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Scholz Challenges Incumbent Astorino in Cheshire Election
By Jack Guerino On: 05:08PM / Sunday May 04, 2014

CHESHIRE, Mass. — Political newcomer E. Richard Scholz is challenging incumbent Paul Astorino for a three-year seat on the board of selectmen.

Astorino has served four terms on the board since 2002.

"I take pleasure in seeing things come to fruition and people enjoying what has been gained for them and just a good quality life," he said. "If I can do anything to help that that's what I want to do."

Astorino retired as manager of contracts at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

"I think that the people skills that I have developed over the years at General Electric and General Dynamics have made me a good listener, open minded, and a good communicator," he said.

Astorino was a member of the Fire Department from 1978 to 1980 and on the Berkshire County Selectmen's Advisory Board as a member of the Executive Committee. He has also served on the board of directors of Elder Services of Berkshire County from 1980 to 1983.

In 1981, he was appointed to a six-year term on the Berkshire Community College Board of Trustees. There he chaired the Finance Committee, which oversaw the expenditures of state funds at the college.

He served from 1990 to 1996 on the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee, and on board of directors of the Adams Ambulance service from 2004 to 2013.

"I believe that my 35 years of business experience and service on other boards has given me the tools needed to deal with the financial issues facing the town," he said. "Creative thinking will be needed as Cheshire moves into the 21st century to better the position of the town so it is a more affordable place to live while still providing the required services to the town's people."

He wishes to continue to serve the town where he was born and raised.

"I have been active in many facets of town government, and my whole quest of the matter is to try and give back to the town that was good to me and my children," Astorino said.  

With the reduction of state aid, Astorino sees Cheshire facing more financial struggles in the future.

"I truly believe that the Board of Selectmen should serve as a catalyst and bring all the town's boards together to develop a master plan of goals for the town in order to develop a strong and affordable five-year plan and develop budget estimates which reflect the true needs of the town," he said. "Only then can we provide sound fiscal management while providing the required services."

Scholz was raised in Cheshire and left for college and work in Boston and New York before returning in 2004.

"The Berkshires are among the best places to live on Earth, and Cheshire is the best town," Scholz said.

An electrical engineer, he worked in telecommunications, wireless and consulting. He said he has experience in managing budgets and staffing organizations and that he has launched a startup telecom companies in the Boston and Hartford, Conn., markets.

Hee has been involved in projects such on the NYNEX Corporation's Science & Technology team and the Project Aurora Broadband expansion experiment, and has taught in Northeastern University's Continuing Education Program.

"I have extensive business experience including managing large complex projects, first of a kind experiments, new product introductions, launches of new business ventures, recruiting and staffing organizations, and more," Scholz said.

He would like to use his business, management, and technological experience to change Cheshire's government.

"I am up for pushing things to their limits to see what you can get out of them," he said. "You have to start somewhere, and I think there should be more done."

Scholz said he thinks Cheshire could benefit from expanding the Board of Selectmen from three to five members.

"If two board members agree with how things should be done they run Cheshire," Scholz said. "With five board members, more people serve the town, more voices are heard, and more representative decisions result."

He also would like to get more people involved in the local government.

"I really think if we get more people involved there will be less frustration with government," he said.

Scholz also wants to improve the availability of information, including posting government documents and meeting minutes on the Internet to allow better communication between the government and its people.

"Information sharing is critical to town's people actively participating in town government, and it's not good enough anymore to just invite the them to Selectmen's meetings and have paper copies of all the important documents during business hours at the Town Hall," Scholz said. "Cheshire town government should be using today's technology and media tools to reach out to town's people."

Scholz has been digitizing the board's minutes and publishing them online.

Astorino has served four terms on the board since 2002.

"I take pleasure in seeing things come to fruition and people enjoying what has been gained for them and just a good quality life," he said. "If I can do anything to help that that's what I want to do."

Astorino retired as manager of contracts at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

"I think that the people skills that I have developed over the years at General Electric and General Dynamics have made me a good listener, open minded, and a good communicator," he said.

Astorino was a member of the Fire Department from 1978 to 1980 and on the Berkshire County Selectmen's Advisory Board as a member of the Executive Committee. He has also served on the board of directors of Elder Services of Berkshire County from 1980 to 1983.

In 1981, he was appointed to a six-year term on the Berkshire Community College Board of Trustees. There he chaired the Finance Committee, which oversaw the expenditures of state funds at the college.

He served from 1990 to 1996 on the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee, and on board of directors of the Adams Ambulance service from 2004 to 2013.

"I believe that my 35 years of business experience and service on other boards has given me the tools needed to deal with the financial issues facing the town," he said. "Creative thinking will be needed as Cheshire moves into the 21st century to better the position of the town so it is a more affordable place to live while still providing the required services to the town's people."

He wishes to continue to serve the town where he was born and raised.

"I have been active in many facets of town government, and my whole quest of the matter is to try and give back to the town that was good to me and my children," Astorino said.  

With the reduction of state aid, Astorino sees Cheshire facing more financial struggles in the future.

"I truly believe that the Board of Selectmen should serve as a catalyst and bring all the town's boards together to develop a master plan of goals for the town in order to develop a strong and affordable five-year plan and develop budget estimates which reflect the true needs of the town," he said. "Only then can we provide sound fiscal management while providing the required services."

The election takes place Monday, May 5, from 9 to 7 at the Senior Center on School Street.



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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Primary
Tuesday, Sept. 9

Voting is from 7 to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation is Aug. 20; only unenrolled voters may select which primary to vote in. More information on registering can be found here.

Candidates on the ballot in a race for their party nomination; all others on the ballot are unopposed

Republican
  Governor: Charles D. Baker & Mark R. Fisher

Democratic
  Governor: Donald M. Berwick, Martha Coakley & Steven Grossman
  Lieutenant governor: Leland Cheung, Stephen J. Kerrigan & Michael E. Lake
  Attorney general: Maura Healey & Warren E. Tolman
  Treasurer: Thomas P. Conroy, Barry R. Finegold & Deborah B. Goldberg
 

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The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

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