CHESTER – On Tuesday, May 13, the first part of town meeting commences with a ballot election of town officers and decisions on this year’s zoning ordinance amendments.
The polls open at 7 a.m. at the multipurpose room on Chester Street. They close at 7 p.m.
Only one contested position is on the ballot this year, that of town treasurer. Incumbent Rhonda Lamphere is challenged by Bonnie Healey.
Nearly all of the remaining positions are sought by incumbents.
Both incumbents for selectmen are running again, Steph Landau, who currently serves as chair, and Joseph Hagan. Town clerk/tax collector Barbara Gagnon is seeking reelection, as is Town moderator Michael Scott.
Leslie Packard seeks to retain her position as supervisor of the checklist, and both Deb Munson and Kandace Knowlton hope to retain heir spots as library trustees.
While three budget committee seats are open, only one attracted a candidate – incumbent Stephen D’Angelo.
James Hoffman seeks a position as a Trustee of the Trust Fund. For Great Hill Cemetery, Richard Noyes has put his name in. Aaron Mansur will again seek a role as a Village Cemetery Trustee. And Genevieve Rowell hopes to stay on the Wilcomb Townsend Board of Trustees.
Also on the town ballot will be three zoning amendments, all relatively basic changes.
Article two, amendment one, seeks to delete a section on special exceptions in the Wetlands Conservation District chapter and replace it elsewhere in the ordinance. There has been concern this year, and a suggestion by town counsel, that including special exceptions only in the wetlands chapter is not consistent, and gives a benefit to those with non-conforming lots in wetlands but not those with non-conforming lots in uplands. This change basically allows all landowners to be treated the same in regard to special exceptions.
According to the members of the planning board the change allows for a more streamlined ordinance, and eliminates potential confusion over the rules.
The next amendment adds language to the section on open space subdivisions, reminding readers that there is also an option to develop land as a conventional subdivision.
The final zoning amendment would bring Chester’s rules in line with state rules concerning how long developers have to implement a permit granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment as the result of a special exception or variance. The ordinance would reflect an extension of one year to two years if passed.
The second portion of Town Meeting, where the remainder of warrant articles are to be voted on, and announcement of the results of the May 13 election, take place the following Saturday, stating at 9 a.m. May 17 at the multipurpose room.
Look for a summary of remaining articles in the next edition of the Tri-Town Times.
The May 13 ballot also includes election of school district officers. The school district holds its meeting in March, but combines with the town for its elections.
All positions on the school side are unopposed. For school board, incumbents Maria Veale and Mike Romick seek reelection. David Scott has put his name in for moderator, Robert Grimm for clerk and Rhonda Lamphere for school district treasurer.