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Newport Fills 2 Selectboard Seats

Newport — Former Newport police chief David Hoyt and incumbent Bill Wilmot won three-year terms on the Selectboard and all proposed spending was approved during Town Meeting voting on Tuesday in Newport.

Wilmot, who was appointed in October to complete the term of Beverly Rodeschin, received 379 votes and Hoyt, 326.

Small business owner Mike Clark had 266 votes and former public works department employee Steve Dube, 206.

Hoyt said Tuesday night that he could not be at the polls because he was working but felt confident about the outcome.

“Everybody I talked to leading up to the election said they would vote for me,” Hoyt said. “I had great support.”

Also elected Tuesday in uncontested races were: Town Clerk, Liselle Griffin; Treasurer, Lisa Morse; Moderator, Howard Dunn; Supervisor of the Checklist, Martha Lovely and Trustee of the Trust Funds, Laura Paquin.

The proposed $9.14 million budget passed easily, 463-246, as did three-year contracts for police and public works employees at similar margins.

The contracts provide for 2.5 percent pay increases.

The only articles that were defeated had nothing to do with spending. Voters rejected the idea of considering permanent parking at the north side and east side of the common. The town was not putting forth parking plans in the articles but as Town Manager Paul Brown said, they wanted to get a sense of whether the town should develop a proposal.

The question about parking at the north end, which is permitted during the ice skating on the common, was defeated 461-247. Voters also said the town should not consider developing permanent parking along Park Street on the eastern side of the common by a similar margin.

An article, placed on the ballot by petition, recommending the town discontinue the class 6 portion of Edgell Road was approved 460-223.

The $5,000 under article 14, which was also on the ballot by petition, to support the public transportation provided by Community Alliance of Human Services passed 525-186.

The purchase of a highway truck under a three-year lease for $175,000 with a first year payment of $60,000 passed easily, as did an upgrade to the communication antennas on the town hall that will cost about $20,000.

Voters also supported establishing a communications system capital reserve fund starting with $5,000.

An increase in the elderly exemptions for property taxes for qualified taxpayers age 65 or older passed easily.

Brown said last week that if all recommended appropriations were approved he anticipates the town portion of the tax rate, currently at $11.56, will remain the same when the rate is set in October.

Turnout was about 20 percent, or 729 of Newport’s 3,612 registered voters.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.