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Count of paper ballots confirms Wood's win over Haskell in Thurman

Warren County election officials Kim Ross (left) and Connie Service open up absentee and affidavit ballots Wednesday Nov. 13 to determine the winner of the race for Thurman town supervisor. On election night, Nov. 5, Present Supervisor Evelyn Wood had a 23-vote advantage over former supervisor John Haskell.

Warren County election officials Kim Ross (left) and Connie Service open up absentee and affidavit ballots Wednesday Nov. 13 to determine the winner of the race for Thurman town supervisor. On election night, Nov. 5, Present Supervisor Evelyn Wood had a 23-vote advantage over former supervisor John Haskell. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood’s comeback victory to win re-election was confirmed Wednesday as a count of votes on absentee and affidavit ballots barely narrowed Wood’s 23-vote advantage she held on Election Day’s machine-vote tally.

The final but unofficial vote count released Monday at about noon by the Warren County Board of elections was 277 votes for Evelyn Wood, and 255 for John Haskell.

Although she is a member of the Republican party, Wood had lost the G.O.P. ballot line by a greater than 2-1 margin to Haskell in the September primary election.

Although she had earned a reputation as a hard worker and a successful manager of local government, she sparked strong opposition among members and friends of the Thurman emergency squad.

At issue was Wood and the town board had voted not to spend tax dollars on supporting the squad because of its questionable finances and lack of advanced life support certification.

She also voted to stop municipal trash pickup — rare for a rural town — based on looming costs for a replacing an aging garbage truck and the eveer-increasing transportation costs. She and the board also opposed the principle of landowners — many who generated no trash — subsidizing other citizens’ trash pickup costs through their property taxes.

Wood had been praised regionally for her round-the-clock work in recovering from the devastating 2011 floods, straightened out long-standing problems with town finances. Also she gained praise and fame for launching a nationally renowned effort to connect Thurman citizens to the Internet via innovative “white space” wireless technology. She also brought a record amount of grant funding into town during her several years in office.

But a substantial number of people opposed her re-election because of the changes she made. Some residents were resentful, despite the fact that the changes kept their taxes in check.

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