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A family walks into the polls on Tuesday in Merrimack while candidates and their supporters campaign outside. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON PHOTO)

Ortega, Barnes reelected to Merrimack School Board

MERRIMACK - Voters reelected two members of the School Board, but narrowly defeated a proposal for a new $1.5 million building for the school district in yesterday's town election.

Shannon Barnes and Christopher Ortega were both elected to a second term on the School Board.

Ortega topped the field with 1,268 votes, just a handful more than Barnes who was second with 1,264.

Gary Krupp, a town Budget Committee member finished third with 896 votes.

Voters rejected a warrant article seeking $1.5 million for the construction of a new, consolidated special services and administrative office building for the school district.

A majority of voters backed the proposal, but the margin of 963 in favor and 912 opposed was short of the three-fifth's "supermajority" needed for approval.

Another 165 votes would have been needed for approval.

Ortega said he was disappointed with the low voter turnout saying he wished more people would take the time to cast ballots.

Barnes said her campaign worked paid off on election day.

"I worked my tail off," Barnes said as she greeted voters outside the polls.

Krupp said before the polls closed that he ran a good campaign and was pleased with his interaction with local residents.

"People had more of an opportunity to learn about me and my positions, which was important this time around," said Krupp. "But, it is a pretty sleepy election."

Incumbent Daniel Dwyer won reelection to the Town Council, and former Councilor David Yakuboff claimed another seat. Both were unopposed.

Voters approved a 2013-2014 town operating budget of $28,725,477, as well as five collective bargaining agreements on the town portion of the ballot.

On the school ballot, voters approved a $66.3 million school district operating budget, and a new contract with teachers that increases the salary budget by $1.65 million over the next three years.


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