Marion voters approve ORR renovations, outsourcing trash pickup

May 17, 2019

MARION — Voters on Friday approved tax increases to fund renovations at Old Rochester Regional High School and to outsource town trash collection. They also elected William Saltonstall and Joe Rocha to the Planning Board and Catherine Gibbs as assessor. 

Barry Gaffey and William Do Carmo also ran for Planning Board seats. Saltonstall got 775 votes, Rocha 342, Gaffey 203, and Do Canto 130. Gaffey also ran for assessor, where he got 229 votes to Gibbs’ 63. 

Marion voters approved the Proposition 2-1/2 override to pay for renovations to the ORR athletic fields and auditorium by more than a 2-1 margin, with 660 voters in favor and 323 opposed. The override would allow the town to tax above the Prop 2-1/2 limit for 15 years to pay for the $2 million renovation.

Final approval of the renovations and their funding still requires approval of the other ORR district towns. The override was approved at Mattapoisett Town Meeting, sending it to voters at the May 21 town election. Rochester will have its say at May 20 Town Meeting and at a special election that would be scheduled following Town Meeting approval.

Marion voters on Friday also confirmed the decision made at Town Meeting to outsource curbside collection to Waste Management rather than purchase a new town trash truck. The town opted to vote ib after both of the town-owned trucks required costly repairs this spring. Approval came on a 562-401 vote. 

Voters opted to make the Town Clerk position appointed rather than an elected position, 687-258. 

In a third Proposition 2-1/2 override vote, the town also got approval, 675-274, to tax an extra $350,000 for one year to develop a wastewater management plan. The previous wastewater management plan was developed 20 year ago, and Selectmen advocated for a new plan to make wastewater management more systematic and efficient. 

In uncontested races, voters  re-elected John Waterman as selectman and Brad Gordon as moderator, elected Edward Hoffer to the Board of Health Russel Gunschel as tree warden and Nichole Daniel to the Marion School Committee, re-elected Heather Burke to the ORR School Committee, and elected Casey Gunschel and re-elected John Rockwell to the Open Space Acquisition Commission.

Of the town’s 4,059 registered voters, 994 cast ballots, a turnout rate of 24.49 percent. Last year, the town had 4,016 registered voters, 1,023 people who voted, a 25.5 percent turnout rate.