ADAMS -- One new Selectman and a second familiar face were given nods by the town in Monday's election, a vote that saw 25 percent participation from registered voters.
In the five-man race for two Selectmen's seats, incumbent Arthur "Skip" Harrington was the top vote recipient at 851, followed by John Duval, now the newest board member, at 565. Edward Driscoll at 505, Richard Blanchard at 470 and Jeremy Halek at 373 rounded out the count.
"It was good to see the people of Adams turn out to vote, and the results reaffirm my faith in them," Harrington said. "It shows that there's a large number of people who want to see the town move forward."
Harrington expressed high hopes for the new board.
"[John Duval] will be a great guy to work with, I think," he said. "We're going to have a strong board to continue what we're doing and start new projects that need to get done."
Having narrowly defeated runner-up and former Selectman Driscoll, Duval spoke of gratitude to the town and those who assisted his campaign and of anticipation to begin his three-year term.
"I'm really excited about the support I received from the community and my family," Duval said. "I'm ready for my first meeting."
Duval praised the campaign process, particularly the debates, and highlighted the school district as an item he'd like to focus in on.
"I'd like to have a hand in the discussion about what's going to happen with
In another town race, town government veteran Joseph Dean beat Ryan Biros for town moderator 937 votes to 477.
The total turnout was 1,470 of the town's 5,826 registered voters. This bested last year's mark of 1,067, as well as the speculation of organizers earlier in the day, when some were beginning to think the worst in terms of participation. Around 2 p.m., John Nowicki, serving as an election official for the eighth straight year, said "it's been a beautiful day but not a very good turnout."
"So far, it's been a lot worse than previous years; We're going to struggle to get 15 percent," he said.
Fellow election official Timothy Rawley, who claimed to have been filling the role since the 1970s, played the devil's advocate.
"We could still have it turn around," Rawley said. "In the evening, when school's out from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., is usually the time with the highest traffic."
At the end of the vote, Town Clerk Haley Meczywor said, "Everything overall went well. You'd always like to see more, but it turned out better than it seemed."
Also elected to office, having run unopposed, were: Haley Meczywor, town clerk; Donna Aitken MacDonald, assessor; Patricia Clairemont, Board of Health; James Loughman and Eugene Michalenko, library trustees; James Fassal, Parks Commission; Sandra H. Moderski, Planning Board; Stephen Vigna, Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Committee (Adams); Darlene Rodowicz, Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Committee (Cheshire); and Aaron Dean, McCann School District Committee.
Both Duval and Harrington addressed a lively gathering of supporters and officials at a celebration after their victory at the Grille on Summer Street.
"OK, I won -- now what do I do?" Duval joked.
"You've got a meeting on Wednesday," Harrington replied.
To reach Phil Demers, email email@example.com.