NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 1, 2013

Voters approve library override

Measure now goes to Town Meeting; Condon and Hunt win selectmen seats

SALISBURY — Freeman Condon and Ed Hunt, Jr., handily won the two available seats on the five-member Board of Selectmen yesterday, while voters overwhelmingly approved the override ballot question for the new library — the first of two steps needed to fund the construction project.

Condon, a former three-term selectman, earned the most votes getting 1,141 votes from the estimated 1,900 voters who went to the polls yesterday. Hunt, the incumbent beginning his fourth term, received 1,068.

“This feels great,” Condon said. “It was a great campaign and all those who ran are classy people. I’m very grateful, but now the hard work really begins.”

Hunt agreed with Condon on the quality of the campaign, adding that opposing candidates made substantive points during the race.

“It was a very clean campaign,” Hunt said. “Everyone who ran had good ideas. We should listen to them.”

The results for the remaining candidates were Ronald Laffely, 392 votes, Paula Moore, 383, and Thomas Saab, 360.

But the biggest cheer of the night came after those awaiting the results at the polls realized voters approved the ballot question for the new library. With a vote of 1,134 in favor and 733 opposed, the issue now has only one more hurtle to overcome, a favorable vote at the May 20 Town Meeting.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Salisbury Library Trustee Joe Stucker. “We got more than 1,000 votes. We have to take that momentum into Town Meeting because this isn’t done yet. We need people to show up to Town Meeting and we need a two-third vote there.”

Selectmen Don Beaulieu, Henry Richenburg and Fred Knowles said they were thrilled with the library ballot question results, after many years of planning. Another positive sign in town for the project, Beaulieu said, was there was no organized effort to kill it.

“There were no, ‘vote no on the library signs’ in town,” Beaulieu said.

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