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Springfield: Former Selectman Returns to Board

— A former selectman bested a two-decade Springfield resident for a spot on the Selectboard at Town Meeting polls yesterday.

George McCusker took 210 votes, compared with John Trachy’s 91. The two men were running for the seat left open by Selectboard Chairman John Chiarella, who decided not to seek another three-year term.

McCusker, 61, a retired pharmacist who ran unsuccessfully for the Selectboard last year and previously served four years on the board in the mid-2000s, is currently an alternate on the town’s planning and zoning boards. Trachy has served on the budget and communications committees, as well as the town’s conservation commission.

Of the 926 voters on the checklist, 306 showed up at the polls, according to Town Clerk Cynthia Anderson. At its floor meeting, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Town Hall, residents will vote on a $1.2 million budget that represents an increase of less than 1 percent above the current year’s spending plan.

As a result, town officials have said, the tax rate will change negligibly. Owners of property assessed at $200,000 currently pay $852 in town taxes.

The town will finish paying off a loan on a fire engine this year, which means that the passage of a pair of bond issues wouldn’t change taxes much either. One request, to pay for a new Fire Department rescue vehicle, would cost $99,000 over three years; another, for the leasing of a new police cruiser, is for $36,000.

Voters also will have the opportunity to decide on a proposal to raise $30,000 to pay for an assessment of the town’s wetland regulations, plus a request to raise $19,000 to preserve the steeple and repair windowsills at Town Hall.

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