NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 11, 2014

Seabrook voters head to polls today

SEABROOK — When the polls at the Community Center open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., voters will decide on town and school budgets, a new look for the northern corridor of Route 1, full-day kindergarten, a new ladder truck for the fire department, preserving a local landmark, and who will win two seats on the three-member Board of Selectmen.

Seven candidates are running for two selectmen seats: incumbent Aboul Khan and his opponent Keith Sanborn compete for the three-year seat on the board, while Brendan Kelly, Paul Knowles, Jason A. Janvrin, incumbent Ray Smith and Dennis Sweeney face off for the two-year seat on the board.

Voters will also fill two seats on the Seabrook School Board, choosing between Maria A. Brown, incumbent Michael Chase and Mike Kimball. There are also four candidates running for two seats on the Winnacunnet School Board, Clint Allen Felch and Frances Henderson seek the Seabrook seat, while David Gandt and incumbent Wayne Skoglund are running for the Hampton Falls seat.

Voters face approving or rejecting Article, 5, the town’s $20,220,353 operating budget, which holds more than an 8 percent increase over last year, due mainly to hikes in town employee insurance coverage and raises included in union contracts voters approved last year. A slightly lower $20,220,230 default budget goes into effect if voters turn it down.

For Seabrook’s School District, voters will approve or reject a proposal to implement a full-day kindergarten program at Seabrook Elementary School in September, as well as Seabrook’s school budget of $12,152,467 budget, which is about $76,000 more than last year.

Voters in Seabrook, as well as Hampton Falls, North Hampton and Hampton, will vote on WInnacunnet’s budget of $22,745,010, about three-quarters of one percent more than this year.

Zoning issues are to be resolved on the town warrant, for example, more “big box” retailers would be forbidden if Article 2 is approved. It would create a new commercial zone on Route 1, north of Route 107 to be known as the “North Village,” which would allow buildings no larger than 7,500 square feet on the west side of Route 1 north of Route 107, and not more than 20,000 square feet on the east side of that stretch of road. The idea behind the proposal is to prevent Route 1 from becoming a line of one huge retail store after another, which draws traffic to already clogged roads, and to create an area that encourages smaller businesses.

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