Orwell Town Meeting results 2019

ORWELL — There were a couple of contested races in Orwell on Town Meeting Day, and one of them very well may see a recount. In the race for the three-year seat on the Orwell School Board incumbent Alyson Audet Eastman  garnered 143 votes and challenger Dan Redondo got 139. Separately, Peter Stone was uncontested for the 2-year seat on the board. The Orwell School Board will go out of existence when the Orwell school district is wrapped into the Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD).
In two other contested races, challenger Diane Jackson tallied 180 votes for First Constable to defeat incumbent Louis Hall’s 106. In the race for the two-year selectboard seat, it was 242 for Bill Goddard, 27 for Karl Thomsen. Goddard will take the seat held by Dave Larsen. Larsen won an open three-year seat on the selectmen’s board that was held for the past 31 years by Walker James, who declined to run again this year.
Other’s elected included Town Clerk Betty Walker, Library Trustees Rae Ann Barry and Loretta Lee, and Second Constable Allen Alger. Louis Hall was tapped to stay on as town agent, Walker James will continue to be Grand Juror, and Joanne Hornbeck won 21 write-in votes to claim a spot on the cemetery commission. One newcomer is Bryan Young, who was elected town treasurer — a job he takes over from his father, Mark Young.
Orwell voters seemed to have been in a giving mood when it came to budgets. They OK’d total town spending of $1,098,232.25, with the amount to be raised by taxes $744,688.73. Two big-ticket items they also approved were $378,000 for a 2019 HME Commercial Chassis Pumper (fire truck) to be financed over 10 years, and $52,000 for a 2019 Chevy Silverado 3500HD one-ton pickup truck with a plow and dump body to be financed over three years. Payments on the fire truck won’t start until next year, after the truck is actually delivered.
The six towns in the SVUUSD OK’d the 2019-2020 education budget of $26,493,638, which works out to $16,074 per equalized pupil.
Finally, voters approved changes to Orwell’s land use rules proposed by the town planning commission, which, according to the warning the changes, “correct, improve and make clearer definitions in the document.”

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