SEABROOK — Voters sent a mix of messages at Tuesday’s election. Although they re-elected incumbents to the Board of Selectmen and the School Board, for the first time in years, they rejected both their town’s and school district’s budgets.

With a 250 vote margin, voters returned Ella Brown for her second term on the Board of Selectmen over challenger Gregory Tomaszewski.

“I want to thank all the residents of the town for voting for me,” Brown said. “I want to say how proud I am to be a selectman for all the residents of our town for another three years.”

It was Tomaszewski’s first time running for town office, but he’s thinking it won’t be his last.

“This was a good start,” he said. “I promise I’m going to run again next year. I want to thank everyone who voted for me and all my supporters.”

In the only other major contested race in town, voters are sending Jessica Brown back to the Seabrook School Board for her fourth consecutive term. Brown won handily with 708 voters compared to her challenger Curtis Walton’s 273.

But on Tuesday, the 1,167 people who cast ballots ended up giving town and school leaders something to think about.

For the first time in years, voters rejected the proposed $23.7 million town budget with a 137 vote margin. Officials will be dealing with a default budget that’s more than $190,000 less.

That trend continued with the rejection of the Seabrook School District’s proposed $14, 419,458 budget, by a 40 vote margin. The district must now live on a default budget that’s almost $176,000 lower.

Considered one of the most important questions on the town warrant, voters approved with the required 60 percent super-majority allowing the town to bond for $2 million to pay for needed maintenance work on the town’s two water tanks.

However, the other bond article requesting almost $591,000 to replace the Police Department’s technologically-obsolete radio/communications system lost. The vote of 620 in favor with 481 opposed didn’t pass the 60 percent approval margin required.

The new contracts proposed for the town’s four employee unions were strongly supported by all selectmen hoping to stop employee flight to better-paying jobs elsewhere. Voters sent mixed messages here, approving the new contracts for the unions representing firefighters and town department heads, while rejecting those for the police union and the Seabrook Employees Union, the town’s largest union.

Voters even turned down the selectmen’s request to bring the rejected contracts back before them in a special election later this year.

While voters approved a new roof for the library and a new boiler system for the Community Center, they rejected the Police Department’s request for $100,000 to replace the station’s sad locker room. The failure was surprising because, like the library and Community Center projects, the money for the locker room would not raise the tax rate a cent. Selectmen voted to take the money from reserves, but voters said “no” anyway.

They also rejected adding two more patrolmen to the town’s police force.

For the second time in two years, voters turned down the Fire Department’s request for $875,000 to replace one of its fire engines through a five-year lease to own agreement. But voters did approve $40,000 for new breathing and turnout gear to protect firefighters.

Voters approved articles related to bringing new water wells on board, including spending $725,000 to buy land off Stard Road to drill new wells.

After turning it down for years, voters approved buying a new $150,000 plow/dump truck for the Public Works Department. It’s a timely move since the oldest plow in the fleet broke down during the recent snow storm. But they turned down spending $70,000 to replace the HVAC system at DPW.

Voters approved nearly all questions requesting funding for various human service agencies which serve local residents, such as Meals on Wheels, the Seabrook Lions Club and Rockingham County Action. Rejected were two, $1,520 for Lamprey Health Care and $2,000 for AIDS Response to the Seacoast.

In the Seabrook School District’s warrant, voters also rejected spending $80,000 to replace student lockers. And for the first time since it appeared on the warrant, voters turned down an annual petition article requesting money, this year $21,958 for Seabrook students attending Sacred Heart School in Hampton.