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October 22. 2013 10:09PM

Special election won’t be held to fill Tremblay’s seat

CHESTER — In a joint meeting between the select boards of Sandown, Chester and Auburn Tuesday, the three boards jointly decided not to hold a special election in March to replace former State Representative Stella Tremblay (R), who resigned after making controversial comments about the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing sand the victims hurt in the explosions.

With no special election called, Tremblay’s seat will be filled during the November 2014 election, which is when Tremblay’s term would have expired anyway had she not resigned.

“We are not looking to hold a special election, we don’t want to spend the money,” Sandown Select Board Chair Tom Tomberallo said.

Tremblay made national headlines when she questioned whether or not the Boston attack was orchestrated by the federal government, and even questioned the legitimacy of the injuries of some of the victims. After denunciations from both sides of the aisle, Tremblay resigned in June.

“I haven’t heard anyone say much about this vacant seat except that they are glad that she is gone,” Auburn board member Paul Raiche said.

Auburn Select Board Chairman Russell Sullivan said he agreed with Sandown’s board, adding that while some time will pass before a new representative is elected, due to the calendar structure of the state legislature, anyone elected in a special election in March wouldn’t have much to do.

“The meeting dates are so minimal. (Anyone elected in a special election) would probably not be given a committee assignment, there would very little for them to do,” Auburn board member James Headd said.

Jim Devine, also of the Sandown board and a State Representative as well, said while it would be some time before the three towns had a full contingent of five representatives, the towns wouldn’t be hurt at all.

“Last time this happened the gentleman who won had 67 votes, no one shows up for this. Then the person who wins will probably win re-election, the way I see it is it is a way to sneak in the back door,” Devine added.

Dr. Joe Hagan of the Chester board said that while political purists might see the need in filling the seat as quickly as possible, the points made by other board members were well taken.

“There just wouldn’t be much to do,” he said.

After deciding not to hold a special election, Chester Select Board Chairman Stephen Landau asked the other boards present if they would be interested in a possible annual meeting to go over joint issues.

“It can’t hurt to meet, a lot is going on, and all the towns would have input to help each other out,” Tomberallo said.

Other board members agreed, and specifically mentioned the regionalization of the towns’ fire departments as a good topic of conversation for a potential joint meeting.

While members of all three boards sounded interested, no official decision was made on any future joint meetings.


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