself. Photo courtesy Diane McNamara

And while the town held its collective breath, Steve Perani defeated Abe Gross for a three year seat on the GMUSD board by a vote of 97-12. Gross told The Telegraph that he was disappointed at the relative groundswell of support for his campaign.

In uncontested races Michael Ripley will continue as Town Moderator and Sandra Russo and Stephen Plunkard retain their seats on the Select Board. Julia Gignoux will continue to represent Cavendish on the GMUSD board and Dan Churchill won his race for Trustee of Public Funds.

There was a moment of drama in Tuesday’s voting though as Gross, who was distracted by talking with election officials accidentally voted for himself. Town Clerk Diane McNamara came to the rescue, tearing up his ballot and issuing him a fresh one so he could “vote for Steve.”

Gross was appointed to the GM board last year when there was a vacancy but vowed he would only serve until the next Town Meeting Day. As the usual deadline for petitioning for the ballot drew near and no hats had been thrown in the ring, Gross put his name in. But the delayed meeting also delayed the deadline and Steve Perani got on the ballot. And at that point Gross could not get off of it and the “vote for Steve, not for me” campaign was born.

All the other articles on the ballot passed with only minimal opposition and another pandemic Town Meeting Day became history.

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