AYER -- Ayer voters chose to stick with the incumbent treasurer, but to change gears on the Ayer Board of Selectmen.
Incumbent Treasurer Stephanie Gintner easily returns for a second consecutive three-year term, with her 506 votes earned in the race. Sitting selectman Gary Luca placed second with 417 votes. Former Finance Committee member Glen LaPierre placed a distant third with 240 votes.
Gintner and the majority of the Board of Selectmen -- Luca in particular -- had clashed over the past two years. Gintner said the win was a pleasant outcome for her, and vindicates her stance.
"I ran this campaign honestly. I didn't cheat. I didn't make disparaging remarks about anyone," said Gintner. She said the consensus following two Town Meeting votes and now this election is that voters want the treasurer to remain as an elected post, and not to be converted into an appointed post, as Luca has advocated.
"I"m just going to keep on going," said Gintner with a broad grin.
In the four-way race for one selectman seat, incumbant Frank Maxant was defeated by political newcomer and fellow Navy veteran Jannice Livingston. Livingston secured 353 votes. Former Democratic candidate for state rep Jane Morriss placed second with 294 votes.
Maxant, who has just concluded his third term in office, placed third with 288 votes. Former Ayer patrolman Mark Coulter placed fourth with 241 votes.
Livingston admitted she was "a little shell-shocked." Her message to the voters? "I just want to say thank you. Wow!"
Livingston said her sisters helped her campaign, and the voice she heard in her head was that of her boyfriend, Sam Goodwin, who kept telling her "believe in yourself."
"I told you," said Goodwin, who was standing aside Livingston. Livingston said the four selectmen candidates had a great day standing on Main Street side by side, holding signs, waving to passersby and basically bonding.
"We had the most wonderful time," said Livingston. She said she's looking forward to having the same collegial environment on the Ayer Board of Selectmen.
Livingston stated that the issue that sparked her to run was seeing Maxant rip up a certificate of appreciation given to each selectman by the Ayer American Legion for their participation in the May 2012 Memorial Day Parade.
Maxant made the controversial move during a meeting of the selectmen this winter. Maxant alleged the legion, which is led by Livingston's sister, BettyAnn Matozel, prevented his friend, former housemate, honorably discharged Marine veteran and Level 3 sex offender Benjamin Franklin Pierce, from joining the legion. Matozel denied ever meeting Pierce or having received an application for membership from Pierce, who now lives in Arkansas.
Asked if he had any regrets over the move, Maxant said he had "no regret at all." Maxant stated he'd "probably" run again for the Board of Selectmen, possibly as soon as next spring when two of five seats are up for election.
Maxant surmised simply "the voters preferred someone else." The Board of Selectmen voted last Tuesday, 4-0, to make a complaint against Maxant to the state for releasing closed-door notes from a November board meeting to Nashoba Publishing. Maxant stated the release was proper and in accordance with the law, and that the board itself violated the law by refusing to release the notes upon request by the newspaper in February.
Follow Mary Arata at twitter.com/marearata.