SHIRLEY -- Incumbents running in Tuesday's annual town election for selectman and School Committee faced no challengers, nor did the sole candidate for town moderator. The only "race" this year was a relatively low-key contest between the current constable and a challenger who has run for the job before.
There were no ballot questions.
But Town Clerk Amy MacDougall said she anticipated a long night.
Citing open seats on the Planning Board and Recreation Commission, for which nobody took out nomination papers, MacDougall said she expected write-ins, prolonging the process for election workers hand counting ballots after the polls closed at 8 p.m.
At 2:45 Tuesday afternoon, the crank ballot box Joe Landry manned at the door showed 226 people had voted so far, despite a faulty mechanism on the number two.
Outside, two candidates stood by their signs on the green as a chill mist began to fall.
They'd both been there since the polls opened at 7 a.m., according to first-time moderator candidate and former Selectman Enrico Cappucci.
He and Selectman Robert Prescott agreed that being there on Election Day was "the right thing to do," Cappucci said, even though both were running unopposed.
Others came early, too. McDougall said there was one person waiting when she arrived to open the polls and a line formed quickly. After that, voters arrived in a "steady trickle" all day, she said, predicting a pick-up later, "after people get off work."
After voting Tuesday afternoon, Richard Henry said his trip to the polls was serendipitous rather than planned. After stopping at the bank next door, he noticed "something going on" at Town Offices and went over, he said.
A resident since 1929, Henry was 1 when his family moved to Shirley, he said. Asked if he still likes living in town, Henry said yes, except taxes had gone up.
The tax bill for his home on Clark Road, purchased 63 years ago, was only $67 a year back then, he said. Now, it's closer to $4,000. But the road wasn't paved in those days and dipped down to a gully by the power lines, where cars would get stuck in the mud. The road was re-engineered as a WPA project after WWII, Henry said.
Asked about town politics, Henry shook his head. "I've never run for anything," he said.
Turnout: 397, or 9.9 percent of the town's 4008 registered voters cast ballots.
Selectmen: The sole candidate for Board of Selectmen was incumbent Robert E. Prescott Jr., who served out an unexpired one-year term before running for a full, three-year term.
Prescott received 298 votes.
Board of Assessors: Paulette S. Arakelian ran unopposed for re-election to the Board of Assessors. She received 293 votes.
Board of Health: Longtime Board of Health member Donald E. Farrar, Jr., who is also the town's building inspector and facilities director, received 303 votes to serve another three-year term. He was the only candidate.
Constable: In the only contested race, Constable James. C. Mickel, a former town police officer, won the day with 229 votes. Challenger Patricia A. Krauchune received 126 votes.
Library Trustees: Nobody took out papers to run for two open three-year terms as Library Trustee. Two write-in candidates were chosen to fill the seats: Judy Stanislaw, with 18 votes and Charlie Waite, with 14 votes.
Moderator: Enrico Cappucci, the only candidate for Town Moderator, received 267 votes.
Planning Board: An open five-year term remains unfilled, with a five-way tie of one-vote each. The four-year unexpired term goes to incumbent John Bresnahan with 298 votes.
Recreation Commission: Incumbent Linda Cournoyer was the only candidate for a three-year term. She received 319 votes. Keith Begun, with 15 votes, was the write-in winner for a two-year, unexpired term. On another write-in, Begun also received 8 votes to serve a two-year unexpired term.
School Committee: Incumbent Joyce Reischutz retained her seat on the Regional School Committee, with 279 votes.
Sewer Commission: Paul Wilson received 301 votes to serve a three-year term.
War Memorial Trustees: Richard Noll was re-elected to serve a three-year term as Veteran War Memorial Trustee with 303 votes. Allen Flagg received 5 votes to fill the unexpired three-year veteran's term. Harold Smith received 307 votes for the non-veteran seat.
The rest were blanks and other write-ins.