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Town Meeting Group Elects New Leadership
Council of Advocates members elected a new president on November 9, as two Warner House residents faced off for the presidency and for control over the Town Meeting group. â€œIt was a well fought race all around,â€ said Dan Lukens, Camp Ventureâ€™s Executive Director. â€œBut in the end Meaganâ€™s victory represented a clear mandate.â€
The Coleman Gromack auditorium was the setting for the Councilâ€™s election event. D.J. John offered background music as members entered a brightly appointed hall on this unseasonably warm November evening. Abuzz with political banter, members selected campaign signs as they entered and though the race had been hotly contested, the mood was, nonetheless, friendly.
Over 130 members had packed the hall by 7:00PM when Dan Lukens took the floor to announce the opening of the Special Election Town Meeting. Council Members cheered and waved their signs as Lukens announced the two candidates. Terry Freson directed her staff to open the voting booths and as residences were announced in turn to vote, Terry invited the council members in the hall, to take the floor and to address the group.
â€œI am voting for Meagan,â€ Tom B. announced. â€œGood luck, weâ€™re rooting for you,â€ he said before moving on to talk about his job at Macyâ€™s.
Peter K. stood before the group holding a â€œTheresa for Presidentâ€ sign at the lectern. And, though his manner was soft spoken, he made clear his support for Theresa.
Lukens afforded special honors to Former President Peter M. who reminded the group of their debt to their staff whom he asserted needed their support to get what he said was the raise that they deserved.
Former President Don R. was also announced and he offered his well wishes to the candidates.
The excitement grew through the night as endorsements went back and forth and members filed in and out of the hall to cast their ballots. Applauding vigorously for their respective candidates, the electricity in the room was palpable. At around 7:30 Teresa Freson announced that the polls were closed. The meeting was paused. And, as the council members enjoyed a snack intermission, Dan Lukens and the other election offices were put to the task of counting the votes.
The agonizing anticipation that permeated the hall in the moments before the final count was only partially assuaged by the soda and patriotic theme election cake served up by the recreation staff. Finally, at around 7:50 PM, Lukens emerged from the counting room with Terry and Julie. He made his way to the front of the room which was by now pulsing with excitement. Banging on a gavel and demanding order, Lukens succeeded in commanding the attention of the room.
â€œMadam Facilitator,â€ he said. â€œI am ready to announce the results of the tabulation of the ballots,â€ he said. Terry Freson acknowledged him with a nod and Lukens called Theresa P. and Meagan R. to the lectern and asked for a round of applause for these intrepid contestants.
He then paused and the room fell silent.
â€œLadies and gentlemen,â€ Lukens said. â€œThere were 133 ballots cast and, though this race was nobly fought by both of these fine candidates, Meagan is the winner!â€
With the announcement balloons fell and the room erupted in applause. Council members rushed to the front of the room as Lukens handed the microphone to Theresa P. Pausing a moment, Theresa tried to use the opportunity to pressure Meagan for a commitment for a cabinet spot. Meagan then hesitated momentarily herself until Lukens handed her the microphone.
â€œ I would like to thank everyone of you who supported me in this race,â€ Meagan said.
â€œAs president, I pledge to always put the needs of the people of Venture first. I care about the well being of each and every one of you. I will try my hardest to make Camp Venture better for all of us. And, I am sure, with your support we can make this happen together,â€ she said.
â€œAgain, I would like to thank every one who voted for me and thank all of you here in advance for the great things that we will do together in the days ahead.â€
With Meaganâ€™s words the room roared with enthusiastic applause that closed the meeting.
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