Pascoag voters pass budget, elect new commissioners


BURRILLVILLE – A police and fire dispatcher who also works in special education, and a lieutenant colonel in the Rhode Island Army National Guard, have secured three year terms on the Pascoag Fire Commission.

Chris Toti and Kathy Polacek were elected to seats on the board, with 157 and 134 votes respectively, at the district’s annual meeting on Monday, Sept. 9.

Carmella White was elected for a one year term on the commission with 133 votes.

The three beat out opponents Cynthia Lussier, who received 123 votes; Chris Watson, at 118 votes; and Vinny Micucci, with 50 votes.

Toti has served as chairman of the board since May, when he was appointed to replace Robert Keable. On Monday, he told the crowd gathered that the draft audit shows the district $3,500 in the black, and that this year’s fiscal plan is more transparent.

“The budget has been completely overhauled,” Toti said. “Line items are more specific. We feel that this new budget format will allow the public to more closely track expenditures the district is making.”

Votes were cast by 268 eligible voters at the meeting, considered a large turnout for the small village fire district.

“It’s a very spirited election,” noted moderator Raymond Trinque.

Trinque was again elected as moderator following a challenge by resident Julia O’Rourke, who was nominated from the floor during the meeting. Trinque received 151 votes to O’Rourke’s 79.

Joe Houle will serve as the district clerk and Newt Stevens will serve as tax assessor, both of whom ran unopposed.

The 2019-2020 budget was passed unanimously by those in attendance an improvement to last year’s circumstances, which saw residents delay the budget vote over audit concerns.

The new commission is scheduled to meet tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 11, for a reorganizational meeting to elect officers.

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