Top Stories 2012: Voter Fatigue In Northbridge

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Northbridge voters were called to elections or town meetings eight times in 2012.
Northbridge voters were called to elections or town meetings eight times in 2012. Photo Credit: Deborah Gauthiher

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The phrase “voter fatigue’’ was heard a few times in the final weeks of 2012 in Northbridge.

In addition to the local voting, state primary and presidential election, as well as the annual spring and fall town meetings, Northbridge voters were called to two special town meetings as well as a special election.

It began with a special town meeting Feb. 21 called by the Board of Selectmen. Its purpose was to expand the town’s Historic District with the hope of protecting the last remaining Whitin mansion on Hill Street – currently known as Oakhurst Retreat and previously House of Affirmation – from demolition.

The 25-acre property was put up for sale the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester. It has since been purchased by James Knott, who plans to restore the large home as a convention center.

That was followed March 6 with a presidential primary election. Northbridge voters supported Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Scott Brown.

Voters approved a $37.1 million budget at the spring town meeting April 30, also approving a plan to install artificial turf at Lasell Field.

At the town election May 15, voters re-elected James Marzec to the Board of Selectmen but refused to support a Proposition 2 ½ override for the $900,000 artificial turf proposal.

The fall town meeting was held Oct. 23, followed by a special town meeting Dec. 4 and a special election Dec. 17.

In the presidential election Nov. 6. voters went against the national trend and put their support again behind Republicans Romney and Brown.

At the Dec. 4 meeting, voters approved the purchase of a building on Douglas Road to convert to a Department of Public Works facility. At the Dec. 17 election, however, voters refused a Proposition 2 ½ exemption for that project.

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