HOLDEN, Mass. — The ballots have been tabulated, and Holden residents have chosen Mark Ferguson and Anthony Renzoni as their selectmen and Steve Hammon, Erik Scheinfeldt and Deidre Kosky to serve on the WRSD School Committee.
With 1109 votes, former selectman Mark Ferguson will once again join the board. As a frontrunner in today's election, Ferguson felt confident that voters who responded to his message would come out to support him.
"I ran on something that was very clear," said Ferguson. "It was a five point message starting with the water rates. I thought they were unjust, unfair and they're certainly going to have to be re-worked. I meant what I said and I said what I meant. The transportation costs are excessive from the City of Worcester, and I think there's a need for us to find out own water source in the Quabbin aqueduct, which is long overdue."
Additionally, Ferguson has expressed disappointment in town manager Nancy Galkowski's work "for the amount of money that we're paying."
He also hopes to address economic development, saying it "needs to be constantly worked, constantly, constantly worked. We can't just wait for people to come to us, we have to get ourselves to the different businesses out there and see what it is that we can do to attract them. We need to retain them and get them here, and hopefully get them to expand."
Ferguson also hopes to see more fiscal discipline form the school committee.
"Rather than coming up with the huge want list, they have to tailor that down and realize that the ability for the taxpayers to fund everything at all times has certainly been diminished. It's become a very difficult economic climate and we've done an awful lot for our schools. We treasure our children, we do everything we can, but the times are tough and they need to understand that they are a finance committee, as well as advocates for the children."
With 926 votes, incumbent Renzoni will also return the selectboard.
"I'm glad that over 900 residents of the town of Holden felt that I have done a satisfactory job of Selectman over the past three years that they went out and voted for me again," he said. "That's a good feeling."
"I'm most encouraged that almost 16 percent of the voting population got out there today," he added. "I've been stomping my feet here for a month making sure people get out to vote, not necessarily for me, but just get out to vote for someone because it's that important.
Now, Renzoni looks forward to continuing the good work the selectmen have been doing, and believes Ferguson will bring a lot of experience to the board.
"I've worked well with Mark here over the last couple years, he's taught me a lot about water and sewer," said Renzoni. "It sounds like Mark has a plan to come up with a new Water and Sewer rate, or at least fix the rates. He ran on that platform and I'm anxious to start working with him and seeing where we can go from here."
Appointed to the school committee in February, top vote-getter Deidre Kosky also had the backing of the people today, earning 1020 votes.
Though Kosky was excited, she was at a loss for words upon hearing the news of the outpouring of support.
"I'm excited to have come out on top, that meant a lot to me," said Kosky. "I'm very excited to get in there and hear from the parents and the townspeople, and keep up with what I've been doing right now, talking to people in the schools and getting involved."
With 933 votes, incumbent Steve Hammond will also be returning to the school committee for another three years.
"I'm very pleased with the results," he said. "Voting an exciting new incumbent is good. I'm glad for Deidre, and also glad to see that Erik's going to be joining us on the board. I think that we'll all be able to work well together, and I'm excited about the term coming up."
Among the issues Hammond looks to continue working on is supporting the 21st century skills and "making sure that it's not just about iPads and technology," as well as the regional task force, and pressuring the state to reform health care and have a fairer formula for foundation and fair transportation reimbursements.
Newcomer Erik Scheinfeldt also claimed a seat with 844 votes.
"I'd like to thank the voters and also my opponents Steve Hammond, Deidre Kosky and Ric McWaters for running a very civil and good race," he said. "It was healthy to have an opposed race this time, because you had some healthy debate which I think will be productive in the longrun."
About 16 percent of voters casted their ballot to decide which of the four candidates for selectman and school committee would prevail. This election saw almost 4 percent higher turnout over last year's 11.1 percent, when only 1,399 of the town's 12554 voters casting their ballots.
The results for the 2012 Local Election are:
Selectmen - two three year seats
Incumbent Anthony Renzoni, Doyle Road: 926
Incumbent Kenneth O'Brien, Salisbury Street: 759
Mark Ferguson, Bailey Road: 1109
Jeremy Kurtz, Homestead Road: 485
Wachusett Regional School Disctrict Committee - three seats
Incumbent Steven Hammond, Jamieson Road: 933
Incumbent (appointed) Deidre Kosky of Salisbury Street: 1020
Erik Scheinfeldt of Sherwood Hill Drive: 844
Richard J. McWaters of Harris Street: 562
Trustees of Damon Memorial - Two seats for three years.
Incumbent Richard Maurer, Bascom Parkway: 1181
Alan Degutis, Salisbury Street: 915
Moderator - one seat for one year
George Balko, Chestnut Hill Road: 1360