Deerfield voters elect new members to Selectboard, School Committee and assessors

  • People support their candidates outside Deerfield Town Hall on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • People vote in Deerfield Town Hall on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Monday, May 09, 2022

DEERFIELD — Voters opted for new faces in town government on Monday, electing a new Select Board member, School Committee member and an assessor.

Tim Hilchey, the current Conservation Commission and Community Preservation Committee chairman, was elected to a three-year Select Board seat. Annie Curtis was elected to one of the three-year terms on the Deerfield School Committee and Frank Leone was elected to the Board of Assessors. Incumbent Carey Etchells was reelected to her position on the School Committee as well.

Voter turnout was roughly 25% as 956 of the town’s 3,906 voters participated.

Voters also approved Question 1, 551-281, involving a debt exclusion for borrowing $3 million to upgrade the South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Plant at 150 Sunderland Road. Residents at April 25’s annual Town Meeting approved borrowing the money, which will be used to ensure the plant is permit-compliant.

Select Board

Hilchey’s 540 votes edged out incumbent Select Board Chairman David Wolfram’s 407, as Hilchey was picked for his first term on the board after serving several years on the Conservation Commission and Community Preservation Committee. He said he will be giving up those seats now that he is on the Select Board.

“I was pretty pleased about the way we campaigned and I felt good about the outcome,” Hilchey said. “I had a good conversation with Dave Wolfram after the vote was announced and I told him I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him in the future because he has a lot to offer the town.”

Hilchey said his priorities will be to learn the ropes of the Select Board with the goal of preparing the town to gather as many grants as possible to fund projects in town.

“The first thing is, I’ve got a lot to learn,” Hilchey said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to serve the town and get after our local legislators to see how we can be better prepared to get federal and state dollars.”

He thanked the residents of Deerfield for electing him and vowed to work for every resident in town.

“I’m very pleased so many people put their faith in me,” Hilchey said. “I’m one person, and I’m going to try and work for the whole town, whether you voted for me or not.”

School Committee

In a three-way race for two seats, Curtis and Etchells were both elected to the Deerfield School Committee with 542 and 521 votes, respectively. David Sharp, who spent more than 10 years on the School Committee, earned 450 votes.

Curtis, who was elected to her first term on the School Committee, said she was “really excited” to hear that she had won after putting in a lot of campaign work.

“I think that extra hard work paid off with the results,” she said.

Curtis said she is looking forward to joining the committee as she hopes to “continue with the initiatives they’ve started already,” especially in responding to “the evolving needs” of students following several years of pandemic-affected learning.

“There’s going to be a steep learning curve,” she said. “I’m looking forward to jumping in wherever they need me.”

She thanked Sharp for his years of service on the School Committee and thanked the voters of Deerfield for electing her.

“Just like how I campaigned really hard, I plan to do the same in the role on the School Committee,” Curtis said. “I am humbled and I am so grateful they chose me.”

Etchells said she is glad to be re-elected to her seat on the committee, as it shows people support what the committee has been doing.

“It’s good to know people are happy with what you’ve done,” Etchells said. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support.”

She added she is “looking forward to getting kids back to where they were” before the pandemic as children have been under a lot of academic, mental and emotional stress over the past few years.

“I’ve seen it with my own kids, I’ve seen it with other students,” Etchells said. “It’s hard for the kids and the teachers.”

Board of Assessors

Newcomer Frank Leone was elected to the Board of Assessors for his first-ever role in town government with 528 votes compared to Henry “Kip” Komosa’s 406 votes. Leone replaces John Coderre on the board.

Leone thanked the voters of Deerfield for electing him to the position in a post on his campaign Facebook page.

“I am grateful for all the support and positivity graciously offered by so many,” Leone wrote. “I look forward to serving Deerfield in my capacity as assessor, and I appreciate all who voted.”

The other election results are as follows:

■Constable, three-year term — incumbent Sharyn Paciorek, 773 votes.

■Elector Under Oliver Smith Will, one-year term — incumbent Leslie “Lili” Dwight, 730 votes.

■Frontier Regional School District School Committee, three-year term — incumbent Damian Fosnot, 704 votes.

■Planning Board, two positions with three-year terms — incumbents AnnMary Cloutier and Kathleen Watroba, 691 and 699 votes, respectively.

■Tilton Library trustees, three-year term — incumbent Kathleen O’Rourke, 774 votes.