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Jaffrey

New selectman takes 291 votes

  • Jaffrey voter Bill Johnson, left, checks in at the polls and gets his 2013 voting ballot at the VFW on Tuesday morning.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Jaffrey town officials saw few voters Tuesday morning at the polls at the VFW<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

JAFFREY — After more than 30 years of municipal service, Select Board Chair Jeanne LaBrie chose not to seek a sixth term on the Select Board this March. She will be passing the baton to a friend and fellow volunteer, Thomas Rothermel.

“When I decided I was going to bow out, I asked Tom if he’d given it any thought,” LaBrie said Tuesday at the Jaffrey polls. “I’m kind of protective of this seat, so it’s nice to know someone I admire will be replacing me.”

Rothermel, who has chaired Jaffrey’s Historic District Commission for the past three years, ran unopposed in Tuesday’s election and won the open Select Board seat with 291 votes. There were 333 voters at the polls Tuesday.

By phone Tuesday afternoon, Rothermel said he would like to see more volunteerism in town, and plans to help develop opportunities for young people to get more involved. For example, students interested in architectural study could work alongside the Historic District Commission, and political science students could learn from the Select Board about the daily operations of town government, he said.

Rothermel recently served on a five-member search committee tasked with assisting the Select Board in its search for a new town manager, following Mike Hartman’s resignation in November. Hartman now works as town manager in Stoughton, Mass. Hartman’s replacement, David R. Caron of Belmont, worked his first day as Jaffrey’s town manager on Monday.

Transparency in local government is important, Rothermel observed, and a town manager who is approachable and visible at community functions will help build town relations.

Two of the biggest issues facing Jaffrey today are its deteriorating town office building and the deferred $6 million state aid wastewater treatment grant, Rothermel said. Working with town officials and residents to address those concerns, he said, will be among his priorities in the year ahead.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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