Toothaker, Burgess win Newburgh selectmen seats

Posted April 13, 2011, at 10:22 p.m.

NEWBURGH, Maine — A complete revamping of the town’s Board of Selectmen was completed Wednesday night with the election of former Selectman Steven Burgess and newcomer Craig Toothaker.

They join recently elected Selectman Mike Burns, who was elected to a full term in a March 8 regular election.

According to unofficial numbers provided by Burns, who was at the town office in the former Newburgh Elementary School on Wednesday evening to observe the ballot counting, Burgess was elected to the vacant two-year term and Toothaker received enough votes to fill the vacant one-year position.

The vacancies were created when Leonard “Buddy” Belcher and Leona Smith resigned last month because of what they called constant criticism from some residents.

Burns said Burgess received 232 votes while Smith received 55 write-in votes and Cynthia Prescott, a former licensed practical nurse and business owner, received 34.

Toothaker, who owns a metal fabrication business, won the one-year term with 173 votes to 94 by Jeff Watson, a planning board member and owner of a meat-processing business, and 34 for Charlie Gibbs, a farmer.

Several other write-in candidates also earned votes.

Burgess, a lifelong Newburgh resident who served as a selectman for six years in the 1990s, said he is in favor of many of the changes residents favored at last month’s town meeting, such as increasing the number of selectmen from three to five, instituting a recall process by which voters can remove selectmen, and changing the town governmental system from using a town manager to a town administrator.

Burgess was sworn in to his new office Wednesday night and Toothaker will be sworn in Thursday. Their terms will begin immediately.

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