With a higher turnout than normal, incumbent Maud Robinson, former Vienna Town councilman and state delegate George Lovelace, and town planning commission chair Sydney Verinder won two-year terms during last week's Vienna Town Council Election held Tuesday, May 6.
Town politicians and council candidates attributed the higher turnout to the number of candidates and the seats available. Six candidates-- Dan Dellinger, Ken Kemper, Paul Layer, George Lovelace, Maud Robinson and Sydney Verinder-- ran for three seats. Robinson was seeking re-election, while current council members Vince Olson and Mike Polychrones were not seeking additional terms.
1,780 voters, or 18.3 percent of the Town's registered 9,722 voters, participated in last week's election.
"There was substantial competition. When competition is good, it brings out a crowd," said councilman Al Boudreau.
Robinson had served on Town Council since 2000, while Lovelace served both on Town Council from 1982 to 1996 and in the House of Delegates from 1996 to 1998. Verinder has been a member of the Town's planning commission for nine years.
While councilwoman Maud Robinson and former councilman George Lovelace had comfortable leads, voters' picks for the third council seat made for a closer race. Verinder beat Dellinger by 32 votes, and beat Paul Layer by 82 votes.
The final tally was Lovelace, 1,069 votes; Robinson, 1,002 votes; Verinder, 807 votes; Dellinger, 775 votes; Layer, 725 votes; and Kemper, 441.
Yet despite the close shave, Dellinger said that he enjoyed meeting people and learning about their issues.
"I think the real winner is the Town of Vienna," Dellinger said. "We did what we accomplished to do, to get people out to vote and to present [their] issues."
Layer agreed with Dellinger's assessment of the race, adding that he felt the key to winning in the election was meeting as many people as possible.
"It was a good race. I think the people who ran had a lot of credentials to be in town government," Layer said.
Although Vienna mayor Jane Seeman wished the turnout was higher, she said the race went well overall.
"It was tough to call, I had no idea how it was going to turn out. To me, that meant we had six good candidates," Seeman said, adding that she heard voters spell out various combinations of three choices during Election Day.
"I was very pleased with the quality of candidates that we had. It was pretty much a win-win situation for Vienna," Seeman continued.