Amid low turnout voters approve expanding the Board of Selectmen

Southborough is one step closer to a 5-member Board of Selectmen, as voters yesterday soundly approved a controversial measure to expand the board from its current three members. The proposal now goes to the Legislature, and if approved, it will represent the first significant structural change to the board since Colonial times.

Chairman John Rooney, who won re-election to the board in an uncontested race yesterday, argued at Town Meeting last month the board should be expanded to meet the demands of modern government. Voters there agreed, approving the article in a 131-30 vote, which earned it a place on the ballot.

Voters at the annual town election yesterday also approved the measure, but by a somewhat narrower margin. The vote yesterday was 250-134, that’s 65% voting in favor of the measure compared to the 81% who supported it at Town Meeting.

Opponents of the proposal to expand the board, including current Selectmen Bill Boland and Dan Kolenda, argued there may not be enough interested residents to fill the seats if the board increases to five. “We don’t seem to be attracting people to run for office,” Boland said at Town Meeting last month.

With no contested races on the ballot, yesterday’s election seems to bear that concern out. And with only ballot measures to motivate voters, turnout was the lowest in years at only 5.5%. Of the 6,997 registered voters in Southborough, only 387 cast ballots.

In addition to Rooney, Andrew Mills won reelection to the Planning Board, as did a number of other incumbents. Running unopposed, former selectman Roger Challen won a seat on the K-8 School Committee.

A second ballot measure to expand the authority of the town administrator also passed by an overwhelming margin of 81%. Like the measure to expand the Board of Selectmen, it requires approval from the state legislature before going into effect.

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Bonnie Phaneuf
9 years ago

LOW TURNOUT!!! 5.53%
Town of Southborough
Official Annual Town Election
May 13,2013
Registered Voters Votes Cast Per Precinct
Precinct 1 2484 Precinct 1 137
Precinct 2 2243 Precinct 2 131
Precinct 3 2270 Precinct 3 119
Total # 6,997 Total # 387

Question 1- Five Member Board of Selectmen( Blanks 3, YES 250, No 134)
Question 2- Town Administrator to Sgn Warrants, Payables, Vouchers
(Blanks 6, YES 312, No 69)
Visit the Town of Southborough Official Website for more information on Candidate results. Mr. Paul J. Berry, Town Clerk has posted A True Attest Copy of the Election. ” THIS IS AN EYE OPENER.”

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