ESSEX — Town voters Monday night approved separate debt-exclusion overrides for a new ladder truck and renovations to Town Hall while also returning an unopposed lineup of incumbents to office in Essex' annual election.
Residents approved a $600,000 debt-exclusion override for Town Hall repairs, an $190,000 override to replace the Fire Department's worn out aerial ladder truck.
The Town Hall repairs, officials have said, will make the building more habitable for workers. Aside from the overrides, residents elected people to every open seat except one on the Planning Board — a seat that no one sought.
Voters who cast ballots throughout the day at the Essex Fire Station approved the Town Hall override by a count of 284-175, while the fire engine override gained passage by 287-174.
A debt-exclusion override allows a municipality to raise the levy beyond Proposition 2 1/2 limits for one-time expenses, with tax levy returning to its pervious level once the costs are paid.
Residents returned Jeff Jones, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen to his seat with 299 votes — though residents also cast 160 blanks in that race.
Residents also elected James Haskell to the School Committee with 356 votes, Richard Carins to the Board of Assessors with 371 votes, and they elected Jennifer Mayer to the Library Trustees with 350 votes.
Voters elected Beth Carins to serve on the Housing Authority with a vote of 377, and Marlene Sanders to the Board of Health with 340.
Voters, however, also reiterated a Town Meeting vote to shot down a third override question that asked permission to purchase the Lahey building on Martin Street. Town Meeting had previously voted that question down; it failed in Monday's referendum by a count of 319-132.
Even seats that were empty going into the election were filled. Voters returned Rolf Madsen to the moderator's office with 74 write-in votes, while Kathleen Quill was elected to the Manchester Essex Regional School Committee with 41 write-in votes and Robert P. Bradley to one of two open constable positions with 31 write-in votes.
The second constable slot remains empty. Town bylaws require that a candidate receive at least 20 write-in votes to be elected.
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