Hooksett voters OK budget, police pactBy RYAN O’CONNOR
Union Leader Correspondent
May 14. 2014 1:04AM
HOOKSETT — By all accounts, the voter turnout was low. But the fewer than 600 Hooksett residents who did make it to the polls supported the town’s proposed $16,681,262 operating budget, a $52,000 one-year increase to the town’s police contract and $91,884 for a new town engineer.
The electorate also supported all zoning amendments, including significant changes to the town’s sign ordinances, which Hooksett officials say will make the town more business friendly.
The lone rejected proposal was Article 13, which requested $30,000 to be placed in the Revaluation Capital Reserve Fund. It failed by one vote, 284-283.
The operating budget, which narrowly passed by a vote of 286-271, represents a 3.87 percent increase, or an additional $621,720.
The request for the new town engineer, which Town Manager Dean Shankle says is likely to save and possibly profit the town by not outsourcing the service, while providing a valuable in-house resource, passed 309-256.
Voters overwhelmingly supported the one-year police deal, 392-179, and the electorate also endorsed the remaining capital reserve allocations, including $100,000 for town building maintenance and $100,000 for public works vehicles; $50,000 for fire apparatus; $50,000 for drainage upgrades; $20,000 for air pack and bottles; $20,000 for automated collection equipment; and $15,000 for parks and recreation facilities.
In the one contested Town Council race, incumbent Adam Jennings, who was appointed to the board last year, defeated former police commissioner Clark Karolian and Tom Keach, with 296 votes to 167 and 82, respectively.
In the race for to fill a six-year term as supervisor of the checklist, Bryan Williams trumped Bob Ehlers, 274-209.
Robert Duhaime and James Levesque retained their Town Council seats in Districts 2 and 3, respectively, and current Chairman James Sullivan kept his three-year at-large position.
Steven Peterson and Patrick Gosselin each earned a nod to the budget committee, and Nick Haas received 15 write-in votes.
Others earning elected positions include Denise Bolduc and Sharron Champagne with 470 votes each for two- and three-year spots on the Cemetery Commission, respectively; Linda Klein-Schmidt, with 476 votes as a library trustee; Roger Bergeron, with 492 votes for the Sewer Commission; Claire Lyons, with 462 votes for the trustee of the trust funds post; and Don Riley, with 492 votes for the town moderator position.