Nowak, Blanchard Win Seats On Adams Board of Selectmen
By Andy McKeever On: 08:45PM / Monday May 06, 2013
Joseph Nowak campaigning outside of the Department of Public Works building on Tuesday afternoon.
ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard were elected to seats on the Board of Election on Monday.
Nowak reeled in the most votes with 888 for the two available three-year seats.
The 61-year-old most recently sat on the town's Conservation Commission but also is co-founder of the Adams Agricultural Fair and an active member of the Democratic Party.
He works for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and has a master's degree in land management. He entered the campaign with an emphasis on giving the town an "identity."
Nowak was unavailable for comment after the election Monday.
For Blanchard, the election was a long time coming. He ran and lost in the last two years but each year the 48-year-old guard at the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in Pittsfield inched closer and closer. This year, he was the second highest vote-getter with 664.
Blanchard says he wants to bring an independent voice to the board instead of catering "to any special group." He had been interested in politics and after he retired from the military, he has attended nearly every Board of Selectmen meeting.
He said he was still anxious about this year's campaign when he set up his campaign signs at 6:30 a.m. and stayed all day.
"I was still worried coming into the day. You hear a lot of talk on the street but it comes down to the people voting," Blanchard said in between shaking hands with supporters at the Department of Public Works, where the voting was held, Monday night.
He added that the real work has just begun and he has "100 things" he'd like to address.
"I'm extremely happy and now I'm just anxious to get to work," Blanchard said.
Blanchard and Nowak replace Scott Nichols, who opted not to run for re-election, and Paula Melville, who resigned short after last year's election.
Former Selectman Donald Sommer finished third with 337 votes and Michael Young received 239 votes.
In other races, former Selectman Edward Driscoll defeated Nichols for town moderator 622-525. Driscoll takes the position previously held by Joseph Dean Jr., who died in December.
Allen Mendel won election to the Board of Health, defeating Glen DeMarsico. That seat is for only one year and replaces Richard Frost, who resigned earlier this year. Roy Thompson ran unopposed for re-election to the three-year seat on the Board of Health.
In the only other contested race, Lorraine Kalisz defeated Susan Rowe and Dennis Gajda for one three-year assessor seat.
There were a number of unopposed candidates as well; Holly Denault for treasurer; Karen Kettles for library trustee, Martha Stohlmann for Planning Board; Lawrence Clairmont for cemetery commissioner; Elizabeth Buskey for Redevelopment Authority; and Joseph Allard for the Northern Berkshire Vocational School District. Paul Butler and Joshua Ryan DeMarsico-Birkland were running unopposed for two seats on the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Committee.
A three-year library trustee, a five-year Housing Authority seat and a one-year Redevelopment Authority seat had no candidates.
A total of 1182 voters made it to the polls, which is about 20 percent of the 5,851 registered voters.
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The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015
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