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Sue Bush
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Merselis Will Not Seek Re-Election

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Williamstown Selectman John G. "Jack" Merselis during an August 2005 Selectmen's meeting.
Williamstown - Selectman John G. "Jack" Merselis announced on Feb. 27 that he will not seek a third selectman's term during the annual town election scheduled for May 9.

The announcement came during a regularly scheduled Selectmen's meeting. Merselis told iberkshires during an interview last week that he would announce his election intentions during the meeting.

Speaking during a Feb. 28 telephone interview, Merselis said that he believes it is time to step away from the select board. Merselis was first elected to a three-year term in 2000 and was reelected during 2003.

"I'm at a time in life when it's important to know when to stop," he said. "I have to say that I was fortunate to be a selectman at a time when a lot was going on in town."

When Merselis was first elected as a selectman, the Spring Street construction project was underway. During the years since his election, the town has opened the doors to a new elementary school and watched as the former Southworth school building evolved into a Williams College-owned housing complex. The Cole Avenue bridge project was also begun and completed during Merselis' time as a selectman.

He noted that there are likely big things ahead at the Photech site on Cole Avenue, and at the Cable Mills on Water Street. A new selectman will likely watch those areas take shape and develop, he said.

He learned a tremendous amount about town operations during his six-year tenure, he said, and acknowledged the expertise of past and present selectmen, Town Hall employees, and Town Manager Peter Fohlin. Watching a community function "from the inside" enhances appreciation for those who keep a town operating, Merselis said.

"We are a lucky community," Merselis said.

Richard Steege of 805 Henderson Road has taken out papers seeking a three-year selectman's term. No other selectman candidates had emerged as of the morning of Feb. 28. The deadline for filing nomination papers for the town election is 5 p.m. March 21.
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