Sunday, June 21, 2015

Low voter turnout as expected - By Michelle Libby

Low voter turnout as expected; Bruno wins; Raymond stays with RSU14; budget passes

June elections have historically low voter turnout and Tuesday was no different. In Raymond, Joe Bruno was challenged by Louise Lester for the seat of selectman, and retained his seat by only 30 votes. Debra Duchaine, Robert Gosselin and Willard O’Brien Richards all earned spots on the budget-finance committee. Diana Froisland will continue as an RSU14 board member.
Despite the question about the RSU14 withdrawal process, which had garnered a lot of buzz in the last few months only 528 citizens voted. The count was 376 voted to no continue with the withdrawal process and 136 said yes, to continue with the process. 

“As a district we can move forward without the staff and everyone having this hanging over their heads,” said RSU14 School Board chair Marge Govoni.  “It’s definitely is the best interest of everybody.”
Town clerk Sue Look from Raymond described the night as “a moderate turnout but higher than expected.” 

In Windham and Raymond voters also approved the budget validation. In Raymond 391 voted yes and 133 voted no. In Windham, with only 273 voters casting ballots, 165 said yes and 108 said no. 

“The budget is high because we are educating over 3,000 students. That’s not an inexpensive process. There is a cost that comes with keeping up with technology and STEM. We want to help these students after they graduate to be competitive,” Govoni said. The no votes didn’t concern Govoni because people who are opposed to things make sure they are heard, where as those who are happy with the status quo, don’t feel they need to vote. 

In the last June election Windham saw 277 voters.

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