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Fairhaven votes for change  

Wind turbines played a big role in election campaigns this year with several winning candidates receiving support from wind turbine opponents Windwise including Espindola, Acksen, and McKenna.

Credit:  By Beth Perdue, www.southcoasttoday.com 3 April 2012 ~~

Fairhaven voters spoke for change today, electing native son Robert Espindola to the town’s three-person Board of Selectmen. Espindola received 42 percent of votes in a field of four candidates with Phil Washko running second at 30 percent.

Although outspoken in his opposition to the town’s wind turbine project and at one time part of a lawsuit against the town, Espindola won votes from both wind supporters and opponents.

Asked about the support, the Acushnet Co. engineer credited his win to his longtime roots within the town and the help he received from his campaign team.

“I like to think people understand that I’m an honest person and I’ll do the right thing for the town,” he said.

One resident who voted for Espindola said he was casting his vote in support of a “responsive government; a government that is inclusive to the public in decision-making.”

“I personally know Bob Espindola,” said Peter Gobin, who lives about 1,500 feet from the wind turbines. “He’s probably the most honest person I’ve ever known.”

“I’ll go to sleep tonight knowing I did everything I could,” Washko said after the defeat. “I ran a clean and honest campaign and focused only on explaining my merits.”

Twenty-five percent of voters turned out today to choose Espindola and several other newcomers to town boards.

In the School Committee race, political first-timer Donna McKenna, topped both incumbent David Gonsalves and former School Committee member Colin Veitch. McKenna won one of two open seats on the School Committee with Gonsalves taking the second.

McKenna called the experience overwhelming.

“Maybe it’s because I’ve done thousands of hours donating my time to the elementary, middle school and high school,” she said about the win.

In another contested race, Barbara Acksen narrowly defeated Lindsay Gordon for the Board of Health opening by 44 votes.

Wind turbines played a big role in election campaigns this year with several winning candidates receiving support from wind turbine opponents Windwise including Espindola, Acksen, and McKenna.

At the polls, voters both for and against the turbines, said the project was reflected in their votes, while others cited the need for change and a different perspective at top leadership levels.

At Precinct 5, Katrina Masse said she feels the town needs somebody who listens to people. “We’ve been through the school and the wind turbine (issues), I just think we need someone to listen to the voice of the people,” she said.

Dan Dunwoodie said he voted in support of the wind turbines. “I voted for the guy who didn’t say anything against them,” he said.

Gerry Craig also described himself as a wind supporter but said he voted for a candidate opposed to them.

“I think it’s time for something fresh,” said Craig. “I voted for one of these guys who is against the wind turbines because I like the credentials (he brings), the education and the background.”

Two contests where incumbents fared well were the Board of Public Works and Tree Warden races.

For the BPW, both Robert Hobson and Steve Riley kept their seats, defeating former BPW member
Richard Brodeur in a close race. And for tree warden, incumbent Antone Medeiros easily defeated Carol Murchie.

Source:  By Beth Perdue, www.southcoasttoday.com 3 April 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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