ANDOVER — Exuberant applause erupted late Tuesday night inside and outside the first floor of Town Hall after Town Clerk Elaine Morton announced the results of the second straight recall attempt of 1st Selectman Susan Merrow.

Of the 388 people voting, 237 voted against the petition-initiated recall, while 151 people voted to oust Merrow.

“I want to thank everyone for coming out and voting me in again for the third time,” Merrow said, smiling broadly after getting a congratulatory hug from Selectman Trudy Akers.

Merrow was elected to a three-year term on the board in March 2008.

She survived the first recall attempt by 26 votes in November 2008. The tally was 289-263.

On May 19, selectmen received another recall petition signed by many of the same people who sought the first recall attempt.

Reasons stated on the May petition were that Merrow neglected to perform duties of office, had a conflict of interest and engaged in behavior unbecoming a public official.

Sixty-eight people voted by absentee ballot while the other 318 voted from 4 to 8 p.m. by secret ballot on Tuesday in the referendum-style election.

Andover has 460 registered voters, Morton said.

After Morton read the tally, Merrow stepped into the foyer and was instantly greeted by eight supporters.

“I am just so thrilled,” Carol Melzar said after hugging Merrow. “So many people came out to support her today.”

“She does a great job,” Melzar said. “I’m just elated and I hope it does not happen again.”

In other business, selectmen met in a regularly-scheduled meeting during balloting.

Merrow said they received a progress report about the Town Hall clock restoration project, and learned that oil tanks in the town hall need to be mounted on a cement pad.

Additionally, she said the board was getting ready to seek bids to replace the Town Hall furnace.

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Andover 1st Selectman Susan Merrow, left, is congratulated in the Town Hall foyer by supporter Carol Melzar after Merrow announced late Tuesday night that she’d survived a second straight petition-initiated recall attempt.

Andover recall referendum ballot clerks Diana Nadeau, left, Ruby Kupla, Margaret Madigan and Norma Farrington separate 388 votes into stacks of 50 after four hours of balloting inside the Town Hall. A second straight petition-initiated recall of 1st Selectman Susan Merrow was defeated by a tally of 237-151.

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