The voters have spoken. Well, a handful of them.
Only 9.5 percent of Westford voters came out on Tuesday to give incumbent Selectmen Scott Hazelton and Andrea Peraner-Sweet new three-year terms.
Hazelton led the way with 1,223 votes, followed by Peraner-Sweet’s 1,099 and 473 for challenger Tony Martinez.
This year’s election was a marked change from for Hazelton from his victory in 2013. Due to comments from incumbent Bob Jefferies related to firearms, that year’s election saw almost a quarter of Westford voters turnout, along with significant media coverage from across New England.
This year, Hazelton and Peraner-Sweet’s campaigns effectively merged in order to facilitate efforts before and during election day, but ultimately he didn’t see that much different this year in comparison to 2013.
“You still run the same campaign,” he said. “Three years ago I was a challenger and this time I was an incumbent. So for me, the biggest difference is you’re talking about your record for the past three years as opposed to your plans for the next three.”
Peraner-Sweet first joined the Board of Selectmen in 2010 after 13 years on the Planning Board.
For her, the root of her goals over the next term involves getting more feedback from residents on key matters impacting the town while also respecting the fact that a lack of feedback, and the day’s election results, could be construed as a general contentment on the part of her constituents.
“We need to continue to reach out to people,” she said. “I’m not sure why the voters of Westford didn’t turn out as much as they did three years ago, perhaps it’s because the town is in really great shape right now. We balanced the budget without using reserves, we have a AAA bond rating, our schools are constantly in the top 20, so I think people are just satisfied right now.”
In the day’s other contested race, incumbent Sue Hanly joined Stephanie Granger as victors in the quest for the two three-year terms on the Board of Health.
Hanly led the way with 1,218 votes, followed by Granger with 895 and Anastasia O’Malley with 516.
After hearing the results, Hanly was thrilled to be joined by Granger on the board and hopes to spend the next three years building greater communication with the rest of town government.
“I think better communication was needed,” she said. “I like whenever different town boards work together to discuss different issues.”
CORRECTION: The person on the right in the second photo is Joanne Martel, not Stephanie Granger.