WELLFLEET — Newcomer Timothy Sayre defeated write-in candidate Curt Felix by seven votes in the Sept. 27 special election to fill a vacant seat on the select board for the next eight months.
According to results confirmed on Oct. 3, 989 voters cast ballots. Sayre received 433 votes; Felix got 426 votes. The turnout was 32 percent.
Voters also approved two Proposition 2½ ballot questions: one a debt exclusion for $2.9 million in additional funding for the construction of a wastewater treatment facility at 95 Lawrence Road and the other an override to appropriate $145,000 for a new town planner position.
“I am happy I won, and I appreciate everybody who voted for me,” Sayre told the Independent. “I hope I can represent the people of the town in the way they wish to be represented — both those who voted for me and those who didn’t.”
Felix attributed his defeat to a problem he had named as his reason for running. “This town really needs to grapple with getting to a place where we can disagree with each other without being disagreeable,” he said.
Throughout his short write-in campaign, Felix said, he faced intense criticism from community members because of his pest-control franchise, the Cape Cod Mosquito Squad.
Much of a 90-minute “Meet the Candidates Night” hosted by the Wellfleet Community Forum on Sept. 21 was spent discussing Felix’s business. Questioners asked whether the company uses toxic chemicals and if it has been the subject of enforcement action from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. Felix denied both accusations.
“There were really vitriolic, unnecessary attacks on me,” he said. “We weren’t talking about the business of the town, who has a financial vision, or a strategic vision. It was completely unhealthy.”
Felix said he would continue serving the town on other boards and committees but did not say whether he plans to run for select board again.
As for his opponent, Felix said, “It will be interesting to see how much he adds to the board. I wish him and the community all the best.”
Sayre will complete Kathleen Bacon’s unexpired term on the board. That seat will be up for reelection, along with John Wolf’s seat, in May 2024.