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Curbside, School Bond Fail; SB2, Contracts Pass

6,500 ballots weren't enough for an unprecedented election.

More people turned out for the 2012 Salem town and school elections than any of its kind in recent memory.

The town and school district printed 6,500 ballots, 50 percent more ballots than the approximately 4,400 cast in the 2010 election, which also had a school renovation bond up for consideration.

Ballots then had to be photocopied and after the extended poll closing at 8 p.m., those ballots had to be hand-counted.

Originally, ballots were expected to be counted and results reported by 8:30 p.m. Because so many votes had to be hand-counted,

Town Moderator Chris Goodnow, who expressed apologies throughout the evening for what happened and bore sole responsibility for the problems, said 6,836 ballots were cast in this election, representing about a 40 percent turnout.

, the voices of Salem voters could finally be heard loud and clear.

A nonbinding referendum on curbside pickup was soundly defeated by a 5,353-1,466 margin. 

This coming Saturday will be the final second deliberative session of town meeting (where a binding article on curbside pickup will be considered) after an article to adopt the SB 2 form of town government shattered the required 60 percent majority to win 4,342 to 1,577.

The school renovation bond on the school warrant, which would have bonded $21.5 million to renovate the Fisk, Soule and Haigh Schools, fell short of the needed 60 percent majority by about 300 votes, failing with 3,654 in favor and 2,928 against.

All 10 union contracts on both sides of the ballot passed, attempts to change the Planning and Zoning Boards from elected to appointed failed, both town and school operating budgets passed while a requirement for sprinklers in some new homes in Salem was repealed.

Jim Keller and Everett McBride were elected selectmen, defeating Ron Belanger, Tony McKeon and Carl Swiderski.

"I'm very, very excited," said McBride. "Every issue I campaigned on went exactly the way I asked voters to support it."

McBride said he plans to continue to push the conservative issues he championed during the campaign.

"I'm thrilled," Keller said. "We worked hard and I'm glad we worked hard. It was pretty darn close. I'm humbled and it's time to get to work."

Belanger was upset with the voting problems in the election and said voters were "disenfranchised" after the polling hours were extended to 8 p.m. He felt some voters may not have been aware that would happen and left before 7 p.m.

"That's over with," Belanger said. "You don't cry over spilt milk. You go forward. I'm sure both of them will do a good job."

Bob Bryant, Dane Hoover and incumbent Paul Huard were elected to the Budget Committee; Paul Pelletier and incumbent Phyllis O'Grady were elected to the Planning Board and incumbent Patricia Frydryck was elected to the Supervisors of the Checklist in the only other contested races.

Michael Carney, Jr. and incument Pamela Berry won an uncontested election for School Board.

Salem Tax March 14, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Ms. Sacco, when calling voters "close minded" "wrong" "shameful" "disgusting" "spiteful" "disgraceful" "wayback" "sad" How do you expect voters to agree with your side of the argument? The voters are not saying "no to the children" they are saying no to the 6 school plan. The voters are saying Yes hopefully next year to this plan: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=3AQH8zHMIAQHBbDbFxflwwwVjSlGf60sWRInGIYYfu5tDWA
Russ Richardson March 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
That's true Ron, but a motion to table needs to happen and be voted on by the meeting before that can happen. People still need to show up for that vote to put this matter to rest.
salem mom March 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Ms. Dailey, Ms. Hanlon, Mr. & Mrs. Sacco, Ms. Richardson, Please do not forget that you need the votes on the very people you are berating to pass any future renovation plan. Without that vote, your threat that the HS will never get renovated will become a reality. Rather than berating the folks on this board, please take a leaf from Mr. Wells and accept where the vote came out. With the advertisement/propaganda and visibility that this vote had, the fact that it failed means that it is time to regroup and start to plan for next March. It is the plan that failed, not the voters. The turnout indicates that you got the true opinion of the Salem population and, by reading the posts here, you know that most support a renovation, just not the renovation plan that was proposed. Let’s celebrate the success that our staff and teachers’ raises passed. Please let’s shake this off and go back and make a plan that will pass. I guess that will be up to the school board. I hope that they are up to that task. Hopefully the new blood on all thre major committees/boards can solve this problem.
R Freitas March 14, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I haven't heard anyone bring this up yet but what if, like kindergarden, pre-school becomes federally mandated? We're in this desperate situation right now because there has been little foresight and advance planning. It may not happen in the next year or two but what about five years down the road or ten? That would be right about when the high school or middle school would be up for renovations. Can you see it now? Right back to scrambling for portables so the school district can accomodate the numbers. Haigh School is an asset to the school district. To think about getting rid of such an asset is short-sighted.
John Salem March 14, 2012 at 06:51 PM
You actually can see that enrollement is droppoing in our schools Please view attached link- It is the Department of Education showing presently we have 483 kids in 12th grade and 295 in First http://my.doe.nh.gov/profiles/profile.aspx?oid=27739&s=&d=&year=2011&tab=student
JeffD March 14, 2012 at 07:09 PM
We can talk, that is after you and your buddies at SOS have finished sueing the town (SOS facebook page). Talk about sour grapes!
Don Duston March 14, 2012 at 07:20 PM
@RFreitas, what if, what if, what if....................we are not in this situation due to lack of foresight, we are in this situation because the School District has not bothered to maintain the buildings that they have been hired to maintain. Buildings tend to crumble when you neglect their upkeep, year after year after year.
salem mom March 14, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Ms. Freitas, In a way, your hypothetical proves the rational behind many of the folks i know that voted no. The portables for the Kindergarten students were necessary becuase the school board and superintendent did not incorporate Kindergarten into our town when it was mandated. They waited until the 11th hour and then we as a town had no choice but to lease portables. Additionally, even if the Phase 2 renovations had been approved, we would not have been adding space to the last 3 elementary schools sufficient to support another full class, so once again we would have been in need of additions or portables.
JeffD March 14, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Dont bother Don, the SOS group is going to sue the town, look at their Facebook page.
Maureen Mulledy Hanlon March 14, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Again, JeffD anonymous comments are not very nice of you.
JeffD March 14, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Oh so sorry Maureen, its funny I see you spearheading that cause on Facebook. By the way, you dont have to list Beth Roth and Sue Covey, they are not selectmen anymore. If you want non SOS people to help you with your cause, sueing the town is not the way to go.
Don Duston March 14, 2012 at 08:22 PM
@MaureenHanlon, instead of using the word whine how about using the word bellyaching? By the way, if I was unhappy about the results of the Town election, I would NOT be bellyaching to the Attorney General's office. You lost, you move on. Next time, come up with a better marketing plan. I thought your President of the SOS elitist club was some sort of a marketing whiz?
Julio Marko March 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM
@Maureen, well I can only imagine what its like to organize and run an election. If you look at the recent years and number of voters, according to 2010 there was reported 3200 voters, and last years was 4000. And if we had 6800 voters this year, clearly it was unexpected. So first of all, do your research, and second, you try and plan accordingly and run an election before you comment on something you have no idea what you are talking about. And everyone's property value has taken a hit so stop complaining. And as to your comment below responding to "underwater couple", like I said, do your research, then make your comments; and anyone has the right to stay anonymous, doesn't mean a thing.
Salem Tax March 14, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Underwater Couple, Property values are based upon several factors, including and most importantly the tax rate. School Board Member Bernard Campbell has the right idea to save 22 milion dollars for the town of Salem. If these funds were put back into the General fund overtime it could lower the tax rate, which would automatically create an environment where home values would be improved. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Mr. Sacco, The reason 60% did not vote for the plan is because the voters have determined that the town no longer needs 6 schools. It would have been better to offer both the 6 school and the 5 school plan to allow voters to make a decision, but that was not the case, the voters have determined they prefer this plan: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Ms. Sacco, Which town do you speak of? We are all part of the same town, there is the problem, the supporters and the detractors belong to the exact same town. The exact same residents of the town are the community. The children need more than votes, they need proper administrative controls over spending and maintenance, it was not the voters that let the children down it was the administration. Yesterday's election was only the beginning of voters taking back control of Salem. It would be wise for the administration to begin to listen. School Board Member Bernard Campbell knows what plan should be used: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Mr Sacco, Please remember that School board Chairman Peter Morgan has admitted that maintenance was purposely deferred in anticipation that the work needed would be done with the renovation bond. He was warned that this type of decision making is risky, and it was. Woodbury and Salem High will be renovated at some time, and not necessarily after the remaining elementary schools are done. Again, the plan for the elementary schools for next year should be: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Mr Deane You have stated something that most have remarked about. There is a difference between PR and Marketing. There is also a difference between professional marketing and the Delphi Method, used to create a false consensus where there is none. The Delphi Method was in play during this election period, however it was not done properly and it showed. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Mr Rice, A secret ballot requires 5-7 signatures (each petition) and those who sign must be present at the meeting. It also delays the vote for 1 hr at least. There are no articles in Saturday's meeting that would be of concern and warrant a secret ballot given the population that is expected to attend the meeting, it would be a significant delay. It is something that can be done, however. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:12 AM
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Salem Mom, The school district knew at least 3 years prior that Kindergarten was coming and as you stated waited and then had to purchase/lease portables to conform with state law requirements. Now that enrollments have gone down, the portables are no longer needed. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
JeffD The town acted properly during this election considering the historic turnout. No lawsuit will be successful in this matter and it is cost prohibitive to attempt litigation regarding this matter. What you see is a group that wishes they had listened to the others in the beginning or at least listen to Bernie Campbells 5 school plan: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
Salem Tax March 15, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Ms. Hanlon, Your SOS posts on facebook indicate that your group intends a protest on Salem High School property on Saturday morning before the deliberative session. The intent of your protest is to draw attention to the lack of ballots and possible voter turn away. Your group intends to protest with your children there as well. What does your group want to accomplish by this action? http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DRaGJA55lQ8g%26feature%3Dcontext%26context%3DC3ee0b18ADOEgsToPDskIphQf9Lrf3UL4LxMTlzeB0&h=lAQFPrVPNAQHuTyNc03Ue5ySG_34EPMrtPNvCu2fXAFXrsw
allwhilesalemsleeps March 15, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Congrats on making Salem a less safer place by believing the misguided politicos who spread mis-information on home fire sprinklers. I hope you all plan to hold a barbecue celebrating the individual rights and money saved by the family that perishes in a house fire that occur in a home that would have had a system under the ordinance (new or signicantly renovated) so they can fully apreciate what you have done for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Candice Richardson March 15, 2012 at 03:13 AM
As a teacher myself who has not seen a raise in several years I am very happy that the teachers recieved a raise. My children attend the Lancaster School and I could not be happier with the dedication of the teachers and the education my children are getting. The teachers there and throughout the district are wonderful.
Russ Richardson March 15, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Tom I stand corrected, Salem Tax is spot on. Been a while since I've attended a meeting.
Michelle Blaikie March 15, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I totally agree with you Amy! You said it perfectly!
MJ Driggers March 15, 2012 at 08:24 PM
How accurate are these "projections?" Very curious to hear.... Thank you!
Tom Linehan March 16, 2012 at 10:42 PM
MJ Driggers these projections are usually fairly good. I can only think of one other time that they ran out of ballots. Then no one had to wait. They had ballots copied before they ran out.
Brian March 31, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Nicely put B.C.M. ... I couldn't agree more

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