A dreary day and few competitive races combined to produce a dismal turnout in Saturday’s annual town election, with just over 13 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

In what was the only real semblance of drama heading into the in-person part of the voting, David Golden – the sole candidate on the ballot for a seat on the Select Board –  easily fended off a last-minute effort write-in campaign for Bill Keohan, the embattled chair of the Community Preservation Committee.

Unofficial results from the town clerk’s office showed Golden with 4,703 votes, compared with 848 unresolved write-in votes, mostly of them likely for Keohan. The write-in tally is expected to be counted on Monday.

Golden is due to be sworn into office on Tuesday, succeeding Harry Helm, who did not seek re-election.

Golden is already a familiar face in town government. He serves on the Board of Health and the Manomet Village Steering Committee, has been a Town Meeting member, and chairs the Memorials Advisory Committee and Charter Review Committee. It’s unclear whether he will give up any of those positions now that he is joining the five-member Select Board.  

Neither Golden nor Keohan – who did not campaign – responded to requests for comment.

David Golden will join the five-member Select Board on Tuesday. Credit: (David Golden campaign)

Just 6,767 people out of 51,843 registered voters took part in the election that ended Saturday. That represents a 13.05 percent turnout, lower than the 15.46 percent turnout for January’s special election that overturned a ban on the sale of nips, and the 15 percent of voters in last year’s town election.

Tim Bennett (above) beat Frank Mand by just over 300 votes to win a seat on the Planning Board. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)

In a race for a seat on the Planning Board, Tim Bennett beat Frank Mand by 320 votes for a five-year term on the five-member board. Bennett received 3,287 votes to Mand’s 2,967, representing a 52.56 percent to 47.44 percent margin of victory.  

“I’m honored to be chosen by the voters and proud to serve our great Town,” Bennett said in a text message to the Independent. “I am looking forward to working with my fellow board members, and listening to those all residents including those who may not have voted for me.”

Mand, a journalist who also describes himself as a conservationist, had pledged to run a “grassroots” campaign, accepting no financial contributions.

“I’m disappointed, of course, because I believe my experience and perspective are needed on the Planning Board – especially now, as we restart the Master Plan process,” Mand said in an email Sunday morning. “Ultimately, though, I am still optimistic about Plymouth’s future, as I see a growing awareness of our environmental legacy and its importance in maintaining our quality of life.”

In the five-candidate race for three spots – each for a three-year term – on the seven-person School Committee, incumbents Katherine Jackson and Vedna Heywood won re-election, with newcomer Ashley Shaw taking the third seat.

Jackson, a photographer who was elected to a third term, took the most votes, 4,220, or 24.65 percent, followed by Heywood, a critical care surgical trauma nurse. She was elected to a second term with 3,857 votes, or 22.53 percent.  

Shaw, a former member of the Advisory and Finance Committee, beat out Brittany Rogers, her former colleague on the committee, and Hunter Young, who at 18 years old was making his first bid to participate in town government.

Shaw won 3,565 votes, or 20.83 percent, to Rogers’s 3,338 votes, or 19.5 percent, and Young’s 2,138, or 12.49 percent.  

Dennis Sampson was elected to the Housing Authority and Stephen Palmer, who chairs the Redevelopment Authority, was re-elected to that board. Both ran unopposed for five-year terms.  

Town Meeting members for all 18 precincts were also elected. Each precinct elects three members, but in another sign of a relative lack of interest in town government, only two candidates ran in each of precincts 6, 9, 11, 12, and 18.  

Complete results can be found on the Town of Plymouth’s website.  

Fred Thys can be reached at fred@plymouthindependent.org.

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