Putney voters add two to Selectboard

And now they are five: Alden, Raubicheck win special election

PUTNEY — Charles Raubicheck and Peg Alden are the newest members of the Selectboard following the April 26 special election.

The vote came after annual meeting voters agreed to add two members to the former three-member panel - a change put on the ballot by citizen petition.

Alden, who won a one-year seat with 369 votes, ran against Laura Campbell (28 votes), Bryce Hodson (63 votes), and Parry Smith-Phillips (39 votes).

Raubicheck vied with Elizabeth Warner for a two-year seat, wining 364-128.

Kurt Lynch will serve another two-term as lister, having garnered 400 votes running unopposed.

Just under 25 percent of the town's 1,987 registered voters cast votes in the election.

Both Alden, 64, and Raubicheck, 75, in an April candidates' forum hosted by the Putney Huddle, expressed support for the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust project planned for the Putney Community Garden site.

“Although the Selectboard does not have a role in making decisions about the proposed Windham-Windsor Housing Trust 25-unit housing project, I am glad to see that Putney chose Selectboard members who were supportive of this new initiative,” said Alden, professor of anthropology and civic engagement at Landmark College.

“I'm hopeful that we can welcome this project, and others that focus on housing needs, during my tenure on the Selectboard,” she said.

“I am exceedingly grateful to the voters of Putney for entrusting me with the new two-year seat on the Selectboard,” said Raubicheck, a retired lawyer and current member of the Development Review Board, which has approved the housing project. “Be assured that I will do my best to provide balanced and sound judgment to the matters you bring before your board.”

“It is encouraging to go into this new role as Selectboard member having such a decisive show of support from my community,” said Alden. “It is my understanding that the turnout for this election was higher than expected, given the voting history in Putney and the fact that this was a special election. I believe this bodes well for increased town engagement in the years ahead.”

“The ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money that Putney will be receiving [from the federal government] will be a great opportunity to pull folks together for some creative projects for our town,” she continued. ”I look forward to participating in a collaborative process that can bring some fun ideas to fruition. We've all had a rough ride over the last few years, and I would love our ARPA money to celebrate what is at the root of this great community.”

Alden and Raubicheck join Chair Aileen Chute and colleagues Josh Laughlin and Eric McGowan - voted in at this year's annual election - on the board.

Despite the loss, Warner said she is “grateful for the opportunity to serve our community and will consistently advocate for best practices for the future of Putney and our neighboring communities.”

“My continued focus will be on increasing community engagement, improving accessibility, preservation of green space, and thoughtful, strategic planning for 'smart growth,'” she said.

“Economic development and infrastructure are a critical component to smart growth, so to ensure that we are acting in the 'best interest' of the people, environment, and future vibrancy of our town and state, I will continue to engage in the process, and I enthusiastically ask you to join me.

“Ask questions, join committees, run for office, volunteer, and continue the civil dialogue,” Warner said.

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