OTIS -- A surprise write-in candidate fell short in an attempt to unseat incumbent Selectwoman Roberta Sarnacki during the annual town election.

Sarnacki, also the town's police chief, held off last-minute challenger Ronald J. Thomas, 87-59, to win her second, three-year term on the Select Board, according to local election officials.

Town Clerk Lyn Minery said 177 of the towns 1,068 registered voters cast ballots during last week's election, a nearly 17-percent turnout. All other candidates listed ran unopposed including Arlene Tolopko who replaced Laurie Nikituk on the Farmington River Regional School District School Committee. After more than 20 years as a school board member from Otis, Nikituk opted against seeking another three-year term.

James Carlin was the lone successful write-in candidate, garnering 19 votes to grab the 2-year, unexpired term on the Planning Board. Carlin will serve out the remainder of Kevin Rock's five-year term, who resigned from the board in February.

Minery said the vacancy on the Cemetery Commission remains open as there wasn't a successful write-in campaign for the one-year left on a three-year term.

To reach Dick Lindsay:

rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,

or (413) 496-6233