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Kraus and Berry, No police station

June 5, 2010

Update: My interview with Walpole Selectwoman Nancy Mackenzie is now available for download here.

This post has been edited since being originally published.

The Sam Obar Twitter Feed was the first news outlet to announce the results of the selectmen’s race and to make a projection for the police station loss.

Here are the results of today’s town election:

Eric Kraus and Mike Berry earned two spots on the Board of Selectmen, while the Robbins Road police station was resoundingly rejected 80% to 20%.

Question 2, regarding the listing of pesticides on foods, was approved. It is non-binding, so still does not necessarily mean anything for our local restaurants and food stores.

Here is reaction from Walpole 2020, the group that was advocating for the defeat of Question 1:

This is a 100-decibel message from the voters. I don’t think we’ll see half-baked override proposals from the town any time soon, and that’s a good thing for the taxpayers.

While we are happy that this proposal was soundly rejected, we sympathize with the police and fire departments. Unfortunately, the board of selectmen pursued a plan full of holes, and when citizens raised questions, those elected officials refused to respond. This loss falls squarely on the Board’s shoulders.

The citizens had too many concerns that remained unanswered on Election Day, and they were equally turned off by the board’s failure to listen and adapt.

We are encouraged by the commitment to listen from the new board members and hope it’s a new day at Town Hall.

Here are my thoughts:

Congratulations to Mr. Kraus and Mr. Berry for well-run campaigns. I look forward to seeing both of you do great things for this town in the next three years.

Mr. Kraus, I am particularly enthusiastic about your desire to bring more economic development to Walpole. Your attitude of “We CAN bring good businesses to Walpole – here’s how” is much-needed on this Board that clearly lacks good ideas for attracting new businesses. Good luck.

Mr. Berry, you have done an excellent job running this campaign and getting out your message to the voters. Please bring more transparency to the Board. I will hold you to your promise of holding office hours, and I hope that your colleagues on the Board will join you. Good luck.

To Patrick Shield, who, for the second year in a row came up short, you have an incredibly upbeat and enthusiastic attitude. You were one of the few candidates who over the past few months regularly stood out on the Common, and in various other parts of town, to wave to passing motorists and hold campaign signs. You were the only candidate this year who maintained a website. You jumped right into the selectmen’s race with an incredible amount of enthusiasm almost as soon as nomination papers were available earlier this year. I also noticed you stood outside the high school polling location today even in the hot, humid weather, continuing to smile and showing a lot of optimism. You have an incredibly bright future, and I hope you will not give up and will KEEP FIGHTING for what you envision for Walpole. Please run again in the future, and I know you WILL win. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR FUTURE!

To David Sullivan, the incumbent selectman, keep fighting for the senior center you are so passionate about.

To Bill Hamilton, you tried. Perhaps you should start a blog or a radio show to air your thoughts on the direction the town is going and has been going in. I would be happy to set you up.

To James Taylor, sorry.

On the police station:

The Walpole voters have spoken and have stated they DO NOT WANT a Robbins Road police station. I urge Selectman Cliff Snuffer to get behind an initiative to put a combined facility downtown. YES there is space. YES it will cost more – but the town may be more likely to make that investment if they feel it is a quality investment. YES it can be done.

Let’s not disappoint our police department again.

I am sorry to every one of our police officers who has had to go to work every day in a poor facility. I am sorry that we let you down. There is still hope. Let’s all get together to support a combined facility.

On the voter turnout of less than 35%:

I was very disappointed by the low voter turnout. I had predicted a turnout of 53%, at least, but was utterly surprised at the lack of interest by voters. Perhaps I am a political amateur, and have yet to see real elections, but I truly thought that there would be a higher turnout given the significant issues at stake in today’s election. If you didn’t vote, you can’t complain. How embarrassing.

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