Perry Armstrong, pictured above at Town Meeting, and Matt Fordham won seats on the Randolph selectboard Tuesday. (Herald / Tim Calabro)

Randolph Casts Ballots for Change

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In the voting box on Town Meeting Day, Randolph residents expressed a marked desire for change, while also expressing appreciation for the contributions of town non-profits. 

In voting for the two open selectboard seats, residents turned Selectman Jerry Ward out of office while also defeating the selectboard bid of longtime town lister Patrick French.

Ward was defeated in a 468-406 vote (the closest item on the ballot) by political newcomer and businessman Matt Fordham. French was defeated in a 499-383 vote by Perry Armstrong, who ran pledging vigorous change.
Both Fordham and Armstrong said they would focus on improving the town’s economic health.
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Throughout the rest of the ballot, there were no close votes. Town Clerk and Treasurer Mazzucco had no opposition, and voters authorized the proposed town budgets by overwhelming margins.

In what was expected to be the most controversial item, voters agreed by a 587-297 count to authorize the town to bond up to $1.5 million to solve the manganese problem in the village water supply.

As usual in Randolph, voters approved all the “special appropriation” requests from various non-profit organizations. The closest vote was 491-390 (for the White River Craft Center), and many of the requests received more than 700 “yes” votes.

Planning Ahead

In a statement for The Herald Wednesday, Selectman Armstrong thanked the community for “putting their faith and trust in me.

“I will continue to make connections to help bring leadership and resources together to promote positive results for Randolph.

“To those that may not have voted for me or do not know me, I would like to reassure you that I will work in the best interest of all the residents of the town and am available to talk and listen to any ideas and concerns you may have.”

Selectman Fordham told The Herald he would work to expand the water and sewer services along Beanville Road to assist current and future businesses there.

He also said he would support expansion of recreation offerings and wants to work with business leaders to help fill the vacant buildings on Main Street.

“Lastly, I want to help connect our educational institutions to our current and future businesses and business leaders,” he said.

Ward told The Herald that he was “surprised and disappointed” by election results but that “Matt and Perry deserve congratulations for stirring up and riding a wave of voters apparently seeking change.”

He added that his own work on behalf of the town is not over.

“Expect to find me on the sidelines, continuing to work on bringing broadband to our town, facilitating local businesses, and improving the experience of living in Randolph,” he wrote.

French characterized the Selectoard race as “very spirited this year, probably more so than I have seen, at least in the recent past.

“I wish Perry and Matt the best as Selectboard members.”


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