Caraman elected to Select Board in Pownal

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POWNAL>> Suzanne Caraman is the newest Select Board member following Tuesday's special election.

Voters cast 172 votes for Caraman and 89 to challenger John Bushee, Jr.

A total of 262 of the town's roughly 2,350 registered voters cast ballots in the special election, representing a turnout of about 11 percent. One ballot was spoiled, according to the town clerk's office.

Caraman, 65, works full time at Bennington College. She previously served as the town's delinquent tax collector from 1999 to 2010.

In an interview with the Banner on Saturday, Caraman said she's always been interested in things happening in town. Her father Arthur George was on the board when she was a child, she said.

Caraman said she wants to keep taxes affordable for residents. She said she is a big believer in following policies and procedures and would help bring organization to the board as they face issues like hiring a new road foreman and finding a new space for town offices. Caraman said the town isn't applying for enough grants and, if elected, she would seek out someone with grant-writing experience.

Caraman said she thought the Select Board should study whether or not it should hire a town administrator or manager and that she needed more information on the issue. On a new town office, Caraman said voters can't afford the proposed $1 million new building and that she would support a cheaper alternative, like a renovation of the Roost building on Route 7. Caraman also said she wants to see the town's junk ordinance enforced.

The race was for the remaining two years of a three-year term left vacant when member Raymond "R.J." Joly resigned in March.

Caraman will serve alongside Chairman Ron Bisson, Vice Chairman Nelson Brownell, and members Jason Olansky and Henry Strohmaier.

Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979


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