Litchfield voters reject budgets
March 12. 2014 10:07PM
LITCHFIELD — Several familiar faces were reelected into office during Tuesday’s election.
For the Board of Selectmen, incumbents Frank Byron and Brent Lemire secured their seats with 987 votes and 936 votes respectively. Former selectman George Lambert could not obtain a win with 615 votes.
Meanwhile, former selectman Steven Perry obtained a one-year term on the Board of Selectmen with 822 votes. He beat out former school board member Jason Guerrette and Alfred Raccio who garnered 430 votes and 244 votes, respectively.
On the budget committee, Keri Douglas, Chris Pascucci and Raymond Peeples were elected into office.
For school board, Guerrette took on Janine Lepore for a single seat with a three-year term. Lepore easily secured the position with 1,097 votes compared to Guerrette’s 499 votes.
On the town ballot, voters rejected an operating budget of $5,130,166 with a vote of 664-921, which would have represented an increase of about 3 percent over the current spending plan. A default budget will now be implemented.
Voters did, however, authorize a collective bargaining agreement with Council 93 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for a combined wage increase of nearly $76,000 over two years.
Voters failed to approve a request to extend local liquor sales until 2 a.m. with a vote of 726-823, but did support various capital improvement projects such as replacing the roof at Talent Hall and repainting the old town hall.
On the school ballot, residents again rejected a school district operating budget of nearly $21 million. With a vote of 763-850, the district’s default budget will now be utilized.
Residents did adopt a collective bargaining agreement between the school district and the Litchfield Education Association that calls for salary increases of a combined $584,665 over three years.
Voters also supported a request to hire a part-time computer teacher at Griffin Memorial School, and purchase additional security equipment and panic alarms for all three local schools.
The results from Tuesday’s election took quite a while to calculate in Litchfield, as several ballots had to be hand-counted. Poll workers reportedly ran out of ballots at the close of the day on Tuesday, and issues with the electronic ballot machine stalled the process even further.
— Kimberly Houghton, Union Leader Correspondent