BILLERICA — Select Board incumbent Kim Conway and Planning Board Chair Mike Riley have been elected to serve on the Select Board.
Riley finished Saturday’s election in first with 2,591, 12 votes ahead of Conway. School Committee member Darlene Torre finished third with 1,932 votes.
“I look forward to serving with Mike Riley. It’s a great message for the town,” Conway said, adding that she was excited about the results. “They want progress. They’re tired of saying ‘No’ to everything.”
Riley, too, said he was excited about the outcome of the election.
“There was a low turnout, but Billerica spoke,” he said. “There are things that matter in Billerica. Folks like me care about Billerica, and it’s time the Select Board gets things going.”
Conway said while campaigning outside Hajjar Elementary School on Saturday afternoon she was feeling optimistic about the election, despite being disappointed by the turnout.
“It feels to me like light turnout, but there’s a lot of good people out holding signs and showing support, so I’m hoping for the best,” she said. “Billerica historically has low turnout, and there aren’t really any controversial issues.”
Riley said he had spent most of the morning at Ditson Elementary School, where he had seen a few hundred voters.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’ll be bouncing around from precinct to precinct, school to school.”
Torre also spent most of the day visiting the six different polling locations.
“I’m nervous, like everyone else,” she said. “I’m feeling pretty hopeful. I think a lot of the voters resonate with the things I stand for, like mental health supports and substance abuse awareness.”
On the School Committee, incumbent Annette Famolare and newcomer John Kleschinsky each won three-year terms, coming in ahead of fellow candidates Michaela Michaud and Kristin Soly. Cheri Gargalianos won a one-year term in her race against Brandon Gonzalez.
“I’m thrilled,” said Kleschinsky, who has previously served as a Town Meeting member and on other committees in town. “All of us ran a positive campaign. Ultimately, what the voters decided is they want people with experience working for the schools.”
Gargalianos said she was both excited and anxious about her win.
“It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you never know how elections are going to go,” she said. “Now, everything starts on Tuesday.”
Gargalianos and Kleschinsky held signs together outside Marshall Middle School Saturday afternoon.
“Because we’re in two different races, we have different ways of looking at it,” Gargalianos said. “I’m a bit unsettled because it’s my first election, so I’m just waiting. I did everything I could.”
Kleschinsky also said he was nervous about the results.
“I feel like I put in the work over the last couple months. I’m excited for the opportunity and now it’s up to the voters,” he said. “It’s about having the experience and working hard for the community.”
Famolare also said she was optimistic about the election.
“I’m hopeful that I’m able to get re-elected, but you can never know,” she said.
Michaud spent her morning on the town common holding signs and playing lawn games with supporters. She said she was glad she ran, and would be happy whatever the results were.
“I feel like everyone running is awesome. They’ve all been amazing. This experience has been great, and that has to do with the people running,” she said. “I feel like Billerica is moving in a positive direction, and regardless of what happens, I’ll be working with these candidates on things throughout town.”
Soly said she started off her morning voting with her family at the Kennedy School, then switched off between holding signs at the different schools and the town center.
“I’m feeling optimistic,” she said. “The election has been a learning process for sure.”
Gonzalez said that while he was able to take the morning to vote and meet with some voters, he spent the rest of the day at work at the fire station.
“I tried to reach out to as many people beforehand as possible,” he said. “It’s kind of a stress-free thing. I’m not thinking about it till the results come in.”
In addition, incumbent Janet Morris as well as Ed Giroux and Michael Parker won seats on the Planning Board, coming in ahead of fellow candidates Kelley Sardina and John Femia.
“I’m not going to be overconfident, because it’s my first time out, but it won’t be my last time out,” said Sardina while holding a sign outside Marshall Middle School on Saturday afternoon. “If I don’t get in, it doesn’t stop who I am. I’m still going to fight for the residents. It’s their voice that matters.”
John Saulnier also ran unopposed for a seat on the Housing Authority.