Town, school budgets approved in AmherstBy Kimberly Houghton
Union Leader Correspondent
March 13. 2014 11:34PM
AMHERST -- Similar faces will continue in their elected town and school positions as uncontested races for several seats filled Tuesday's ballot.
Selectmen Thomas Grella and Michael Akillian secured their positions with 1,877 and 1,792 votes, respectively.
For the Amherst School Board, incumbents James Manning (1,773) and Amy Facey (1,867) also retained their seats.
Among the warrant articles were two proposed zoning changes that some people favored because they would allow for additional playing fields at Acorn Fields on Stearns Road. Others were opposed to the amended zoning ordinances because they believe the changes will strip the local Planning Board of control over potential commercial development.
A proposed zoning ordinance change to create a new commercial sports, recreation and function zone was rejected by voters.
Voters also defeated an article that would have shifted duties and responsibilities of the cemetery trustees to the Board of Selectmen.
Residents, however, approved a town operating budget of $11,774,356 and a new police union contract.
Multiple capital reserve funds for various projects such as a town computer system and communication center were also supported by voters.
On the Amherst school ballot, local voters approved a school operating budget of $24,327,452, in addition to a collective bargaining agreement with the Amherst Education Association.
For the Souhegan Cooperative School District, incumbents Mary Lou Mullens and Fran Harrow each secured three-year terms. Voters also supported a Souhegan Cooperative School District budget of about $18 million, which includes a reduction of 2.5 full-time teachers and one paraprofessional.
The total amount of district employees that have been eliminated in the past two years, including this newest cut, will be 13.7 employees.