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.
Margie Ware confirmed Wednesday that she was no longer in the race for the 1st Berkshire District.
The former Williamstown selectman had been among the first to announce that she would be taking out nomination papers to fill the seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Daniel E. Bosley.
"I really decided the day that Dave Bissaillon said he was running," said Ware. "I love public service and I don't even mind raising money ... but it's really hard for me to campaign."
The 60-year-old Democrat works full-time as regional director of health information programs for Elder Services.
Ware said her strategy depended on doing really well in Adams. That went by the boards when a favorite son in the Mother Town jumped in. The word she was getting back was that the former Berkshire Chamber director was all the talk in Adams.
She's been interested in higher office for some time and tried for state Senate in 2006, but lost the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary to now state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing of Pittsfield. In 2008, she was among several prominent local Democrats eyeing the 1st Berkshire seat when Bosley was considering a job in the Patrick administration.
Ware doesn't think there's a possibility of another spot opening up for her at this point in her life. It's difficult develop a base at the grass-roots level when you don't grow up here, she said.
In addition to Bissaillon, North Adams City Councilor Gailanne Cariddi and Chester Town Manager Edward MacDonald are running. Ware said she would not be endorsing any candidates.
The primary will be held Sept. 14; the winner will face any Republican or independent opponent who emerges. Nomination papers with 150 signatures must be filed by April 27.