DANVERS — Selectman and retired state Appeals Court Judge David Mills topped the ticket in the selectmen’s race Tuesday in Danvers’ town election while fellow incumbent Dan Bennett, not far behind Mills’ vote total, will also return for another term. The pair beat back a challenge from Danvers businessman Thomas Manuel in a three-way race for two seats.
In the race for School Committee, former library trustee Mary Beth Verry was by far the top vote-getter in a three-way race for an open two-year seat on the committee.
In unofficial results from the Town Clerk’s office, Mills won with 979 votes, Bennett took second with 958, and Manuel came in third with 741 votes in the selectmen’s race.
“It’s nice,” said Mills, when reached by phone at his home. “I’m happy.” When asked about the fact he ran on civility, Mills replied: “I like to be (nice). I think that’s important. There is not a lot of niceness nowadays.”
Bennett, a local real estate broker and local business owner, won his fourth term, Mills his second.
“It was a good win,” Bennett said. “I appreciate the voters coming out today.” Bennett, like other candidates, stood out all day in raw weather outside the high school stumping for votes. “I look forward to three more years of serving the community.”
Less than 7 percent of voters had turned out as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Issues such as the proposed adoption of the Community Preservation Act and the fate of the historic train depot will be decided at Town Meeting in two weeks, Bennett noted.
Manuel, a former Conservation Commission member and real estate professional, is the co-owner of the landmark Fossa building in Danvers Square. He’s also a member of the Downtown Improvement Committee and Rotary Club of Danvers. This was his first run for selectman.
The vacancy on the School Committee was due to the resignation of former committee member Connie Pawlak. She stepped down for personal reasons earlier this year with two years left on her fourth term . She had won reelection last year.
Verry, who garnered 836 votes, vied for the seat against Barbara (B.J.) Cloutman, a registered nurse, and Richard Stoney, a parent who works in the security industry who also ran for the school board last year.
“I think it’s great,” said Verry about her win, as she stood in the lobby of the Vye gym, just after Town Clerk Joseph Collins taped the results to the trophy case outside the polling site. “I am very happy. It’s been very exciting to run and I am looking forward to getting involved with the School Committee and make (it) the best it can be.”
In unofficial results, Stoney trailed Verry with 465 votes while Cloutman had 161 votes.
School Committee member and attorney Arthur Skarmeas, who was first elected to the board in 2007, was unopposed and reelected to his fourth three-year term on the school board on Tuesday.
Incumbent library trustees Julie Curtis, Natalie Fiore and Frank Herschede were also unopposed and reelected, as was Town Moderator Patricia Fraizer, who won another one-year term.
And in Town Meeting member races...
Four precincts had races for Town Meeting representatives Tuesday — each precinct had six open seats for three-year terms.
In unofficial results, in Precinct 2, incumbents Jarod Waterman, Fiore, John Alden II, Thomas Savage, Michael Demsey and Monica Tipert were challenged by Cloutman, who also failed in her bid for Town Meeting.
In Precinct 4, incumbents Priscilla Curda, John Zavaglia, Gayla Bartlett, Mark Jones, Richard Bolduc and Keelin Dawe were challenged by Elizabeth Klemm. Dawe failed in her bid to get reelected.
In Precinct 6, James Moroney was seeking a seat along with incumbents Ingrid Barry, Bruce Getchell, Vincent Mackey, Roberta Mercier, Marilyn Hazel and Deborah Sauer. Moroney failed in his challenge.
Precinct 7’s race had former Selectman Keith Lucy seeking a seat along with incumbents Carol Harger, Allen McCarriston, Kristine Cheetham, Robert Ryan Sr., Eric Medrzycki and Kenneth Scholes Jr. It was Lucy who finished last in that race and did not win a seat.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.
Board of Selectmen
David Mills 979
Daniel Bennett 958
Thomas Manuel 741
Mary Beth Verry 36
Richard Stoney 465
Barbara Cloutman 161