EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 20, 2013

LoChiatto, DiFruscia to lead Windham selectmen

But both will step down in 2014

WINDHAM — Selectmen have two new leaders, but both announced this will be their final year on the board.

Phil LoChiatto was elected chairman and Kathleen DiFruscia vice chairman by their colleagues Monday night. It was the board’s first meeting since the election March 12, when Al Letizio Jr. defeated Alan Carpenter.

Letizio was sworn into his new post. One of his first moves as selectman was to nominate LoChiatto as chairman. DiFruscia emerged as a candidate for chairman as well.

It took two votes, with LoChiatto chosen as chairman in a 4-1 decision. Ross McLeod voted for DiFruscia while she and the other selectmen cast their votes for LoChiatto.

But the biggest surprise during the selection was when LoChiatto and DiFruscia — both elected in 2011 — announced they would not seek re-election next year.

The two longtime public servants said in interviews yesterday that while they enjoyed serving their community, it would be time to step down in March 2014.

Both cited the need to spend more time with their families, but said they would continue to work hard as they complete their three-year terms.

LoChiatto, 48, said he was pleased to be chosen as the board’s new leader.

“I’m honored to be the chairman,” he said. “I take the responsibility seriously.”

The local business owner served on the Planning Board for nine years, including four as chairman.

“My goal is to really take the board forward and in a professional manner,” he said. “I think it’s no secret that the board has been divided over the past couple of years.”

LoChiatto said that was no reflection of the board’s leadership under former Chairman Bruce Breton, who did not seek re-election.

DiFruscia, a 66-year-old attorney, was disappointed at first not to be selected chairman but said she’s happy to serve as vice chairman.

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