Tracy wins special Town Council election in Freeport

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FREEPORT — Sarah Tracy won Wednesday’s special election for the Town Council District 2 seat by a more than 2-1 margin.

Tracy defeated Joyce Clarkson-Veilleux, 304-133, in the contest between political neophytes. Her election fills a vacancy created by the resignation in January of former Councilor Kate Arno.

Tracy will be the fourth new councilor seated in recent months. The other recently elected councilors are Andrew Wellen, Melanie Sachs and Scott Gleeson.

FREEPORT — Sarah Tracy won the March 20 special election for the Town Council District 2 seat by more than a 2-1 margin.

Tracy defeated Joyce Clarkson-Veilleux, 304-133, in the contest between political neophytes. Her election fills a vacancy created by the resignation in January of former Councilor Kate Arno.

“The race was positive and people were engaged,” Tracy said March 22. “It was really gratifying that the district turned out and voted. People really were just very positive about my candidacy and took time to help and come out to vote even though things were busy and we had a snowstorm.”

She said she looks forward to working with the council and will be immediately focusing on the budget.

“I’ve been attending council meetings for last couple months, so I know the issues and I look forward to hitting the ground running,” Tracy said. “I’ll be looking at areas to tighten our belts, so if (Freeport High School) renovation is approved, the project’s impact will be mitigated a bit.”

Tracy was sworn in on March 21 and afterward spent time meeting with municipal staff to become familiar with town operations, she said.

Clarkson-Veilleux said although she is disappointed she lost, the campaign was a positive experience.

“I was very thankful I had opponent I had,” she said. “She ran a clean, friendly race. I don’t think a nasty word was said about the opponent on either side. I wish more races could be like that.”

One of the most important issues during the campaign was keeping taxes from increasing, Tracy said.

“People are wanting to make sure costs remain low so that people who have lived here a long time can stay,” she said. “And that’s attributed to our soul as a town. Our soul is the people who have lived here for generations.”

Clarkson-Veilleux agreed and said she hopes the council will do its best to keep taxes low.

“I just hope they can roll their sleeves up and try bring down the cost of the town budget,” she said, suggesting that living in town is becoming too expensive for many long-time residents. “If that means we have to cut back on numbers of services that the town offers, than that’s what we have to do.”

Tracy will be the fourth new town councilor seated in recent months, bringing it back to full strength. The other recently elected councilors are Andrew Wellen, Melanie Sachs and Scott Gleeson.

Tracy’s first official council meeting will be April 2.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.

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