Ossipee—March 16, 2023—Ossipee native Christopher Templeton defeated incumbent Select Board member Jonathan Smith in Tuesday’s election. The vote was 157-117.
Templeton’s campaign underscored his long-standing ties to the town, and his previous term on the board in the 1980s. The retired educator said townspeople should have a hand in shaping beneficial change while retaining “the best of the past.”
He told the Conway Daily Sun he wants to attract independent eco-friendly businesses, and called for protecting the Ossipee Aquifer, which he said is “the most important natural resource we have.”
Smith, who was serving his first term on the board, based his campaign on his achievements, pointing to completing the Whittier Covered Bridge restoration project and keeping the town’s finances healthy.
Early in his term, Smith’s endorsement of the controversial Effingham gas station development on the town line sparked anger from Ossipee taxpayers who live next to or near the site and oppose it as an environmental threat.
At Wednesday’s Town Meeting, voters rejected a warrant article to reduce the Conservation Commission to three members, the smallest number permitted by RSA 36-A:3.
The Select Board recommended the reduction unanimously, saying it was difficult to recruit members, and the reduction would create a quorum with just two members present.
In a compromise, voters approved a reduction from seven members to five. There are currently three members on the commission, with two vacancies and two vacant alternate positions.