March 1, 2011, Burlington Free Press, John Briggs
The low turnout for Tuesday’s annual Burlington city election worked well for incumbent city councilors, but not so current School Board members.
School Board Chairman Fred Lane was ousted by newcomer Paul Hochanadel in Ward 5, 508 to 371. In the other contest school board contest, challenger Ed Scott easily defeated incumbent Nathan Moreau in Ward 7, 656-437. Scott made an issue of Moreau’s record of attendance at board and committee meetings.
Lane said he was disappointed by his loss but gratified that voters approved the $53.4 million school budget.
“First and foremost,” he said, “I’m delighted that the school budget passed. I’m very grateful to the voters. That’s six years in a row we’ve passed it on the first try.”
The vote on the budget was 3,140-2,782.
Lane credited Hochanadel for his hard work in the campaign and said voters may have responded to his opponent pointing out that the other Ward 5 board member, Amy Werbel, is Lane’s partner, making the ward’s two representatives part of the same household.
“Obviously,” he said, “I’m disappointed. I was looking forward to continuing my work on the board. Paul worked hard, and his effort really made the difference.”
In City Council races, In Ward 3, Progressive Vince Brennan, the incumbent, took 59 percent of the vote against two opponents. He got 354 votes to 171 for Democrat Lynn-Marie Mesick and 63 for independent Ron Ruloff.
Brennan won his seat in November in a special election to finish the term of Progressive Marrisa Caldwell, who resigned while in her first term. On Tuesday, he won a full two-year term.
In Ward 7, incumbent Vincent Dober won a new term by defeating Democrat Greg Jenkins 702-567.
Other councilors were unopposed. In Ward 4, newcomer Dave Hartnett, a Democrat, will replace Democrat Nancy Kaplan. And in Ward 6, Democrat Norman Blais was unopposed as he ran to replace Democrat Mary Kehoe, who decided not to seek a second term.
The council’s political configuration will be unchanged: Seven Democrats, three Republicans, two Progressives and two independents.