Ashland voters say no to buying school for library

ASHLAND — Voters re-elected Normand DeWolfe and chose Steve Felton for the other three-year selectman's seat in Ashland on Tuesday, with the candidates polling 302 and 172, respectively. Jamie Lyford received 90 votes, John Hughes 83, and Miriam Brown 58 in Tuesday's elections. For the one-year selectman's position, Frances Newton garnered 160 votes to Harold Lamos' 91, Ron Niles' 90, and Anthony Hoerter's 48 votes. In the other contested race, for two seats on the budget committee, voters chose Harold Lamos, 222, and Sandra Coleman, 199, while Ingrid Heidenreich received 171 votes.
With the budget committee having opposed a petitioned article to purchase the former elementary school at 41 School Street for use as the town library, passage of the article would have been illegal, as it would exceed the budget committee's recommended budget by more than 10 percent. Accordingly, voters defeated the article on a 149-299 vote.
Voters also defeated the proposed operating budget of $6,210,871 which will result in a default budget of $6,130,645. They also defeated articles for the purchase of a transfer station mini-loader and a pickup truck for the public works department, and turned down several other requests to set aside money in capital reserve funds.
They did approve articles allowing the town to sell or lease the Squam Lake Dam Hydroelectric generating facility and to adopt a procedure whereby the town might sell its electric, water, or sewer utility assets.
Also passed, on a 330-120 vote, was a zoning ordinance providing for local control of any proposed large wind energy systems.