Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- It was a close call Tuesday night, but voters ultimately were in favor of Article 2, a controversial warrant asking them to reconsider Londonderry’s current town meeting form of government.
The article won by just 100 votes, (1,144-1,044). Another 84 voters left the question blank.
Miranda Fairbanks, a senior at Londonderry High School and president of the school’s Young Democrats club, stood outside the polls with a small cluster of residents urging voters to consider voting against the article.
On the other side of the issue was Rep. Al Baldasaro, who served on the nine-member charter commission that was formed during the March 2010 town meeting to take a closer look at the town’s governing methods.
“I’ve heard a lot of positive comments from people standing up for what’s right,” Baldasaro said outside the polls. “Tomorrow it will be business as usual, but the fact is, we’ve grown too big for a town meeting. I hope people can come forward tonight and say enough is enough.”
Fairbanks said, “I think it’s important to have a town meeting because more people show up than at a deliberative session.”
She said she’d spotted several classmates at the polls who were, like her, voting for the first time.
By 8 p.m., when the polls closed, 29 new voters had registered, many of whom were young voters, with several having just recently turned 18, according to Town Clerk Meg Seymour.
One hour before the polls closed, Seymour said voters appeared to be coming out in fewer numbers this year, with approximately 2,100 of the town’s 17,273 registered voters having passed through the gymnasium doors. Five hundred of those voters arrived during the early evening hours.
“It’s been pretty slow, but things filled up this afternoon,” Seymour said, noting that in previous years, up to 3,500 residents voted in town elections.
By closing time, 2,246 residents had voted. For Town Council candidate Joe Green, the third time proved to be the charm: Green scored a winning 1,441 votes in his third attempt running for the council, with Tom Freda taking the second seat with 1,123 votes. Candidate Deborah Shimkonis Nowicki earned 1,033 votes.
Taking the two vacant School Board seats were incumbent candidate John Robinson, who led the way with 1,128 votes, followed by newcomer Nancy Hendricks, who earned 942 votes. Candidates Todd Joncas and Glenn Douglas lost the race, earning 779 and 705 votes, respectively.