Hermon voters chose a slate of conservative candidates in Tuesday's election for town council. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Three men who ran as a team for the Hermon Town Council and Hermon School Committee won seats Tuesday, beating out a less conservative duo in a local election that drew 1,075 voters to the polls.

Two of the winning council candidates, Christopher Gray, 39, and incumbent Ronald Murphy, 69, ran as a block along with school board candidate Brian Veneziano, 51. Veneziano ousted incumbent Kristen Shorey, 52, who had served one three-year term, by a vote of 553 to 515.

Veneziano joins conservative Haily Keezer, 39, on the school board but they will not be a majority.

For council, Murphy got 605 votes, followed by Christopher Gray, with 573 votes. Kimberly Stewart, 36, came in third with 507 and Everett Buzzell, 62, who ran as a write-in candidate, garnered just 23 votes.

The trio of winning candidates posted videos outlining their positions on the Hermon Republicans’ website even though it is a nonpartisan election.

Two recent controversies — students’ access to books with mature themes and sexual content in school libraries, and the town’s decision to end its contract with Hermon Volunteer Rescue and First Aid Squad after a decades-long agreement — have divided the community.

Veneziano and Shorey were on opposite sides of the book controversy but that may die down now that Hermon High School Principal Brian Walsh has put in place an opt-in system that requires parental consent for students to access books with mature content and/or adult themes. Those books will be placed on a reserve shelf behind the library’s circulation desk.

One incumbent, town Councilor G. Stephen Watson, 72, head of the rescue squad’s board of directors, did not seek reelection after council members in March voted unanimously to end its contract with the ambulance squad effective June 30. That decision was made after a wrongful death claim was filed against the ambulance service. A lawsuit over the death has since been filed.

Beginning July 1, the town will contract with Northern Light Medical Transport for ambulance service. Hermon ambulance will continue to operate without funding from the town, Watson has said. Watson recused himself from voting and discussions in executive session on the matter.

Hermon’s annual town meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Public Safety Building, 333 Billings Road.