DERBY – The race for a position as Justice of the Peace is typically a quiet one, and it is not uncommon for just enough people – or even not enough people – to run to fill all the available openings.
In Derby there are 12 justices of the peace, and this year 15 people sought the positions.
Derby resident Maureen Fountain decided to seek the position for the first time and lost by three votes. Fountain earned 895 votes. Karen Jenne was the last place winner with 898 votes.
Fountain said in an interview Sunday that there are no hard feelings and she and Jenne are friends. But because the tally is so close and because of the possibility for human error, Fountain has asked for a recount. The recount will occur Tuesday evening at the Town Clerk’s office.
All of this is new to Fountain and this is the first time she has run for a position, but public service is ingrained in her as her father was a public servant for more than 35 years in Burlington.
Over the last year, Fountain has taken a keen interest in town happenings. She attends meetings regularly and likes to be part of what is going on. She has served as an election worker for the last few years, she said.
“I enjoy it and enjoy being involved,” she said. “I try to do the best I can and see how I can be of service to my town.” Fountain is not sure what she will do in the future as far as running for other positions. Her husband died in a car accident 11 years ago, and she continues to work on living her life without her partner every day. “I take it one day at a time.”
After the loss of her husband, Fountain lost other relatives in the following years, further adding to the trauma. But she pushed onward and worked to get back on her feet. It took awhile to find her way, she said.
“I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow.”
Fountain is living her life and looking at options. She is motivated to be an active citizen in her town.