November 06. 2013 7:00PM

Claremont reelects incumbents, approves charter commission

Union Leader Correspondent

CLAREMONT — Voters re-elected incumbents and approved the creation of a charter commission during city elections Tuesday.

The municipal elections brought out 18 percent of the city’s registered voters with 1,196 out of 6,500 voters casting ballots.

The charter commission article was approved by voters 593 to 327.

City Manager Guy Santagate said Wednesday that the date for an election of nine members of the charter commission will be set by city officials at the next City Council meeting on Nov. 13 “and then that group will review the needs of the charter,” Santagate said.

The commission members will seek to update the charter — rules that govern how the city is run.

Any proposed changes would be presented to the city council, which would place the proposed changes on a ballot for voters to decide on, he said.

The whole process takes about a year, Santagate said.

It has been about 10 years since the city has reviewed its charter, Santagate said, saying it is a healthy process laid out by state law.

“I think it’s a good step to have a charter commission and review what kind of government you want to have. It’s been a long time since they had one so I think it’s a proper thing for a city to do,” Santagate said. “They can take up any items they want. I am sure they will get public input along the road here.”

Incumbents Kyle Messier, with 658 votes, Keith Raymond, with 637 votes, and John Simonds with 521 votes and newcomer James Reed Jr. with 463 votes won the four city council at-large seats up for election.

Nick Koloski won the Ward three councilor seat with 176 votes.

Running unopposed, Mayor James Neilsen IV and Assistant Mayor Victor Bergeron and Ward two councilor Carolyn Towle were reelected.

Also running unopposed, Charlene Lovett was elected to Ward two seat formerly held by Roger Formidoni.