Keene residents returned three incumbents and voted a newcomer into City Council at-large seats in Tuesday’s general election. They also backed a veteran councilor’s bid to swap his Ward 1 seat for one representing Keene as a whole.
All three sitting at-large councilors in the race made their way to the top of Tuesday’s ballot — Kate M. Bosley, with 2,695 votes, Bettina A. Chadbourne, with 2,339, and Randy L. Filiault, with 2,134. They were followed by Michael J. Remy, who finished with 2,039 votes, and Ward 1 Councilor Stephen L. Hooper, with 1,945.
Former city councilor Nathaniel Stout fell short with 1,621 votes, as did Peter Starkey, with 1,778 votes, John W. Therriault, with 971, Allen Raymond, with 916 votes, and Todd A. Rogers, with 675.
The five at-large councilors will start their two-year terms in January.
Remy, 30, was the only first-timer to make the cut Tuesday.
“I’m very excited, a little bit nervous. ... I’m very glad that we have some experienced councilors coming in that we can learn from,” he said after the unofficial results had been tallied.
The director of operations finance analysis at C&S Wholesale Grocers, Remy told The Sentinel in September his campaign was focusing on the tax rate and city budget, with plans to apply his professional experience when examining the latter.
Of the incumbents in Tuesday’s at-large field, Bosley, 40, is the newest, elected in August by the council to fill a vacancy. As she did in the primary last month, she raked up the most votes in the general election.
“It sort of reaffirms that the city is looking for the voice that I am offering, which is a mother and entrepreneur, and a young face,” she said.
Bosley is the general manager of Comfort Keepers and works in real estate investing with her husband, Craig Henderson.
Her focus on the council thus far has been fiscal responsibility and finding ways to broaden the tax base, she told The Sentinel in October.
Noting that these are still main goals, she said Tuesday she’s also prioritizing safety in Keene. As part of that, she recently authored a letter asking the council to consider a review of speed limits in residential neighborhoods, a plan that’s being examined now.
Chadbourne, 60, who is self-employed, said in an email Tuesday night she’s “thrilled” to have been re-elected.
She has been a councilor for eight years and told The Sentinel last month her experience is an asset, and that she plans to focus on finding opportunities to support more public art installations and promote a more bike-able and walk-able city.
Filiault, 63, said he’s grateful to have been returned to his seat, but “very disappointed” some of his fellow councilors weren’t.
“Some of the people that didn’t make it back to reelection tonight is unfortunate ... politics are never fair,” he said.
Filiault has served multiple terms on the council across two stints, totaling 21 years. He was born and raised in Keene, and works in promotions and sales for Monadnock Ford.
His main goal is to continue pursuing the money he says the state and Gov. Chris Sununu owe Keene and other communities through the rooms and meals tax. The revenue split between municipalities and the state has shifted from what was once a 60 percent share for the state and 40 percent for towns and cities to a 79/21 split.
Second, Filiault said, he’s focused on improving the quality of life in the Elm City.
“My goal has always been to make Keene an open and welcoming city for everybody involved and affordable for everybody involved,” he said.
Hooper, 69, a retired longtime photojournalist at The Sentinel and owner of Hooper Visuals, said it “feels great” to take on the at-large councilor role.
“There’s a lot of very good talent that was running this year, and so trying to compete with that was a challenge,” he said.
He told The Sentinel in September his four years as a Ward 1 councilor have helped him learn the ropes, and he feels more prepared to do “more aggressive work” on the council.
Along with backing Bosley’s plan to review speed limits in residential areas, Hooper said his other priorities include stabilizing property taxes and bringing new development to the city.
Sentinel staff writer Sierra Hubbard contributed to this report.