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Rockport budget committee still not filled

By Daniel Dunkle | Nov 24, 2020

Rockport — Even after two elections and with 20 names on the ballot in the last one, the town has not managed to fill all of its open slots on the budget committee.

In his most recent Town Manager's report, Bill Post told select board members that two had been elected:

Robert Duke Jr. – 3-year term – till June 2023

Hannah Demmons 1-year term – till June 2021

He added, "There is still one vacancy for a three-year term because the candidate receiving the highest number of votes is not qualified to hold the office (non-resident). Therefore, the Select Board can appoint a person to that position."

Post told the board Monday night that the person who was not qualified, Desmond Fitzgerald, had been living in the town at the time that the ballots were put together, but has since moved.

In the recent November election, residents had 20 names to choose from on the ballot. This happened as a result of the write-ins from the August town meeting votes.

There were four vacancies on the budget committee in the Aug. 18 town meeting vote, with only one person submitting nomination papers to be on that ballot.

When the people voted in August, they wrote in the names of quite a few fellow residents.

“Our charter says that in the event of a tie, which there was because of the large number of people receiving one write-in vote, a run-off election will be held in November,” Post explained in previous comments. “The Town’s attorney advised that Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw could attempt to contact all of those receiving write-in votes and ask if they wished to remain on the ballot in November. Linda was able to eliminate some names after contacting some (not all) of those receiving original write-in votes as well as eliminating those that are either already on the budget committee or not residents of Rockport.”

He added, “Unfortunately, Linda was not able to reach all of those receiving write-in votes and some she did reach wanted to be on the ballot.”

The chart below shows the breakdown of the voting in November.


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