Edgartown Voters Reject Two Overrides and Elect Acting Town Collector to Stay

By MANDY LOCKE

Town hall veteran Melissa Kuehne saved her job yesterday, winning the post of town collector by a margin of 165 votes.

Ms. Kuehne, currently the acting town collector, has worked in Edgartown financial offices for 18 years, and she got 508 votes.

Competitor Kimberly G. Kane, fellow town hall veteran and current town accountant, secured 192 votes, while political newcomer Maureen McManus-Hill clocked in with 343.

David Rossi, an Edgartown police officer who often works with high school students, edged out his school committee competitors by a margin of nearly 200 votes.

"I'm humbled by the amount of support I got. I'm looking forward to starting up on the committee. I have a lot to learn, but I'm up for the challenge. I'll represent the town fairly and adequately," said Mr. Rossi, reached at home last night. He also expressed interest in being appointed to the high school committee.

Mr. Rossi had 522 votes. School committee candidate Melissa Norton Vincent earned 328 votes, while Michael Cassidy secured 157.

On the planning board, retired attorney and engineer Carl Watt kept his seat - defeating Edgartown businessman Fred Mascolo, 512 to 424. Planning board member Sam Sherman, an architect, also protected his seat, earning 633 votes to fisherman Mark Morris' 307.

In the only other contested race, Patricia Rose beat Richard Fenn for a one-year term on the library board of trustees, 437 to 351.

Elected to office without contest were the following: Michael Dona-roma to the board of selectmen; Edward Belisle to the board of assessors; Harold Zadeh to the board of health; Diane Bongiorno and Nancy Ambrose as library trustees; Nancy Doyle Shemeth for park commission; Martha Look for wastewater commission; John Lovewell for water commission; Glenn Searle for constable; Malcolm Reed, Steven Jordan and Frederick Condon for the financial advisory committee.

David Moore won a write-in contest for a one-year term on the board of health after earning 69 votes to Alfred Fournier's 45.

Thirty-seven per cent of Edgartown's registered voters, 1,074 people, turned out to the polls yesterday.

Voters also settled a number of budget override questions at the polls. All 16 override questions were approved on town meeting floor Tuesday night, but at the ballot box, residents defeated two of the measures: the sewering of Pine street, Curtis Lane and Clark Drive at a cost of $350,000 (516-501) and a dredge department pickup truck for $36,000 (557-462).

Voters did approve $2.47 million worth of overrides to Proposition 2 1/2, the state-mandated tax cap, for the following:

* Nearly $200,000 for special education costs at the Edgartown school (543-475).

* $25,873 to help fund the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority (631-390).

* $75,000 to repair the town clock tower (738-294).

* $30,000 for a new police department cruiser (526-506).

* $35,000 for a police department pickup truck (525-504).

* $95,000 for an addition and renovation of the town fire department (602-426).

* $25,000 for an animal control officer pickup truck (647-385).

* $145,000 for a highway department front-end loader (692-333).

* $28,000 for a highway department pickup truck (525-493).

* $30,000 for road projects by the highway department (798-232).

* $65,000 for town sidewalk repairs by the highway department (766-260).

* $198,684 for the dredge management program (691-327).

* $30,000 for dredge project engineering and permitting (665-345).

* $1.5 million bond for water department capital projects (681-327).

Voters also confirmed their town meeting vote to keep the town collector position elected instead of appointed (609-390).