FALMOUTH — After a contentious campaign, voters elected three new town councilors Tuesday who all vowed during their campaigns to work collaboratively.

Voters on June 11 also approved the $37.6 million school budget.

Janice de Lima was the top vote-getter in a five-way race for three open seats on the council, with 1,441 votes. The other two winners were Tommy Johnson, who received 1,408 votes, and Jay Trickett, with 1,397.

Valentine Sheldon and Jim Chaousis trailed by wide margins: Sheldon received 784 votes and Chaousis had 387.

Sheldon, an outspoken critic of zoning and land use changes enacted in 2016, rocked the boat late in the campaign by speaking out at a May 29 council meeting and questioning donations he said were received by some of his opponents, particularly de Lima and Trickett.

The school budget passed 1,578 to 453. Votes by the same tally approved using the budget validation referendum process for another three years.

The school budget adds 51 cents to the tax rate. When combined with municipal spending, the rate in Falmouth is expected to go from $16.47 per $1,000 of valuation to $16.99.

In an uncontested race for two seats on the School Board, James Cahan and Krisztina Napolitano were elected with 1,378 and 1,460 votes, respectively.

Voter turnout was about 22%, according to Town Clerk Ellen Planer, who said only 2,080 of the town’s 9,309 registered voters went to the polls.

Superintendent of Schools Geoff Bruno thanked voters Wednesday for their “overwhelming support of our schools.”

De Lima said Tuesday evening that she was “really excited and thrilled” to be elected to the Town Council and said she’s looking forward to serving and working with the other councilors over the next three years.

Johnson said Tuesday he’s “super excited” and said his top priority will be “formulating a better plan” around the now-reversed 2016 rezoning that was debated for the past year.

During their May 29 meeting, councilors voted unanimously to roll back the dimensional standards in the Residential A zones to pre-2016 in order to get what they called a fresh start.

Johnson said his goals also include being willing to listen to different perspectives.

Trickett also thanked voters and said he was “grateful to be selected.” He also said it was clear that voters are still very concerned about land use issues and creating a long-term plan for the town around growth and development.

But, he said, it will also be important for the new council not to lose sight of other issues that need attention.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 780-9097 or [email protected]. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Falmouth Town Council candidates Valentine Sheldon, left, Tommy Johnson, Jay Trickett and Janice De Lima wait to greet voters Tuesday, June 11, at Falmouth High School. Voter turnout on the mostly rainy day was 22%.


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