Calla Metcalfe, 2-1/2, helps Jerry Dzialo turn in her ballot at the Masonic Temple in Bellows Falls. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer)
Calla Metcalfe, 2-1/2, helps Jerry Dzialo turn in her ballot at the Masonic Temple in Bellows Falls. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer)
Wednesday May 22, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- Residents voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to re-elect Village President Roger Riccio, who defeated former President Lance Allen and current Trustee Deborah Wright.

Riccio received 217 votes and will serve another year as the head of the Bellows Falls Village Board of Trustees. Allen got 80 votes while Wright earned 77.

Riccio could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Wright, who is on the Rockingham Free Public Library Board of Trustees, was also defeated in her bid for another term as a trustee, accumulating 61 votes. Trustee Colin James was re-elected to his two-year seat (with 173 votes in his favor) and Charlie Hunter was added to the board, with 197 votes.

Scott Falzo received 154 votes and Leslie White got 138.

James told the Reformer he is extremely excited to get another term on the board to put to use the experience he garnered in his first two years.

"I'm very happy," he said Tuesday night after the results were announced. "I just want to thank everyone who came out today and voted. It was definitely a contest."

James reiterated what he said last week, that the first term of any trustee is spent getting used to serving in local government and being appointed to various committees.

He said the trustees' priority now will be the village budget. Voters at Village Meeting Monday rejected the proposed budget of $1,945,357 (with $1,864,482 to be raised by taxes) for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2013, and ending on June 30, 2014. The voters struck down the proposed budget, 38-54. Many had a problem with the $1,139,057 designated for the Bellows Falls Police Department.

James said there likely will be an emergency meeting sometime soon to discuss the budget.

Rockingham Finance Director/Interim Municipal Manager Chip Stearns told the Reformer on Monday that only the village's administration (all department heads) will be paid if a budget is not adopted by July 1.

Hunter could not be reached for comment.

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