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  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Election worker Shirley Lafreniere looks on as Kevin Crooker casts the last ballot Tuesday, March 13, 2012, in the town elections at the Hudson Community Center.


  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Selectman Roger Coutu, center, helps Moderator Paul Inderbitzen, below, and Assistant Moderator Glenn Della-Monica gather ballots to be counted Tuesday, March 13, 2012, following the town elections at the Hudson Community Center.


  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Election workers count ballots Tuesday, March 13, 2012, following the town elections at the Hudson Community Center.


  • Shawn Jasper
  • Nancy Brucker is running for Hudson Board of Selectmen.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Election workers count ballots Tuesday, March 13, 2012, following the town elections at the Hudson Community Center.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hudson voters deny Jasper’s selectmen’s chair

HUDSON – In a surprising defeat, Board of Selectmen Chairman Shawn Jasper went down in his bid for re-election Tuesday.

There may have only been 2,340 residents who voted in the town election, well below the usual total, but that was more than enough to create the upset.

Jasper has served on the board 16 years off and on since 1984.

Out of the field of six candidates for the two terms on the board, incumbent Selectman Ben Nadeau won another three-year term, while newcomer Nancy Brucker, whose only previous political experience was as a member of the Conservation Commission, won the other selectmen’s seat with 894 votes – 73 more than Jasper.

“I am surprised and very pleased,” Brucker said after the tallies were announced. “Shawn has a huge following in this town.

“Maybe Hudson residents wanted a woman’s voice on the board. I plan to work hard on the board and to serve the residents of Hudson. I want to hear from them – I want to hear their concerns.”

Nadeau, who won his seat with 1,004 votes, was grateful for the town’s support, but said he was “very, very surprised” at Jasper’s defeat.

Jasper left the building before the announcements were complete and wasn’t on hand for comment.

In another surprise, residents also voted down contracts for police, fire and town supervisors and one for the town’s support staff, as well as shooting down a pay increase for the town clerk/tax collector.

Voters did approve the town’s $28.4 million operating budget.

The budget, to go into effect July 1, is about equal to the current year’s spending plan, and it will maintain the town’s rate tax rate of $5.18 per $1,000 of assessed value without sacrificing jobs, town officials have said.

Balanced by no cost-of-living increases for town staff, the budget doesn’t include any position reductions or cuts to town services.

Among other spending items, voters agreed to spend $165,000 on a new ambulance. They added $300,000 to go to the Senior Center reserve fund and they directed $500,000 for further road paving.

“We’re falling way behind (on paving) because of the rising prices of oil and pavement,” Steve Malizia, the town administrator, said earlier this month. “At this rate, it would take us 200 years to pave every street.”

Among the nonspending proposals, voters approved two zoning amendments. And they shot down three petitioned warrant articles, including ones proposing to charge nonresidents for parking at Benson Park and to reward Hudson employees for reducing town spending.

On the school side, voters won’t see the same savings. The School District’s $45.8 million budget, approved Tuesday by voters, is about $800,000 – or 1.8 percent – higher than the current budget, and it will add about 46 cents to the school portion of the tax rate, officials have said.

District voters also approved a pair of union contracts for district secretaries and custodians, among other workers. The three-year pacts don’t include any salary increase, although both include sick day incentives.