JAMES TRUSIANI

JAMES TRUSIANI

James Trusiani won the unexpired term on the Board of Selectmen in a special election Tuesday.

Trusiani received 166 votes in the three-way race; William Thompson received 124 votes and Jean Wolkens earned 79. The term ends Nov. 5.

Town Clerk Ruth Lyons said there were two write-in votes and a total of 371 votes cast Tuesday.

“I’m grateful for all the people who came out and voted,” Trusiani said Tuesday night. “I’m a little disappointed in the numbers that didn’t come out and vote. Maybe some of it was because of the lack of proactive signage.”

He added, “Three people ran a very clean campaign… We’ve got eight months worth of very difficult times in front of us with what the state is trying to do, and hopefully I can land on my feet and sink my teeth in and make some decisions and help the town through this.”

In light of Gov. Paul LaPage’s proposal to suspend municipal revenue sharing for two years and eliminate the homestead property tax exemption and circuit breaker program except for those 65 and older and veterans, Trusiani said, “Hopefully the Legislature that we’ve put in realize that can’t happen; $650,000 in the town of Topsham is about an 80 cent increase on our (property tax) rate without doing anything. Locally … that’s major cuts, and a property tax increase I don’t think is going to fly.”

The reduction equates to 10 percent of the town’s revenue, Trusiani said. “Does that mean cuts? Cuts have got to be implied.”

Right now, Trusiani said, “we’re at the mercy of the state, federal government.”

He said he understands the state has a budget to balance, “but not on my back; not on my watch.”

Currently a public member of the Sagadahoc County Budget Advisory Committee, he said he hopes as a selectman to find a way to continue that work he’s been a part of for six years.

“We’ll move forward… Times are tough. Dollars are not there.”

Trusiani served nine years on the board before losing a tight three-way race for two seats in 2011.

Tuesday’s election was held to fill the seat vacated by Andrew Mason, who won the House District 60 race in November as the Democratic candidate running against Wolkens.

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