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Democrats Rule in Barrington

Democratic candidates grab the majority on both the Town Council and the School Committee; both incumbent Democrats grab the House District 66 and 67 seats.

Democrats rule in Barrington.

Democrats took the three seats up for grabs on the Town Council in Tuesday's election, with 926 emergency and mail ballots still to be counted: Incumbents June Speakman and Kate Weymouth and Planning Board member Ann Strong.

Two Democrats took two of the three seats up for grabs on the School Committee: Incumbent Robert Shea Jr. and newcomer Paula Dominguez. Republican Patrick Guida took the other seat.

And Barrington's incumbent Democratic legislators in Districts 66 and 67 won re-election: Joy Hearn and Jan Malik.

"I am relieved and humbled," said Speakman about her re-election to the Town Council. "I think this validated our program. I am fired up and ready to move forward."

She was especially excited about the fact that voters favored her and her running mate, Kate Weymouth, as the top two vote-getting candidates.

"I am thrilled," said Weymouth. "I am very pleased that people found my name on the ballot. It's great to be validated, and I am honored to continue serving."

Both Shea and Dominguez used the word "thrilled" as well to describe their victories, which shifts the balance of political power back to the Democrats by a 3-2 margin. What that means in terms of the leadership of the School Committee remains to be seen.

"We'll need to caucus soon," said Shea, who served as chairman for a short while until a special election shifted control of the School Committee to the Republicans.

Here are the official numbers:

2012 Barrington Election Results

Town Council (elect 3)

Candidate Votes Winner June Speakman (D) 4,701     x Shirley Applegate-Lockridge (R) 3,073 Ann Strong (D) 3,763     x Margaret Kane (R) 3,604 Kate Weymouth (D) 4,264     x Donald Nessing (R) 3,237

School Committee (elect 3)

Candidate Votes Winner Paula Dominguez (D) 4,475     x Patrick Guida (R) 5,123     x Robert Shea Jr. (D) 4,481     x Christopher Ramsden (R) 3,478     Meaghan Ramsden (R) 3,741    

Moderator

Candidate Votes Winner Julia Califano 6,326    x Write-in     90    

Senate District 32

Candidate Votes Winner David Bates (R) 5,934     x Write-in    170

House District 66

Candidate Votes Winner Joy Hearn (D) 3,856     x Manfred Diel Jr. (R) 2,343 Eugene Saveory (I)    762

House District 67

Candidate Votes Winner Jan Malik (D) 3,382     x Peter Costa Jr. (R) 2,707

Scores of voters turned out to vote in Barrington. And voters kept coming and coming all day at all the polls.

But the final turnout of 63.6 percent of voters was still less than four years ago, when 73 percent of registered voters came.

"At 6:45 am, they were lined up down the halls," said Anne Stoppe, a poll worker at Barrington High School. "And it's been very, very busy all day. It finally slowed down at bit at around 2:15 pm."

By that time, approximately 1,000 ballots had been cast, said Paul Dulchinos, another poll worker at the high school.

"They never stopped all day," said Anne Znosko, a poll worker at Barrington Middle School. "They were lined up before we opened."

Cherri Pace, a moderator at the middle school, agreed with Znosko.

"We were swamped between 7 and 8:15 am," she said. "And it has kept going."

"And there were so many first-time voters," added Znosko. "That's so good to see."

More than 1,220 voters had cast ballots by mid-afternoon at the middle school.

"There were at least 30 people when we opened the doors," said Martha Wallick, a moderator at Nayatt School.

"And from 7 to 10 am," said Burt Grieffer, a longtime supervisor, "they were down the hall."

Approximately 1,110 voters had cast ballots at Nayatt by mid-afternoon.

"From 7 to 11:45 am, it was just steady and straight through," said Jim McClelland, a moderator at the Hampden Meadows School.

By around 3:30 pm, he said, 1,341 voters had pushed paper ballots into the ballot counting machine.

"It's been incredible here," said Jedd Sullivan, a warden and moderator at the Sowams School.

By around 4 pm, Sullivan said, more than 1,325 ballots had been cast.

The polls closed at 8 pm -- an hour earlier than in past elections. Perhaps that caused the final turnout to tumble.

Soon after the polls closed, Barrington had a new member of the Town Council, a new member of the School Committee and the same legislators to represent them in the General Assembly.

Besides the large number of races on the ballot, there were seven state ballot questions -- including whether Twin River and Newport Grand should be turned into full-fledge casinos. Barrington voters favored both casinos by wide margins.

Scores of voters did up at the wrong polling places, according to workers at every poll. Many went to the place they have always voted in the past, but redistricting changed many of the boundaries.

For the first time, voters had to bring an ID with them to the polling place -- another new change in Rhode Island this year.

Because the polls closed an hour earlier than in the past, there was the possibility that some voters would show up after 8. But if they were in line when the polls closed at 8 pm, they were allowed to vote.

Barrington has 13,984 registered voters -- slightly more than half of them (7,010) unaffiliated with a party.

Democrats make up 32 percent of registered voters (4,488). Republicans make up about 18 percent (2,486). There are 22 Moderates.

PC Grad November 07, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Cyndee, the US has the highest corporate tax in the world, and yes, they do pay taxes for what you note above – whether or not they pay “enough” is debatable. We shouldn’t be surprised that companies use tactics to avoid taxes that are within our ridiculously complex tax codes. Warren Buffett, the second richest person in America, notes that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. He has a liberal mindset and COULD fix that by choosing to pay a higher tax….but he doesn’t. Just as big companies try to limit their taxes.....if it's tax evasion, the IRS will catch them - they sure have been staffing up enough over the last few years I agree that we should be wary of big businesses and you make some good points. However, remember that there are alternatives to big businesses that we choose not to support. There is no alternative to big government and while you may agree with the current administrations (local and national), that may not always be the case.
Gary Morse November 07, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Cyndee, There's a lot of stuff in your reply. To round things out, you could have included RI pension reform, truth in product labeling of a high school diploma, the EDC, MEGA trash removal services in Barrington (endorsed by our greedy town council). Simply stated, business is not that bad, and government is not that good.
Cyndee Fuller November 07, 2012 at 10:16 PM
PC Grad, I'm all for refining government and making it less wasteful and more useful; I''m certainly not saying its current form is ideal. I worked for EPA in Chicago for 3 years in the 90s and dealt w/many government agencies (Army Corps, DOE, DOT, etc.) and I know there is dead weight in government. There are also good, talented people who willingly take a lower paying job (government salaries are much less than the private sector) to serve the public. So yeah, trim the system, make it more efficient, and focus on important things, like infrastructure, education, health care, environmental protection, and the like. But increasing efficiency is different than cutting whole programs and reducing levels of services and protection. As for taxes, nobody wants to pay them. But they pay for the common services we all, including Big Business, use and the standard of living to which we've all become accustomed. Unless Big Business wants to take over the role of paving highways and hauling garbage and paying for everyone's education ON THEIR OWN DIME, there will be taxes. But wait, that's what taxes do. Tax reform: Yes. Fair tax reform. Changing the government to deregulate businesses and lower the tax burden on businesses, no. At least not without an accounting of the responsibility of businesses to give back to the nation and people that support their ability to exist.
Cyndee Fuller November 07, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Gary, true, nothing is solely good or bad. The RI pension issue is one where the government failed by not funding what they promised, and I feel for those that have been affected by that. EDC, well, clearly these people were not very talented or knowledgeable about business dealings - hopefully the tail end of a "Good Ole' Boy" system. I certainly do not support ineffective or intentionally deceptive government any more than I support those qualities in a business (or in a person, for that matter). Transparency, fairness, accountability - these qualities are needed in any system. However, as for the MEGA contract, we'll see if this holds up as a benefit over the years. I, for one, am very happy to have weekly recycling and yard waste pickups and haven't noticed any degradation of service since they began. I don't understand your characterization of TC as "greedy" on this. Excuse the pun, but I believe this was a good "business" decision on the Town Manager's part to better the service at a lower cost.
Gary Morse November 07, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Cyndee, The "greedy TC" comment was a tongue-in-cheek response to your statement "forego profit to create jobs when jobs were needed". The TC was not any more greedy than any corporation that has to deal with global competition. The "mega corporations" you mention now serve a global market place. The off shoring of jobs is a response to meeting cost points set by a cut throat global market. You may want to take a look at how one greedy (liberal) US government chose to use Chinese companies and labor to build and import certain fabricated parts for a US bridge project, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/business/global/26bridge.html?pagewanted=all Did the State of California check the labor conditions, or environmental impact where these parts were fabricated? The main point is that your posts in this blog are somewhat provincial. It's a global market and times have changed. It's no longer a greed issue as you suggested.

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