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March 12. 2013 10:48PM

Incumbent handily defeats Soltani for Epsom selectman seat

EPSOM -- Selectman Robert Blodgett will retain his seat on the board, handily defeating former state representative Toni Soltani, who made headlines in recent months after involving himself in a police pursuit, a case which ultimately led to a misdemeanor reckless conduct conviction.
Blodgett received 604 votes. Soltani received 98.
Road Agent Gordon Ellis will also retain his position, defeating challenger Michael Tinsley 497 to 203. Ellis had emphasized continuity and his achievements. Tinsley had discussed upgrading the highway departments technology use, arguing that computerized records would be a boon to transparency.
Ellis was supportive of the current hard-file system.
A $25,000 warrant item to continue design and building work at the historic Meetinghouse failed, 377 to 451.
Also failing, 405 to 425, was a warrant item to raise $5,000 to place in a trust fund for the maintenance of historic buildings owned by the town.
An perating budget of $2,940,613 passed, 432 to 375, including $32,660 to hire a full-time firefighter/paramedic $16,800 for 10 sets of replacement firefighting turnout gear (outer protective clothing), and $30,000 to purchase a cardiac monitor/defibrillator.
A $31,912 warrant item to hire a full-time police officer failed, 482 to 533.
A $36,000 warrant item in anticipation of a required 2015 revaluation failed 368 to 430.
Town officials had estimated that should all warrant items have passed, the estimated tax impact would have been $1.14 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $285 on a home valued at $250,000.

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