The road to ‘Restore ORR’ ended on July 10 after the special election Proposition 2 ½ override ballot question was defeated by a significant margin – 575 in favor, 689 against.
The polling station at the Rochester Senior Center fell silent moments after Town Clerk Naida Parker read the results aloud promptly at 8:00 pm when polls closed, a reaction that was a stark contrast to the celebratory aftermath of three successful town meetings and two subsequent annual town elections that marked five wins for the $2 million ORR athletic field, track, and auditorium renovation project.
This special election vote was the final hurdle the project had to overcome, and after hours of lining Dexter Lane with “Vote ‘Yes’ to Restore ORR” signs and waving cheerfully at passing vehicles, the volunteers and restore ORR supporters’ hopes were dashed in a matter of seconds.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” said Parker as the crowd processed the news. “I think everybody was surprised,” she added as supporters silently filed out of the room. After the project supporters left, Parker said, “I didn’t see that coming.”
Voter turnout for the special election was just a tad below 30 percent.
By Jean Perry