The Wellesley School Committee and Board of Selectmen each got one new member and one returning member, according to preliminary voting results based on a very light turnout. Just 25% of more than 15,000 registered voters did their civic duty Tuesday.
K.C. Kato retained her seat on the School Committee, which has been the subject of close public scrutiny in light of the school lunch fee collection problems and other controversial public school issues over the past year or so. Kato received 2,288 votes, followed by Tere Ramos with 1,591, who won the second open seat. Jen Looper finished a close third with 1,422 votes. Newcomer Ramos has experience in education both through her work and volunteer efforts in town.
Terri Tsagaris retained her seat on the Board of Selectmen, leading vote getters with 2,394. Grabbing the second open seat was Donald McCauley, who beat out Royall Switzler, 2,164 to 1,640 votes, despite a flurry of Switzler signs popping up across town in recent days. McCauley is new to the board, but is experienced in town politics, having been a member of the town’s Planning Committee, Advisory Committee, Town Meeting and more.
The winners each were elected to three-year terms.
The town will be posting town meeting member results at a later time.
Kathy Nagle, who was elected to another three-year term as town clerk, wrote late this afternoon that “despite the flood of postcards that arrived in voters’ mailboxes over the weekend, Wellesley voters are not flocking to the polls. As of a survey of tabulator numbers during the afternoon, no precinct had reached 300 voters. Most precincts have about 2,200 voters, so the turnouts are quite low.”
Nagle said the elections on back-to-back weeks this year put pressure on the town’s polling place resources — in other words, Wellesley had a hard time drumming up enough volunteers. However, she said “because both elections had minimal turnout, the town appeared to have sufficient staffing for the occasion, but I can’t depend on depressed voter turnout when planning for an election.”
Nagle says she is always recruiting for election workers. “Voting residents who can commit to availability on election days are encouraged to contact the Town Clerk to sign up for the fall elections. The positions are paid a modest stipend for each election worked. The preferred shift is a full day of 6:30 am – 8:30 pm (with modest breaks during the day). Half day shifts can be arranged, especially if the applicants sign up as a pair to fill a full day with two people sharing. The half day shifts are 6:30 am – 2 pm and 2 pm – 8:30 pm. The next elections are a state primary on Thursday September 6 and the national election on November 6, 2012.”