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May 15, 2013

O'Donnell earns second term on Essex board

ESSEX — Town voters have returned Lisa O’Donnell to the Board of Selectmen.

O’Donnell, who won her first term on the board in 2010, held off a write-in challenge from Karin Gertsch in the town elections Monday night to win by a count of 337 votes to 262 and earn another three-year term on the board,

O’Donnell, who has also chaired the Town Building Committee and sat on the Long Term Planning Committee for the past four years, had especially run on the premise of moving forward with the selectmen’s current course in handling the town’s properties at Conomo Point, while Gertsch — who said she had planned to get signatures to run on the ballot, but did not make the deadline due to a miscommunication — had proposed that the northern portion of the Point be cleared for a town waterfront park.

The selectmen’s race was the only contested for the election, which drew 618 voters to the Essex Memorial Fire Station Monday. That’s a turnout of 24 percent of the town’s approximately 2,500 registered voters.

Among other races, Jason Heath won unopposed re-election to his four-year seat on the Planning Board, while Corey Jackson racked up 114 votes to win the five-year Planning Board seat.

Others who were re-elected unopposed included James Haskell to a seat in the Manchester Essex Regional School Committee, Kurt A. Wilhelm to the Board of Assessors, Rolf Madsen as moderate, Martha Mazzarino to the Board of Health, Robert Bradley as town constable, Beth Cairns to the Board of Health, and Harold Addison to the Housing Authority.

O’Donnell held her sign high Monday on Martin Street, across from the polling center at the Memorial Fire Station, but could not be reached for comment on her victory Tuesday.

O’Donnell previously told the Times issues such as dredging the Essex River will come up again at future town meetings.

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