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Pittsfield School Chairman Out of the Running

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. —- The chairman of the School Committee won't be running for office this year. Instead, Alfred E. Barbalunga is encouraging others to take out papers.

Barbalunga, elected to his first two-year term in 2009 and again in 2011, stated his decision not to run for a third term in a letter to the public on Monday. He said he will complete his term, which ends in January 2014, and that the running of two committee officers, Vice Chairman Daniel Elias and Secretary Kathy Yon, should offer a "smooth transition."

He did not rule out the possibility of running for elected office in the future.

His full statement follows:

After careful consideration, I have decided not to run for re-election for the City of Pittsfield School Committee.

It has been my honor to serve as Chair and a privilege to work hand-in-hand with all of the valued Pittsfield school district employees. I feel confident there will be a smooth transition with the leadership team of Vice Chair Dan Elias and Secretary Kathy Yon, both who are running for re-election.

During the past year, I have had the unique experience of co-managing the Pittsfield school district with three different superintendents. Among many accomplishments, we were able to sign 100 percent of the union bargaining contracts, and present annual budgets which will allow this school system to move forward.

I am personally encouraging others to take out papers. I feel it is vital to have people from various walks of life who can bring different perspectives and fresh ideas to the School Committee. There are still more than two weeks until the first submission deadline.

I enjoyed working with the Charter Review Study Committee and the Chair, Judge Lapointe, and am hopeful there will be future compensation for School Committee members.  I believe if these are paid positions, we will see a much larger candidate pool.

My final meeting as the School Committee Chair will be on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013.  However, I have already assured Dr. McCandless I fully intend to complete my term, and I will be available to assist until January 8th, 2014.
I have contributed 18 years of combined service to the City of Pittsfield, and I feel very grateful to be a member of this vibrant community. There are many ways to make a contribution in my community and I intend on remaining active in public service, and would consider seeking public office again in the future.

I would be remiss if I did not thank my wife, Jonalee, my father Alfred, and my great friend Kevin J. Sherman, for all of the support and feedback they have given me along the way.


Ericson Wins Lanesborough Selectman Race

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Robert Ericson soared to victory in Tuesday's election for the Board of Selectmen.

Ericson reeled in 381 votes compared to former Selectman Joseph Szczpaniak Jr.'s 183 for the seat last held by William Prendergast, who opted not to run for re-election.

However, Szczpaniak may have another chance to seek a seat on the board. Selectman Robert Barton won a seat on the School Committee over Renee Poplaski. Barton won 282 votes to Poplaski's 244. Barton plans to resign from the Board of Selectmen.

In a three-way race for two seats on the Finance Committee, incumbent Al Terranova and newcomer Ronald Tinkham were elected over Stephen Wentworth. Terranova received 284 votes, Tinkham 267 and Wentworth 221. For a one-year seat, incumbent Christine Galib was unopposed and garnered 452 votes.

Incumbent Mary Reilly easily secured her seat with 446 votes to challenger Gregory Wolf's 68 for cemetery trustee. There were also three unopposed races — Christa Sidway for library trustee and Robert Reilly for both moderator and Northern Berkshire Regional Vocational School Committee.

In the statewide race for the U.S. Senate, Lanesborough voters picked Edward Markey over Gabriel Gomez by a margin of 404 to 189. One voter cast his or her vote for Richard Heos of the Twelve Visions Party.


Two Vying for Clarksburg School Committee

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — There are two candidates vying for School Committee in the only race on this year's election ballot. The incumbents of two vacant seats on the ballot are accepting write-ins.

The election is Tuesday, May 21, from noon to 7 p.m. at the Senior Center. Absentee ballots can be requested in writing until available until noon on Monday, May 20.

Patricia A. Prenguber of Cross Road and Kimberly Goodell of Southernview Drive are each seeking the 3-year seat on the committee.

Prenguber, 61, was appointed to the committee last fall after the resignation of David Woods. This is her first run for office. She has worked in the North Adams Public Schools for 35 years, retiring as dean of students, but has continued working in a part-time capacity as a math coach. A resident for 26 years, she has seen her two children graduate from the school and now has grandchildren attending.

She is supportive of rebuilding or renovating the school, and working toward a prekindergarten program.

"I'd like to think my experience as a parent and a taxpayer and a teacher, gives me a well-rounded look at any issue," she said, noting she also has experience as an administrator. She believes she can work with teachers and townspeople in the "interest of the kids, that's what it comes down to."

"It's a great school," she said. "As long as people would like to have me I'd like to be part of that."

Goodell, 36, is a Clarksburg native who built her house next door to the one she grew up in. She has a daughter in kindergarten and is accounts manager at Excelsior Printing Co. in North Adams.

This is her first run for office. "I didn't really have an agenda per se," she said on Monday. "My goal is to make a difference any way I can."

Having attended Clarksburg School, she said she can see its time for some changes and supports the idea building a new school or renovating. Preparing children for today's economy is also important, she said.

"A couple of things that come to mind are after-school programs so it's a little easier on parents who work," said Goodell, who added that the preschool program has been "a big plus." "I'd like to bring some new life and new ideas from a different generation."

There are two offices with no candidates — moderator and a five-year seat on the Planning Board. Incumbent Town Moderator Bryan Tanner is accepting write-ins for his office; Planner David Sherman, who currently holds the five-year seat, will also accept write-ins for re-election. Neither Sherman nor Tanner took out papers to be placed on the ballot.

Running unopposed for re-election are Ernest F. Dix, 150 Carson Ave., for one-year tree warden; Carl W. McKinney, 500 River Road, for three-year selectman; Carol A. Jammalo, 40 Ice Pond Road, for three-year town clerk; Gregory J. Vigna, 304 Wells Ave., for three-year Board of Health seat; Ricard J. Bernardi, 215 Horrigan Road, for three-year seat on the McCann School Committee; and Rose M. Peters, 52 Hayden Hill, for three-year library trustee. Newcomer Edward J. Denault, 760 Middle Road, is running for three-year War Memorial trustee.

Absentee ballot applications are available on the wall in the rear entrance to Town Hall.

Contact Town Clerk Carol Jammalo with any questions or if you would like to vote in the clerk's office. She can be reached by phone at 413-663-8255 (leave a message) or at ClarksburgTClerk@gmail.com.

Update, 10:10 a.m., May 15, 2013; Write-thru removing reference to moderator candidate. Former Finance Committee Chairwoman Mary Beverly had indicated her intention to run a write-in campaign but has withdrawn after learning Town Moderator Bryan Tanner was accepting write-ins as well for re-election.


Clarksburg Elects New School Committee Member

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Toting up the votes at Clarksburg Senior Center on Tuesday.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Voters ousted the chairman of the School Committee in favor of a former school principal but returned a longtime selectman back to that board.

Some 285 voters turned out to for the polls in Tuesday's annual town election. The only races were a two-way for a three-year seat on the School Committee and a three-way battle to complete the final year of a three-year term on the Selectmen.

The biggest shakeup was on the School Committee. John Solari, a retired Drury High School principal polled 150 votes to David Berger's 120. Berger, who works at Williams College, has served on the board for 18 years. Solari, who has spent some 35 years in education, retired in 2006 but still works part-time in tutoring.

Debra LeFave's comeback attempt to finish out her term on the Board of Selectmen came to naught as longtime colleague Carl McKinney won the one-year term with 127 votes. Lefave, who served with McKinney for more than a decade on the board, quit to pursue the town administrator's post, later withdrawing her name from consideration.

McKinney won with 126 votes; Gary Bellows, an engineering technician, polled 85 votes and Lefave, 65.

Jeffrey Levanos, owner of Jack's Hot Dog Stand in North Adams, easily earned 256 votes running unopposed. Levanos will also continue on the School Committee to finish out his second two-year term on that board.

All other posts on the ballot were unopposed and no seat was left vacant, said Town Clerk Carol Jammalo. However, there were a lot blanks and more single write-ins than usual. In some cases, voters checked two candidates for the one-year term on the selectmen, canceling out both their votes.

Jammalo described the turnout, at about 28 percent, as good. "It's one of the biggest ones we've had," she said.

Richmond Town Election Ballot Set For 2012

RICHMOND, Mass. — There are no races on the town election ballot this year. The names of those on appearing on the ballot on Saturday, May 26, are as follows: 

• Three-year term on the Board of Selectmen: Alan Hanson, 796 Dublin Road
• Two three-year terms on the Board of Health: Andrew Fisher, 494 Dean Hill Road, and Anthony Segal, 1220 Lenox Road
• Two-year term on the Board of Health: Peter Cohen, 60 Cone Hill Road
• One-year term on the Board of Health: Fredrick Schubert, 462 East Road
• Two three-year terms on the Finance Committee: Eileen Martin, 2215 Dublin Road, and Stevan Patterson, 132 Shore Road
• Three-year term on the School Committee: Dewey Wyatt, 82 Pine Grove Drive
• One-year term on the School Committee: Bianca Daigle, 970 West Road
• Three-year term on the Board of Library Trustees: Lisa Donfried, 591 Cone Hill Road
• Five-year term on the Planning Board: Linda Morse, 161 Rossiter Road
• Two-year on the Planning Board: Richard Bell, 99 Jolindy Road
• One-year term of town moderator: John Whitney, 251 Yokun Road
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Where to vote in Berkshire County

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Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.

Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
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Brian J. Herr, Republican

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Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
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Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

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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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