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Write-in votes counted for Webster and Forest Hills

election timeNeither Webster nor Forest Hills will have vacancies when the new town government terms begin in December, according to official election results. In both elections, write-in votes showed a strong enough consensus to overcome the dearth of candidates to sign up for inclusion on the ballot.

In Webster, former mayor Larry Phillips will take a seat on the board, filling the place currently held by Janice Blanton. Blanton didn’t run for re-election, and nobody else signed up to take her spot. But Phillips earned 10 write-in votes on Election Day, just ahead of second-place write-in candidate Jade Moses. Phillips has agreed to serve, Mayor Nick Breedlove said.  

“He brings a tremendous amount of experience, historical knowledge, and it will be great to have him as an asset to our town once again,” Breedlove said.  

Forest Hills had a similar situation, with no candidate signing up to take the place of Councilman Dan Perlmutter, who decided not to run for another term. But write-in votes revealed a successor in Debbie Rowland, a 31-year resident of Forest Hills. Between early voting and Election Day voting, Rowland received a total of six votes, just ahead of Ken Dickert, who had four votes. 

“I’ve wanted to be involved in the community for quite some time, and I just decided that now is the time to do it,” Rowland said. 

Rowland, 64, works as an academic and career counselor at Haywood Community College, a position she’s held for 17 years. 

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“I’d like to be more visible,” Rowland said, “visit with neighbors, see what their concerns are in the neighborhood and bring those ideas to the council.” 

The 2015 election also returned some familiar faces to the boards of Webster and Forest Hills. Billie Jo Bryson will serve another term on Webster’s town board, and Ron Mau and Kolleen Begley will keep their posts as councilman and mayor, respectively. 

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