BREWSTER – By a more than a 2-1 margin, town voters yesterday said no thanks to more chemicals – fluoride – in the town water system.
In a nonbinding ballot question, Brewster voters rejected the idea of adding fluoride to the water system by a 1,444-636 vote.
By margins almost as large, voters also rejected four Proposition 21/2 overrides for more three more firefighters, two more elementary teachers and an assistant recreation department director. But they did approve creation of a cost-free cemetery commission, to be appointed by the board of selectmen.
In a nod for continuity, voters returned by easy margins incumbent selectmen John Mitchell and Steven Eldredge. In a race where the top two contenders won, Eldredge took the high vote with 1,439, Mitchell came in second with 1,412, Howard Cass, the challenger, lost with a 684-vote total.
“It is always a pleasure to win an election. I’m very happy about it,” said Mitchell, who won his fourth consecutive three-year term. He said in his campaigning people raised issues about another gas station on Route 6A, town recycling programs, transfer station hours and town finances.
Eldredge, who also serves on the planning board, won his second straight term.
“It means I have a job for the next three years,” the self-employed owner of Eldredge Welding joked, adding that he was grateful for the support.
In a hard-fought campaign, acting Town Clerk Joanne Krauss defeated challenger Jeanne Brown, 1,392-637, for a three-year clerk term.
In the three-way race for two vacancies on the board of health, incumbent Patricia Schmidt won re-election with 1,254 votes, challenger Edward Wanamaker came in second with 1,165, ousting incumbent Donna Sawchuk, who polled 939-votes.
In the three-way race for two seats on the elementary school committee, incumbents Stephen Jones, with 1,200 votes, and Paul Dixon, with 1,123, defeated challenger John O’Reilly, who garnered 1,111.
And in the Brewster Planning Board race, incumbent Robert Bugle, with 876 votes, defeated challenger Robert McLellan, who polled 860. Recreation commission incumbents Renee Berry and James Packett also won, defeating challenger Edward Guazzaloca.
More than 32 percent of Brewster’s voters turned out in what were still unofficial returns last night, since at press time absentee and write-in ballots still remained to be counted.