Peirce, Smith to join Orange Selectboard

  • Jane Peirce Contributed photo

Recorder Staff
Monday, March 05, 2018

ORANGE — Jane M. Peirce won the only contested seat on the Selectboard, expanding the board from three to five members.

The annual town election Monday saw Peirce voted into a two-year term, defeating George C. F. Willard in a close race, according to unofficial election results from Town Clerk Nancy Blackmer. Peirce and first-time candidate Thomas J. Smith, who ran unopposed, were chosen for two new seats on the board. Smith, as well as incumbent Ryan W. Mailloux, were elected to three-year seats.

“I appreciate all the support I received,” Peirce said following the unofficial results being announced.

According to those results, Peirce defeated Willard with 359 votes, or by 52 percent, compared to Willard’s 317, or 46 percent. Total voter turnout was 689 out of 4,750 registered voters, or 14.5 percent.


Meanwhile, residents rejected a tax levy as a means to pay for an upgrade to a wastewater treatment facility. Voters were asked to answer a non-binding question on the ballot, which asked how the upgrade would be financed. A “yes” vote supported at least 25 percent of the cost coming from a tax levy, while a “no” vote supported the upgrades being paid for through “user charges and other revenues.”

Residents cast 350 votes, or just under 59 percent, for “no,” and 244, or just over 41 percent, for “yes,” according to unofficial results.

New face

Peirce said she appreciated Willard’s participation in the close election and noted that “voters had two great candidates” to choose from.

A lifelong Orange resident, Peirce has previously worked for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and has served on several boards and commissions in the town, including one previous term on Selectboard.

Peirce was also a graduate of both Orange Elementary School and Mahar Regional High School and received a master’s degree in resource management.

In addition to the Selectboard position, Peirce ran unopposed for re-election to the Board of Health. According to Peirce, she said she will transition away from being the Board of Health’s chairwoman, and will also work to completely leave the board once a suitable replacement is found.

Changes to Selectboard

With the election, the Selectboard will now have five members. The board’s size was expanded from three in a special town meeting decision in October 2017.

The Selectboard will see staggered terms as early as next year, with current Selectboard member Richard Sheridan’s term expiring in 2019. Then, current member James E. Cornwell’s and Peirce’s terms will expire in 2020, followed by Mailloux and Smith’s terms expiring in 2021.

Following the expiration of these terms, the Selectboard positions will become three-year terms, Blackmer said.

Uncontested results

In addition to the Selectboard, several other committees and boards were also on the ballot, though all those elected ran unopposed.

For town moderator, Christopher J Woodcock was elected to a one-year term.

For the Elementary School Committee, Stephanie J. Conrad and Robert H. Haigh Sr. were both re-elected to three-year terms and Alexandre A. Schwanz was elected to a two-year term. No candidate was listed for a one-year term on the committee.

The Regional School Committee saw Chante M. Jillson and Patricia A. Smith both re-elected to three-year terms.

Nathaniel J. Johnson was elected to a three-year term as a library trustee, while a second three-year seat had no candidates.

Michael F. Hume was re-elected as a water commissioner for a three-year term.

Selectboard member James E. Cornwell was also re-elected cemetery commissioner for a three-year term.

Scott A. Hubbard was re-elected as a trustee of soldiers’ memorials — veteran, and Christopher J. Marshall was re-elected as a trustee of soldiers’ memorials — non-veteran, both for three-year terms.

Tracy S. Gaudet was also elected to the Housing Authority on a four-year term, while a three-year seat had no candidates.