White returns to Dummerston board

Thursday March 7, 2013

DUMMERSTON -- Lewis White was just waiting for the voters to have their say.

The former chairman of Dummerston Selectboard, who had left the governing body last month amid a conflict-of-interest debate, returned to the board Wednesday after he was overwhelmingly re-elected.

White said he also had received many phone calls and e-mails encouraging him to return to town governance.

"I’d like to say, ‘Thank you for your support,’" White said.

White was joined at Wednesday’s meeting by Joe Cook, a new Selectboard member who was elected during Tuesday’s voting. White is starting a two-year term, while Cook was elected to a three-year term.

"It’s exciting, and it’s overwhelming," Cook said. "I’m just thankful to be on the board, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge."

During reorganizational proceedings, Zeke Goodband was named chairman of the board. White will be vice chairman, while Bill Holiday will serve as clerk.

If White had not accepted the Selectboard seat, his fellow board members would have had to appoint someone.

For much of February, the board had been operating with just four members. White had submitted a letter of resignation following a Feb. 6 meeting where a resident had questioned his ties to the town road foreman, who is White’s cousin.

Other town officials and residents defended White’s record, and the remaining Selectboard members refused to accept his resignation. But White did not participate in meetings for the remainder of the month.

However, he had left the door open to return to the board pending the outcome of Tuesday’s elections.

Though White had no listed competition on the ballot, he said a large number of write-in votes for others would have signaled that voters lacked confidence in his ability to avoid conflicts of interest on the board.

That did not happen. White received 256 votes and 14 write-ins, while there were just 15 total write-in votes cast for other candidates.

"People showed how they felt by voting for me," White said Wednesday, adding that he wants to continue serving in the same manner as he had before.

"I’m here to do my best for the town," White said. "That’s my goal. It always has been and always will be."

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.


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