Decisions, Decisions on Primary Day
|Berkshire County Sheriff|
|Thomas N. Bowler||Daniel E. Bosley|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It's decision time in Berkshire County, especially for two elected positions.
On Tuesday, voters in North County and parts of Franklin and Hampshire will determine their state representative for the next two years in the Democratic primary. Barring a last-minute write-in for November, the Democratic winner of the 1st Berkshire District primary on Tuesday will sail to a predetermined victory.
The same goes for Berkshire County sheriff, where two Democrats are facing off for the six-year position. The last occupant of the office, Carmen C. Massimiano, quietly held onto the powerful political spot for 32 years. He hadn't been challenged since 1980 until Thomas N. Bowler announced his intention to run. Massimiano decided to retire and soon after Daniel E. Bosley, another powerhouse Democrat and dean of the Berkshire delegation at the State House, tossed his hat in the ring.
In the 1st District, three Democrats are vying to step into the shoes of Bosley, who's been representing North County and outlying towns for 24 years. Gailanne Cariddi has been city councilor in North Adams for 20 years and has consistently been among top vote-getters in city elections; Edward MacDonald is currently town administrator for Chester, in the 4th District, but hails from Adams, where he served a term as selectman; and David Bissaillon, also of Adams, is a vice president with Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins and former president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Voters the 2nd Berkshire District, which cuts a large swath across the county and includes towns in Franklin and Hampshire, will select nominations in both Republican and Democratic primaries to face off against independent Stefan G. Racz of Buckland in November.
On the Democratic ballot are Thomas S. Szczepaniak, a three-term Dalton selectman and owner of Variety Trucking; Noreen P. Suriner, a retired Episcopal, former teacher and Middlefield selectwoman; and Paul W. Mark of Hancock, a Verizon technician and labor attorney with strong roots in local union activities. On the Republican side are military veterans Michael Case, a retired Pittsfield Police officer and Guardsman who served in combat areas, and Rosanne M. Frieri of Richmond, Pittsfield's veterans service agent and staff sergeant in the Air National Guard.
Also on Tuesday's ballot are nominations for state auditor. In the Democratic camp are Great Barrington resident Suzanne M. Bump, Guy William Glodis of Auburn and Mike Lake of Boston; the Republicans are fielding Mary Z. Connaughton of Framingham and Kamal Jain of Lowell. There also is a race for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer between Steven Grossman of Newton and Stephen J. Murphy of Boston.
More information on the candidates, including letters, articles and statements can be found on the blog or go directly to their websites through the links on the sidebar. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; find your voting location here.
Check the blog later today for update on voting and election news. You'll have the results from the major communities as soon as we do. Check on on Twitter at @iberkshires or our Facebook page and send info to us the same way. Editor Tammy Daniels will join Richard Taskin and Paul Hopkins at Northern Berkshire Community Television at 7 p.m. You can also follow our partners on the Berkshire News Network at WSBS, WBEC and WNAW for election coverage.
Get out the vote!
1st Berkshire District
|David R. Bissaillon||Gailanne M. Cariddi||Edward MacDonald|
2nd Berkshire District / Democrat
| Paul W. Mark
|| Noreen M. Suriner
|| Thomas S. Szczepaniak
|2nd Berkshire District / Republican|
|Michael F. Case||Rosanne M. Frieri|
|Tags: primary, election|
Letter: Choose MacDonald
To the Editor:
Ed MacDonald is running for state representative, and I am expressing my support. I have had the opportunity to work with Ed for almost a year now, and we continue to work on the interests of the region, town, community and my department today.
As a Chief of Police, part of my responsibility is to seek additional sources of funding to support the operation and function of my department. Through Ed MacDonald’s knowledge of the legislative process, his contacts and the relationships he has established over the years, I was provided advice on whom to ask with my questions. This opened the doors to resources and grant opportunities that I can directly attribute to Ed’s professional networking. To me, this was proof that Ed already has a great working relationship with the other members of the Legislature.
One of the characteristics Ed possesses is an honest, thoughtful approach to addressing an issue or problem. Liking to meet a challenge head on, I have found Ed to do his research and give a sound opinion. I have observed Ed follow his beliefs, make some hard choices and still remain on track to the larger purpose without losing sight along the way.
It has been a pleasure working with Ed MacDonald. I believe that with Ed’s dedication and commitment, he will be an excellent state representative, and therefore I fully endorse his candidacy.
Letter: MacDonald Cares About the Community
To the Editor:
I am writing to express my support for Ed MacDonald, who is running for the position of state representative from the First Berkshire District. Mr. MacDonald is currently the town administrator in the community of Chester, and as the agent for the Board of Health, I have had the pleasure of working with Ed on many occasions. I have always found him to be professional, friendly and knowledgeable.
In the town of Chester, Ed works for the people. He makes it a point to get to know the residents as individuals. He always looks toward the best interests of the town and works to make those interests become reality. His background in urban planning has proven to be an asset to the town, giving him the knowledge to find ways to create jobs, to help the taxpayers put their money to work in the best, most efficient way, and to get things done correctly.
While Ed will certainly be missed as town administrator, his election to the position of state representative of the 1st Berkshire District will show you what you've been missing in a representative. He will for you and your community – because it's his community too.
The writer is health agent for the Town of Chester.
Letter: MacDonald Will Get the Job Done
To the Editor:
As chairman of the Chester Board of Selectmen, I had the pleasure of getting to know Ed MacDonald and working with him for over the past year. I first met Ed when the Board of Selectmen was in the process of hiring a town administrator last year at a time of chaos in the Town Hall and significant financial deficits due to cuts in local aid. We chose him because of the breadth and depth of his experience in municipal government that would be instrumental in getting our town back on its feet.
The qualities I like most about Ed was his commitment and dedication to our town and its citizens, the valuable help to the selectboard in closing a large budget deficit while maintaining all services in the FY10 budget, and the fact that he is not afraid to "roll up his sleeves" to get the job done!
I know in my heart that, if elected as your state representative, Ed will most certainly bring these same qualities to his district. He will be the kind of representative we need in Boston, dedicated to his constituents and their quality of life but cognizant of the financial difficulties the people and the state face. He will offer viable solutions to our state’s budget woes while working with his Western Mass. peers to ensure that the state’s budget is equitable. Most importantly, he will work tirelessly on your behalf and get the job done!
On Sept. 14, please vote for Ed MacDonald as your Massachusetts state representative!
Michael W. Crochiere
Sheriff, 1st District Candidates Seek Votes in Adams
Daniel E. Bosley addresses the Maple Grove Civic Club as three candidates hoping to replace him, David Bissaillon, left, Edward MacDonald and Gailanne Cardiid look on.
ADAMS, Mass. — The candidates for 1st District and the sheriff's office spent their last formal campaign gathering on Sunday afternoon chasing a few more voters.
Both sheriff's candidates, Thomas N. Bowler and Daniel E. Bosley, and all three representative candidates, Gailanne Cariddi, David Bissaillon and Edward MacDonald, spent just over an hour giving their stump speeches and answering a smattering of questions from the nearly 50 members of the Maple Grove Civic Club.
"For us the race is almost over ...," said Bosley, who spoke first. "This primary on Tuesday is the election. There is no Republican in either of these races, so whoever wins the primary becomes — barring a miracle on the Republican side — the sheriff or state representatives it's extremely important that you get out and make your vote."
Tom Bowler in a pensive pose, top, during the Maple Grove Civic Club candidates' forum. Bosley, left, chats up civic club members afterward.
Tuesday's election will fill two long-occupied and important political positions; Carmen Massimiano has been sheriff for 32 years, Bosley representative for 24. The forum, the last before the election, capped off a series of more formal encounters on local television and radio over the past months.
The candidates stuck to their stump speeches in the short time allowed.
"You know me. I've been your state representative for 24 years," said Bosley, whose district includes Adams. "I've brought more programs, more services, more money back to the 1st Berkshire District than anyone who's ever held this seat."
Bosley stressed his focus on security, rehabilitation and re-entry, saying he'd
laid out a plan to develop new programs, bring adult probation into the House of Correction and find cost savings measures, including solar energy and the possibility of a regional lockup.
Bowler, a 20-year Pittsfield Police detective, pointed to his longtime collaboration with various federal and local law enforcement agencies and said he would work on communication between agencies. He added, "you're not just dealing with the law enforcement aspect, you're dealing with the social service aspect as well with the victims and families."
The main difference between the sheriff candidates has been their philosophical take on the sheriff's office, with Bosley describing it as an administrator position and Bowler as a law enforcement issue. However, both answered similarly when asked about resources and if it was worthwhile to spend time and money on criminals.
"Our job is to rehabilitate those people - they're not all bad, but they've made bad choices," said Bowler. "We need to give these people the opportunity to become good people."
Bosley said it was cost-effective to provide services to help keep inmates from returning, noting it costs about $43,000 to keep someone in the House of Correction. "We need to give them services to keep them out; we can't keep them all out but it saves us money if we give them services ... We need them to take responsibility, to work a 40-hour work week."
Cariddi greets town meeting members Starr and Pat Baker.
MacDonald promised to 'bring home the bacon.'
Bissaillon had a contingent of supporters at the forum.
Budget cuts have made it difficult but Bosley said he would work to find funding. "I think I can squeeze some money out of the state ... but we need to find other sources to generate revenue ourselves."
"I do not have the legislative experience Dan Bosley has in Boston but I do know where Boston is and have a car and i know how to get there," responded Bowler, though he had previously said he wouldn't hang around at the State House. He pledged to "use every resource I can."
Both MacDonald and Bissaillon are from Adams and Cariddi highlighted her family business connections to the town through some of the former stores, such as Albert's Hardware.
Bissaillon said his experience as president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce has given invaluable regional leadership and good professional, working relationship with the area's many businesses, agencies and loal officials. The most important thing he's heard during his campaign, he said, was jobs.
"Berkshire County has an aging work force ... We need to work to make sure our young people stay here," he said, but added it wasn't easy to bring employers here. "We have to take advantage of our strengths. ... We have to make attractive for companies to come here."
MacDonald, a former selectman who is now town manager for Chester, said he has the educational and legislative experience to make a difference in the State House. He said the proof was his efforts in bringing in millions of dollars of grant money for the town both singly and in cooperation with nearby communities.
My town received the second-highest grant in the state," he said. "When I took the position in the town of Chester we were $380,000 in the red last year, we turned that town around and ended up with with $55,000 this year. ... when I go to Boston it'll be to get things done — I'm going to bring home the bacon."
Polls for the primary will be open from 7 to 8 on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Adams voters are reminded that voting will be at the Department of Public Works garage on North Summer Street.
Because this is a primary, those enrolled in parties must vote in their party's primary; those unenrolled may select which party's primary they wish to vote in.