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Voters tab Tedstone, LaFreniere for Select Board

by | May 29, 2019 | News

Garabedian re-elected as moderator

Mary Jo LaFreniere, shown campaigning alongside fellow Democrat Shahidul Mannan outside Hopkinton Middle School on May 20, was elected to the Select Board.

According to Town Clerk Connor Degan, Hopkinton secured a voter turnout of 17.9 percent, with 2,146 of 11,987 registered voters casting ballots at the town’s annual election on May 20. It’s a turnout higher than achieved by most surrounding towns in local elections.

The winners in the five contested races include Brendan Tedstone and Mary Jo LaFreniere for Select Board, Tom Garabedian for town moderator, Robert Benson for Planning Board, Cynthia Esthimer for Parks and Recreation and Sue Kurys for Commissioner of Trust Funds.

Brendan Tedstone (left) was voted to another term on the Select Board.
Photo Michelle Murdock

In the Select Board race, Tedstone, an incumbent, received a total of 1,097 votes, followed by LaFreniere with 990 votes (technically the results are unofficial until the provisional ballots have been reconciled).

“It’s always nice to win, but the fact that the townspeople have the confidence to re-elect me to the board is what really feels good,” Tedstone said. “We have many ongoing projects I’m looking forward to seeing to completion, as well as many new issues coming before us.”

LaFreniere, a Democrat, said she enjoyed every aspect of the campaign, from meeting people to knocking on doors. On election day she was at the middle school at 6:30 a.m. and was the first to vote when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

“It was an amazing journey,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to try it. It was an incredible experience.”

And while it feels good, LaFreniere said it is also a bit intimidating because there is a lot of work to be done. She also is thankful for the support of her team members, noting, “They had my back the whole way and I really appreciate it.”

While not re-elected, outgoing Select Board Chair Claire Wright said she was proud of the work accomplished during her tenure on the board.

“I’m honored that I was entrusted to serve in the town’s highest position, and I’m extremely proud of the work that’s been done,” Wright said. “Hopkinton is in a very good place right now — on strong financial ground, with quality services, excellent schools and a budget that is under control. I think people realize this, and I haven’t felt any undercurrent of marked public dissatisfaction with the board.

“Regrettably, I feel this election was somewhat colored by unfortunate social media discourse and projections of national politics on town government, which bears no relation. I did feel that issues of substance took a backseat to personality and politics. I hope, for the sake of our town, that this will change in the future. The election was also, of course, very real proof that ‘every vote counts!’ I continue to love Hopkinton and wish the new board the very best.”

In the race for town moderator, incumbent Tom Garabedian was re-elected, beating Ellen Rutter by a margin of 60 votes.

“I’m honored to be re-elected,” Garabedian said. “Ellen was certainly a worthy and qualified opponent. I would like her to continue as deputy moderator.”

Speaking about plans for the upcoming year, he added: “We’ll add material to the town website that will provide more education about Town Meeting for the benefit of our newer residents. We heard concerns about the length of this past Town Meeting and we’ll work to get better adherence to the length of presentations and of citizens’ comments and questions. I reiterate that we all have a responsibility to be informed about the town issues that are on the meeting warrant so that we can accomplish the important work of the town in a more timely fashion.”

Successful in his bid for the two-year seat on the Planning Board by a margin pf 301 votes, Robert Benson said, “I am looking forward to the future and being able to listen to all of the voices of Hopkinton residents, bring that input to the Planning Board, and do what’s in the best interest of the town.”

Winning candidates Cynthia Esthimer for Parks and Recreation Commission and Sue Kurys for Commissioner of Trust Funds could not immediately be reached for comment.

In addition to electing candidates for various town boards, residents also voted on four ballot questions, all of which passed, including Question 1 for an underride. LaFreniere also weighed in on this issue after the election and said that she was somewhat ambivalent since an underride can be viewed as both good and bad.

“It’s done, we’ll live with it and move on,” she said.

Jessica Beattie leaves the Hopkinton Middle School gym with daughter Ashley and son Tommy after voting in the Town Election May 20. Photo/Jerry Spar




(2 seats, 3 years)

Brendan Tedstone, unenrolled 1,097

Mary Jo LaFreniere, Democrat 990

Claire B. Wright, Republican 932

Shahidul Hassan Mannan, Democrat 931



(1 seat, 3 years)

Thomas J. Garabedian, Republican 1,064

Ellen D. Rutter, Democrat 1,004



(1 seat, 3 years)

Connor B. Degan, unenrolled 1,800



(1 seat, 3 years)

Gunajit Medhi, unenrolled 1,577



(1 seat, 3 years)

Richard Peter Jacobs, unenrolled 1,615



(2 seats, 3 years)

Susan E. Porter, Democrat 1,566

Janice LP Barry, Democrat 1,449



(1 seat, 3 years)

John L. Palmer, unenrolled 1,674



(1 seat, 3 years)

Cynthia S. Esthimer, Democrat 869

Peter M. Edwards, unenrolled 579

Robert Evan Davis, Republican 520



(1 seat, 3 years)

Susan M. Kurys, Democrat 1,272

Gerald E. Tuite, Republican 654



(1 seat, 3 years)

Michael A. Hayes, Democrat 1,560



(1 seat, 5 years)

Warren E. Johnson, unenrolled 1,540



(1 seat, 5 years)

Gary B. Trendel, unenrolled 1,586



(1 seat, 2-year unexpired term)

Robert C. Benson Jr., unenrolled 975

Michael J. McNamara, unenrolled 674



(1 seat, 1-year unexpired term)

Patrick Atwell, Democrat 1,573



(1 Seat, 3 years)

Nancy M. Richards-Cavanaugh, unenrolled 1,618




Question 1: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be required to reduce the amount of real estate and personal property taxes to be assessed for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019, by an amount equal to $1,180,568?

Yes, 1,409

No, 627

Question 2: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition 2 1/2, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase a ladder truck for the Fire Department?

Yes, 1,482

No, 592

Question 3: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of 2 1/2, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase an interest in land contiguous with the Town Hall property for the purpose of providing Town Hall parking?

Yes, 1,326

No, 755

Question 4: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of 2 1/2, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase an interest in one or more parcels of land for the purpose of providing municipal parking in the downtown area?

Yes, 1,304

No, 773



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