YARMOUTH — After winning a second term on the Town Council, Chairman Rob Waeldner said his highest priority will be to maintain the trust of the community through transparency, open dialogue and respect for differing opinions.

Voters on Tuesday also approved the $26.6 million school budget for fiscal year 2020 by a vote of 797-326.

Waeldner and former Councilor Randall Bates won the four-way race for two council seats. Waeldner received 703 votes and Bates had 688, according to Town Clerk Jennifer Doten. Peter Fromuth and Chris Tanguay, received 552 and 232 votes, respectively.

Uncontested candidates Anne Fleming and Jesica Garrou were elected to the School Committee and residents chose to keep the budget validation referendum process in place for another three years by a vote of 838-373.

Superintendent of Schools Andrew Dolloff thanked voters for supporting the school spending package Wednesday and called it “an exceptionally challenging budget to prepare.”

He said “with continued enrollment growth and the added costs of (various) construction bonds coming online, we asked the local residents to take on a noticeable increase.”

Dolloff said the School Department was “as conservative as possible” in asking for the money needed to meet the demands of Yarmouth’s growing student population.

“We’re appreciative of the fact that this community supports education as strongly as it does, and we will continue to do our best to control costs while providing students with the best opportunities possible,” he said.

Under the combined fiscal year 2020 municipal and school budget of $40.9 million, the tax rate will go up 93 cents, from $17.83 per $1,000 of valuation to $18.76.

Waeldner said Wednesday that he’s “very excited to be re-elected” and that he’s “grateful to the Yarmouth voters for their continued support. I look forward to serving another three-year term.”

His hope is to build consensus on the council around several important issues, including establishing a long-term plan for the new community center. Waeldner is also committed to investigating what can be done to encourage the creation of affordable housing in town.

Another goal, he said, would be maintaining an affordable tax rate for all residents.

Bates, who served from 2011 to 2017, said he is “delighted to be back on the council. It is an honor to serve and I thank the citizens of Yarmouth for this opportunity.”

He said his goals include “working on pragmatic solutions to lowering our property tax rate,” while also continuing to support “our excellent school system.”

Bates also thanked Fromuth and Tanguay for running for Town Council and said he hopes they’ll try again, “as we need good folks like them helping Yarmouth.”

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



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