Marion incumbents sweep contested races

Jun 26, 2020

MARION — In a June 26 election, voters chose to re-elect an incumbent Selectman, Planning Board members and an experienced assessor over a newcomer who challenged them. 

Selectman Norm Hills, Planning Board members Eileen Marum, Chris Collings and Hills and Assessor Pat DeCosta won seats against newcomer Joe Zora.

Of the 977 voters who went to the polls or voted by absentee ballot, Hills won 687 votes in the Selectman’s race, and 266 ballots were cast for Zora. 

Hills said the results of the Selectman’s race show that residents trust in him, and he said the current Board of Selectmen “work very well together.” 

In his next term, Hills said there is a lot of work the town needs to get done, such as the construction of a new Department of Public Works building, but Marion is in good shape financially.

In the Planning Board race, Chris Collings received 708 votes, Marum 657, Hills 612, Ted North (who dropped out) 327, and Zora 276.

Marum said that she was happy to have won, as she looks forward to serving for another three years and having the same board members will help in the midst of a pandemic and other uncertainty. 

She plans to continue work on cluster zoning, which will help seniors, work with the wastewater treatment plant and new work on the multi-hazard mitigation plan, which includes sea level rise from climate change, as well as wind and water damage from hurricanes or other disasters. 

Collings said he was “thankful to those who voted for me,” and that there is “much to do especially with housing density and the multifamily bylaw. I am looking forward to getting back to work with my fellow board members.” 

For the Board of Assessors race, Pat DeCosta received 806 votes, and Zora won 150.

Speaking after the race, DeCosta said that she was “happy the taxpayers have confidence in my and will do my best to be sure that tax values are fair and equitable.” 

In the Marion School Committee race, write-ins Jody Dickerson and Margaret McSweeney won spots on the committee with 114 and 58 votes respectively, and Mary Beauregard won 48 votes.

In the Old Rochester Regional School District write-in race, Margaret McSweeney won with 102 votes against Dannie Engwert, who won 40 votes. 

Town Clerk Lissa Magauran said that McSweeney can’t serve on both committees, so she will discuss with McSweeney which committee she wants to serve on.

Running unopposed, Town Moderator Brad Gordon won with 831 votes, which was the highest vote count for the election. Dot Brown received 800 votes to keep her spot on the Board of Health, and Jeffrey Oakes and Amanda Chace both won seats on the Open Space Acquisition Committee with 782 and 769 votes respectively. 

Of the 977 voters in Marion, 670 voted early.