Tuesday March 19, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. - A requested recount of town Board of Selectmen and School Board races produced no different outcomes at Town Hall on Monday.

Melissa Fisk had requested a recount after being declared the losing candidate of the School Board race. Monday’s recount, however, confirmed that she lost the race to James O’Malley, who won 302-287.

Before leaving Town Hall, O’Malley told the Reformer he was happy to hear the votes were counted accurately the first time and that residents were confident enough to elect him to the board. He is taking the seat vacated by Edward Patenaude Jr.

"It seemed like there was going to be a void there," O’Malley said. "The last few months, a lot of the town has been inspired to come out to the meetings [held once a month]. I was one of those people. I just want to try to help the town," he said, adding that all three of his children have graduated from Hinsdale High School. "I’m very familiar with the school system."

Former Selectman Richard Schill requested a recount after last Tuesday’s vote totals indicated he lost his re-election bid. Schill reportedly received 309 votes while Joan C. Morel garnered 427 and Wayne Gallagher got 325. The only change Monday’s recounted revealed was that Gallagher actually accrued 324 votes.

Schill, known in town as a passionate fiscal conservative, said he was discouraged in the result but satisfied with his service on the board.

"I’m disappointed because of the fact that I know I worked hard and I know I did a good job," he said. "But, the voters, they have the final say and you have to respect that - and I do respect that."

He said he feels he did a lot of good and expressed gratitude to voters for giving him a chance. He also said he is interested in running again in two years.

Gallagher, the former Hinsdale Police chief, believes his 40 years of experience in law enforcement will come in handy regarding the construction of a new police station on Main Street. The public marginally adopted Article 2 of the town warrant on Saturday, giving the town permission to raise and appropriate $1,087,636 to build a new police station. Of that sum, $75,000 will come from the Expendable Trust set up for that purpose and $239,636 will be taken from the Wal-Mart Development Agreement Fund. The police department has been operating out of the same temporary facility since the 1980s.

Gallagher said he went through the process of building a new station as a front-line supervisor in East Providence, R.I., and he hopes to help avoid some of the small mistakes made in that project.

At the Board of Selectmen meeting that followed the recount, selectmen decided on committee appointments and new Chairman Mike Darcy thanked Schill, who was in attendance, for his service to the board.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 277. Follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer