BRATTLEBORO—The idea of having a mayor to take charge of town is dead for now.
By a vote of 1,722 to 529, a non-binding ballot question, “Shall the voters of The Town of Brattleboro advise the Selectboard to amend the Brattleboro Town Charter to replace the Selectboard with that of a mayoral form of governance?,” was decisively rejected on March 3 in a busy day of voting at American Legion Post 5.
Current board member Elizabeth McLoughlin won a three-year seat on the Selectboard. She garnered 1,838 votes, while the current holder of the seat, David Schoales, received 1,255 votes. Rikki Risatti was a distant third with 203 votes.
Incumbent Selectboard member Daniel Quipp was the top vote-getter in a five-way race for two one-year seats. Quipp received 1,652 votes. Ian Goodnow, an alternate on the Development Review Board, won the other seat, with 1,455 votes.
Oscar Heller, who was making a second run for the Selectboard, emerged third with 1,279 votes. Kurt Daims came in fourth with 811 votes and Risatti, who was also running for the one-year seat, was fifth, with 426 votes.
McLoughlin, elected along with Quipp last year to a one-year Selectboard seat, chose to pursue the three-year seat held by Schoales.
In only other contested race for town office, Catherine John defeated Risatti, 2,676 to 301, for Trustee of Public Funds.
A final result in the WSESD Board race won’t be known until the votes from all four towns in the district are tabulated, since the seats are elected on an at-large basis.
In the presidential primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., picked up 2,201 votes to win the Democratic contest in Brattleboro, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took second with 644 votes and former Vice President Joe Biden came in third with 556.
President Donald J. Trump was a winner in the Republican primary with 283 votes. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld received 73 votes.
Statewide, Sanders won the Vermont Democratic Primary with more than 50 percent of the vote, according to unofficial figures from the Vermont Secretary of State’s website.
Biden came in second at nearly 22 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was third with 12.5 percent. Trump won the Republican primary with nearly 87 percent of the vote.
School district meeting, RATM on horizon
Next up for voters is the WSESD Annual Meeting, which will include a vote on the fiscal year 2021 school district budget. That takes place on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m., in the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium.
Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting convenes on Saturday, March 21, at 8:30 a.m., in the Brattleboro Area Middle School multipurpose room.
Town Clerk Hilary Francis stressed that all the vote totals are unofficial and do not include write-in candidates.
Francis also praised the poll workers and the American Legion for their work in making Election Day a success.
“We had a lot of voters coming through the doors, and the day was smooth,” she wrote in an email.