Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in Berne nearly 3 to 1, will need to surmount 17 votes held by the Republican Randy Bashwinger as absentee ballots are counted for the election of a new highway superintendent.

The position was decided several months ago when Bates, a Democrat and deputy sheriff, was endorsed by all four parties. Sitting Judge Timothy Miller, a Democrat, didn’t run for another term.

The town tax rate is set to decrease for the second year in a row while the spending plan raises salaries and wages for employees and officials.

Kenneth Weaver, who resigned from the post in September, confronted the town's supervisor publicly because his health insurance had been canceled, but the supervisor pointed to a provision in the employee handbook making Weaver ineligible after 2013.

A second special election asking voters to allow the sale of a fire truck was passed on Tuesday night, with 136 ballots cast. The first referendum was defeated in August, 15 to 15. A town wide letter might have been the key.

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