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Sellew gets the nod, voters reject debt exclusion

Rabbitt earns spot on DC School Committee

Brent and Ann Sellew campaign for his successful selectman’s race alongside some of the numerous child-sized rabbits that symbolized winning School Committee candidate Elaine Rabbitt. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
May 11, 2011
CHARLTON — Charlton has a new selectman.

On Saturday, May 7, voters chose first-time candidate Brent Sellew over two-term incumbent Scott Brown by just over 100 votes, with the third candidate, Joseph Szafarowicz, similarly far behind Brown. They also retained incumbent Town Clerk Darlene Tully and Tree Warden Todd Burlingame by landslide margins, and gave newcomer Elaine Rabbitt a seat on the Dudley-Charlton School Committee.

But the voters rejected the single ballot question — to exempt the already-approved landfill debt from Proposition 2 1/2 — by 568-481. Curiously, the difference between those tallies was notably lower than the number of people who did not vote on that question (288).

"I'm honored that the citizens of Charlton have chosen me to represent them, and I'm very excited," Sellew said afterward. He noted his first priority would be to "learn as much as I can about the job. … I will take it slow and steady and go into this with an open mind."

In his first meeting this Monday, Sellew found himself thrust right into the ongoing budget debate, since the selectmen were slated to finalize their vote on the budget and Town Meeting warrant. Beforehand, he wasn't willing to take a stand, since he'd just received the meeting packet and had not yet read it, he said.

For more on this story, please see today's Southbridge Evening News.

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