PITTSTON — Residents have once again made it clear they want a change in leadership at the Town Office.

The current chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, Wanda Burns-Macomber, finished third in Monday’s municipal election, losing to Jane Hubert, according to unofficial results released Tuesday morning.

Hubert, a former selectwoman, garnered 350 votes to Burns-Macomber’s 39, according to Rose Webster, the interim town clerk, treasurer and tax collector. Stanley Byrne, also a former selectman, had 101 votes.

Hubert said she thinks the backlash about the board’s decision to not reappoint former Town Clerk Ann Chadwick was a major reason for her large margin of victory over Burns-Macomber.

The only candidate for Personnel Board, Tammy Usher, won with 343 votes.

For the Budget Committee, the top three write-in vote-getters were Hope Ricker, Vicki Kelley and Sam Snow.

Hubert said she plans to encourage residents to share their views with the board at meetings.

“I just want to open it more to public input and citizen participation,” she said. “These are the people that run the town. The select board are there to work their wishes.”

Hubert said there are times the selectmen have to make decisions the public is against, but it’s important to involve citizens to avoid confusion.

At Saturday’s annual Town Meeting, residents approved a budget slightly lower than what was proposed in the town warrant.

The public voted to remove the equivalent of Chadwick’s salary — $31,000 — from the budget. They also cut the funding for that position’s retirement match and rejected the $9,000 request to fund legal services.

The portion of the approved $1,130,823 budget raised by taxes increased almost 6 percent compared to last year.

The selectmen fired Chadwick when she refused to resign at a meeting March 6.

A memo from the three-member board stated that Chadwick’s performance hadn’t improved after two evaluations last year.

Chadwick’s supporters submitted petitions less than a week after the decision, with triple the number of signatures needed to trigger a recall election of the selectmen.

The recall election, if the selectmen don’t resign, won’t be held for more than a month.

The certified petition will be passed on to the board at its Wednesday night meeting, Webster said.

Selectman Tim Marks, also a state representative for the area, said he’s considering resigning in response to the public uproar but has not made a final decision.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663
[email protected]

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