November 06. 2015 2:01AM
By Ken Cleveland
BOLTON – Voters turned out Monday for a special election, choosing Tom Frain to fill out the Board of Selectmen.
Frain was elected to fill the seat vacated by Larry Delaney, who resigned shortly after he was re-elected in the spring, following two contentious town meetings. There were 654 votes cast at the special election. Frain defeated Ken Troup by a vote of 353-296.
Meanwhile, Neal Darcy, who had been chosen (by selectmen and the remaining Bolton school representative) to fill the Nashoba Regional School Committee seat left empty when Nancy Federspiel resigned in the spring after she was re-elected, was elected without opposition, with a total of 483 votes.
“I feel very fortunate to win the election,” Frain said after the election. “I’ve never been in a contested election before. It’s a lot of hard work, especially against someone like Ken Troup, who has so much support. And, I had a lot of help from my neighbors for which I am very grateful.”
“I wish him luck,” Troup said after initial results were posted. “I guess the fresh perspective is what they must have wanted.”
“I think the town’s citizens want to be respected and they want change and transparency,” Frain said. “And, with the average tax bill at nearly $10,000, I think they are also very concerned about spending.”
Troup had run after Delaney’s resignation, offering to step back into a position he had held for a total of 25 years before he left office in 2010.
Troup, who remains involved in numerous town groups and projects, said he had indicated that “whether I win or he does, the town would benefit from a high turnout.”
That was the case as nearly 19 percent of the town’s 3,496 registered voters participated, 33 of them by absentee ballot.
“For a special election with only one contested race, I think the turnout was terrific and it would have been tough for me to win without it,” Frain said. “I think the message that was heard loud and clear from (Monday’s) vote is ‘change and transparency.’ There was also a terrific effort by many to call attention to low voter turnout and why it’s important to vote. I hope everyone that voted continues to pay attention to what’s going on. It will make the town a better place.”
The town has seen political debate and discord during the course of the past year focused on the budget and the potential transfer of Main Street to the state.
“I think the town’s demographic has been changing for a long time,” Frain said. “While there’s more affluence, there are still families that depend upon a paycheck arriving every week.
“Both groups want a nice, peaceful town with services and good schools. They want their children to do well and thrive the same way my parents did. They don’t need any more hassles. I think the rolling controversies of the past year beckoned scrutiny of the town’s operations. I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Selectman and to earn the trust of the voters and my community. I want people to call me with their concerns, whether they are big or small.”