Williamstown Results: School Debt OK'd, Gold Wins Moderator
SELECTMEN (two elected)
|Richard Haley Jr.
MODERATOR (one elected)
|Mark Gold 1,102||Frederick Leber 320|
Debt Exclusion for Remainder of the Roof Debt
for Mt. Greylock Regional High School
Debt Exclusion New Boiler and Repair of Locker Rooms
at Mt. Greylock Regional
Williamstown Elementary School Committee (two elected)
Margaret McComish 910
Valerie Hall 845
Huff Templeton III 453
Northern Berkshire Regional Vocational School Committee (one elected)
James Gazzaniga 863
Daniel Collyer 354
1,632 people voted (36.2 percent of registered voters)
WILLIAMSTOWN — Voters overwhelmingly backed two debt exclusions Tuesday, while the incumbents held on in the Selectmen race and Mark Gold won in a landslide for the open town moderator seat.
In response to a pair of ballot questions regarding the passage of Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusions to fund repairs at Mount Greylock Regional High School, voters answered with a resounding 'yes.' According to unofficial results Tuesday night, 65 percent of voters answered 'yes' to Question 1 while 66 percent backed Question 2.
"It's a great thing," David Archibald, chairman of the Mount Greylock School Committee, said Tuesday night. "I think it's important for the school, the teachers, the parents and the students when the town supports them like this."
Gold, who will replace longtime moderator Stan Parese, received 77 percent of the votes against Frederick Leber. The moderator position is a three-year term.
"I'm really flattered by the margin," Gold said. "I'm looking forward to running a fair and open town meeting. I thought [Parese] was an outstanding moderator, and I hope I can serve the position as well as he did."
Leber, who ran on the platform of a more aggressive approach when selecting the Finance Committee, was disheartened by the margin of defeat.
"I'm very surprised," he said. "I thought I was going to win. Oh well, that's democracy in action."
In the Selectmen's race, incumbents Tom Costley and Ronald Turbin were re-elected to serve another three years. They each eclipsed 1,000 votes while challenger Richard Haley Jr. tallied 690. Haley said that running for public office was an exhausting process, admitting that he had trouble sleeping during the nights leading up to the elections.
"It felt like it was the beginning of a road race before the results came in, just all the nerves," Haley said. "It's worth standing up and saying what you believe. I did it for people who needed it to be done. I'm glad I did it."
Costley and Turbin both expressed excitement after Town Clerk Mary Kennedy announced the preliminary results Tuesday night at Williamstown Elementary School.
"I love being a Selectmen, and I look forward to serving for three more years," Costley, chairman of the Selectmen Board, said.
"I'm very gratified that the voters thought I did a good enough job in the past three years to give me another term," Turbin said. "[Haley] made it an interesting race. It's healthy to have contested elections. It encourages people to participate, and it brings out the issues."
In the other contested races:
-- Incumbent Margaret McComish and newcomer Valerie Hall won the two available spots on the Williamstown Elementary School Committee.
-- Incumbent James Gazzaniga was reelected to serve on the Northern Berkshire Vocational School Committee.
Election Day in Williamstown
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, just under 20 percent of registered voters had cast their ballots in the annual town elections, according to Town Clerk Mary Kennedy.
Polls close at 8 p.m. and all voting takes place at the Williamstown Elementary School. Check back later tonight as iBerkshires will post election results once they become available.
There are two debt exclusion items on the ballot and four contested races for town offices, including a three-man race — incumbents Tom Costley, Ronald Turbin and challenger Richard Haley Jr. — for two spots on the Board of Selectmen. A new town moderator will be elected, as well; either Mark Gold or Frederick Leber will fill the vacancy left by Stan Parese, who served the position for 12 years.
Kennedy said she expected bigger crowds for the morning and early-afternoon tallies, but she said it's still early. She pointed to a sticker on her shirt that read "I Voted Today," which is being handed out as voters leave the school.
"This helps a lot. Somebody comes back in the office and says, 'Oh it's election day. I'll have to vote after work,'" Kennedy said.
"My barometer for how busy an election is going to be is the absentee ballots, and I didn't have a big demand for them. But any time you have a debt exclusion of Prop 2 1/2, it usually brings in a crowd."
State Rep. and candidate for Berkshire County sheriff Daniel E. Bosley was outside of the elementary school on Tuesday afternoon, greeting voters and handing out fliers for Wednesday night's campaign kickoff event at the American Legion in North Adams.
"The people in Williamstown always come out for elections, so you know there's going to be a good crowd. You've got to start now. You can't wait until September."
Left, State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley stands outside of the Williamstown Elementary School on Tuesday. Above, candidates for the town elections are set up near the entrance of the school.
Bosley Officially Launches Sheriff Campaign
Rep. Daniel E. Bosley
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley will officially launch his campaign for sheriff of Berkshire County on Wednesday, May 12.
Bosley, a Democrat who has represented the 1st Berkshire District in the state Legislature since 1987, is running to fill the post being vacated by Sheriff Carmen Massimiano.
The official campaign kickoff event will be held at the American Legion beginning at 7 p.m.
Bosley said he plans to put his background in public policy, public financing and public safety to work running an effective and proactive sheriff's office and a jail that is not only secure but cost- and resource-efficient.
During his 24 years serving the 1st Berkshire District, Bosley said he has shown consistent leadership in the areas of budgeting and economic development. As sheriff, Bosley will draw on his experience to ensure the Berkshire County sheriff's office, the jail and House of Correction, and the programs run by the sheriff's office receive fair funding from the state. Additionally, he said he will bring to the office an innovative approach that will allow him to improve systems and programs, making Berkshire County a safer place to live while conserving taxpayer dollars.
He would like to thank everyone who has helped him in the past and talk about his future vision for Berkshire County sheriff and the Berkshire House of Corrections.
The public is invited to celebrate his formal kick-Off for the race for Berkshire County sheriff.
Williamstown Candidate Statements
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — All 17 candidates on the May 11 town election ballot were offered free television time to introduce themselves to voters and say why they are running for positions ranging from library trustee to town moderator to selectman.
WilliNet, Community Access TV for Williamstown, invited the candidates to videotape a short statement of up to five minutes in length. Over the course of three days, 12 of the 17 candidates taped their message in the Spring Street studio. They were combined for broadcast as "The Candidates Speak."
"'The Candidates Speak' offers voters the opportunity to put a face with the name on the ballot and acknowledges the efforts of the individual candidates, especially in the uncontested races," said WilliNet Executive Director Deb Dane.
"The Candidates Speak" airs on WilliNet's Channel 17 and at willinet.org through May 10 or can be watched below.
|Tags: Williamstown, television|
Melville, Nichols Elected to Adams Selectmen
|Paula Melville||Scott Nichols||Donald Sommer|
ADAMS, Mass. — Voters seem bent on completely reconstituting the Board of Selectmen, ousting another chairman on Monday night and selected a newcomer and a former selectman to fill two three-year seats on the board.
In a low turnout, Scott Nichols, a former selectman and athletic director at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, was returned to the board with 638 votes, besting his closest competiter, Paula Melville, by 101 votes.
Melville, a member of the Finance Committee, received 537, enough to place her in the second seat that was up for election.
Donald R. Sommer, who was elected to the board in 2007, failed to garner enough votes for a second term, polling only 432 votes.
Victors Scott Nichols and Paula Melville were a little red-faced from standing in the sun out on Summer Street with campaign signs.
Sommer was chairman of the Finance Committe and his election three years ago was fueled in part by his criticism of the board's handling of the town budget. But the since then, the board's gone through some rough waters as a number of actions taken by the Selectmen — especially over the firing of a town administrator — have caused controversery.
Last year, two selectmen including the then chairman were ousted in favor of two newcomers. Sommers, picking up the reins, pledged a more open and transparent board and fiscal responsibility. It apparently wasn't enough.
"I did the best I could. People didn't like the way I did them," said Sommer, 75, who declined to speculate more on his defeat. "I'll have more time with my horses."
A Nichols/Melville victory seemed assured as the numbers were read off from the five precincts. Sommer quickly turned to Melville as the last precinct was called and congratulated her.
"I was a little nervous because of the turnout but I'm pretty happy with the results," said Nichols, who declined to run after a single term in 2006. "I'm looking forward to working with the board."
Nichols said he needed to get back up to speed with the issues the board's been working on. He'd like to see some forward movement on the master planning process.
Nichols said both his opponents had run good campaigns. "I know Paula worked very hard and I thought Don Sommer was doing a good job."
Melville was a little giddy with victory. "I think my parents would be proud."
Donald Sommer, left, shakes hands with former colleague Joseph R. Dean Jr., who turned in his selectman's cap for town moderator.
"I think it's great a woman is going to be on the board, we bring a different perspectives," continued Melville adding she, too, was looking forward with working with her fellow selectman, citing the schools and expanding the tax base as issues she thought it should tackle."
Town Clerk Paul Hutchison was disappointed with the turnout: "Lousy." He did, however, say the newest location for the polls at the Department of Public Works garage had worked out well despite a couple glitches. "You always have growing pains."
Some 1,030 ballots were cast, or 17 percent of the town's 5,994 registered voters. The selectmen were the only race on the ballot and a number of town meeting seats went empty. Some 285 blank ballots were cast for selectmen.
Longtime Selectman Joseph R. Dean Jr. ran for moderator this year, besting all the selectman candidates by toting up 874 votes while running unopposed. Also elected unopposed were Treasurer/Collector Holly Denault, three years; Assessor Charles J. Welch, three years; Board of Health member Roy Thompson, three years; Planning Board member Michael O'Brien, five years; Library Trustee Juliet Wilk-Chaffee, three years; Cemetery Commission Lawrence Clairmont, three years; Northern Berkshire Vocational School Committee (McCann) member Joseph Allard, three years, and Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee members Paul Butler and John Duval, three years.