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March 18. 2013 10:21PM

Raymond selectmen elect chairman unanimously

RAYMOND - Frank Bourque was elected unanimously by the board of selectmen to serve as their next chairman during the board's first meeting since last week's election.

Wayne Welch was nominated but declined the nomination, citing time constraints. He is serving as the chairman of the town's 250th anniversary committee and is the chair of another statewide committee, he said.

"I am honored and flattered that you would nominate me but I just can't do it right now," Welch said. "I would look forward to doing it in the future."

He then put forth Bourque's nomination, which was unanimously approved by the board.

Peter Buckingham was elected as the board's vice-chairman.

Newly elected selectman Greg Bemis was sworn in before the meeting

Town moderator Kathy Hoelzel also advised the selectman that two recounts will be held on Saturday.

Cheryl Killam and Jack Barnes were both write-in candidates for an open position on the ethics committee. Barnes received 34 votes and Killam received 33 votes and Hoelzel said a recount was requested.

There will also be a recount on article 22, a citizens petition warrant article in which the Raymond Historical Society asked voters for $18,000 to repaint the historic Depot downtown. The article failed by just 12 votes.

A recount committee consisting of all five selectmen, Hoelzel and town clerk Sharon Walls will convene on Saturday to hand count each ballot.

"We'll just see what happens," Hoelzel said.

Less than 1,000 of the town's more than 5,000 registered voters turned out to the polls on March 12, a number Hoelzel said she found disappointing.

In other business, town manager Craig Wheeler said trash pickup will be pushed forward a day for all residents in anticipation of today's storm. Residents who normally have their trash picked up on Wednesday will have it picked up on Thursday and so forth.

gmacalaster@newstote.com


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