MEREDITH — With the deadline fast approaching, four candidates have applied for the two open seats on the Board of Selectmen, which the three elected selectmen will fill by appointment next month.
Three of the four applicants stood for election on March 10 — Michael Pelczar, Jonathan James and David Bennett — while the fourth, Alfio Torrisi, moved to town just over a year ago.
Pelczar polled 320 votes to finish in third place among the eight candidates vying for two seats. A fourth-generation contractor, he owns and operates Inter-Lakes Builders Inc., which constructs custom homes. Born and raised in Meredith, he described himself as "a regular Joe" who seeks to perpetuate the character of the community. "Change is not my favorite thing," he said, "but change is inevitable. The changes that have taken place have been good for the town and I want to keep change on that path."
James, whose 192 votes were the fifth most in March, came to Meredith as a 14-year-old. He served in the Coast Guard, worked as a home builder as well as a facilities manager at Freudenberg NOK and the Spaulding Youth Center, and most recently was director of buildings, grounds, housekeeping and security at the Tilton School. In Meredith he has served on the now defunct Water Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment as well as a trustee of the trust funds.
With 90 votes, Bennett finished seventh in the election. Like Pelczar, Bennett is a longtime resident of Meredith with deep roots in the town. A member of the first graduating class of the vocational technical center in Laconia, he has spent his life building, repairing and racing automobiles and motorcycles. He managed parts departments at local dealerships in the 1970s before opening his own garage and later worked at Meredith (now Laconia) Harley-Davidson. Although he considers himself "old school," he stressed, "I'm not totally conservative. I know that things have got to change, but Meredith should keep its rural values."
Torrisi, who recently moved to Meredith from Pelham, is an electrical inspector for the state of New Hampshire who applied in order to contribute to the civic life of his new community.
The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on Monday, April 6. The Board of Selectmen will interview the candidates on Monday, April 13, when they are expected to make the appointments.
Town Manager Phil Warren said yesterday that the board is eager to fill the seats since with only three members it has proved difficult to corral all three required for a quorum on the same date.
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