Election: 45 votes separate winner and loser

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Tue., Nov. 15, 2011
Democrat Peter Place won the mayoral election in Putnam by 45 votes. Photo by D. Coffey.
Democrat Peter Place won the mayoral election in Putnam by 45 votes. Photo by D. Coffey.

Only 45 votes separated winner from loser in the Putnam mayoral race this month. Democratic Deputy Mayor Peter Place (1,025 votes) narrowly beat out challenger Doug Cutler (980 votes) to win the election on Nov. 8. Approximately 40 percent of Putnam's 4,993 registered voters participated in the election. Republican registrar Bob Swenson said he expected the turnout to be closer to 50 percent.

Place said that he and his team had worked hard since July to get their campaign information out to the people of Putnam. “I'm certainly pleased to be on the plus side,” he said. “I went from town line to town line. There was a lot of information to get out.”

Place has been on the Board of Selectmen in Putnam for 16 years, a factor to which he attributes some of his success. “You have to go out and prove yourself every day,” he said.

Place said he couldn't be more thankful to the community for their support. “We obtained the result we wanted,” he said. And he was happy to see the number of young people who turned out for the vote.

Place will be sworn in on Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. He will have some major projects on his desk when he steps in as mayor. The school and library renovations, armory use, YMCA and Technology Park developments are just a few of the big ticket items for Putnam residents.

“We have to make Putnam's government as transparent as it can be,” Place said. “We have to make sure there is a clear understanding of how decisions are made.”

Both sides of the ticket worked hard to get the vote out, Place said. He extended kudos to Doug Cutler and his team for running a good campaign.

Putnam resident Jean Boucher said, “People just don't go out of their way. If they want to have an impact, they should go vote. If they think their opinion should count, they should go vote. Who is to say who would have won the election if those [other] 60 percent had voted?”

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