Snoonian, Rice Cruise to Victory in Adams Election
By Jack Guerino iBerkshires Staff
Supporters of candidates running for local office were parked along the sidewalk near the town garage on Monday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Veteran Selectman Michael Ouellette lost his seat on the board on Monday night to newcomer Jeffrey Snoonian.
The count was 711-450, or 61 percent of the vote.
Snoonian's a newcomer not only to politics but to much of Adams. A longtime visitor to the area, he grew up in the east end of the state and only recently moved permanently to the Mother Town.
Despite that, the construction contractor has grown deep enough roots in the community to rack up sizeable support from a number of longtime residents - and to sweep to victory with 261 votes.
Snoonian was not at the polling station at the town garage when the vote tallies were read and could not be immediately reached for comment.
"I am excited I love Adams and I think it has unlimited potential," said Snoonian, when reached on Tuesday. "I just think it needs someone to champion it a little more and to be out there and a little more aggressive an enthusiastic."
Ouellette had squeaked to victory three years ago with 22 votes over Richard Blanchard, who has since won a seat, but couldn't get enough to support this time around. He left the polling station as the vote counts were read off and it became apparent he wouldn't be returning to the board.
The former GE engineer first won a seat on the board in 2008, beating out two others to fill the seat being vacated by Myra Wilk.
Kelly Rice won the treasurer-collector's office over Melissa McGovern-Wandrei by 666-477. McGovern-Wandrei, the appointed treasurer-collector in Clarksburg, had hoped her experience would win the day but Rice, a 30-year resident of the town and a longtime employee in the public schools and Town Hall, easily won by 189 votes.
"I am ready to start at 8:30 tomorrow morning after I get sworn in," said Rice, who has been working in the office of community development.
She will serve out the two years left on the three-year treasurer-collector term.
In the only other race on the ballot, George Haddad handily beat out Dennis A. Gajda by a vote of 748-366 for the three-year seat on the Board of Assessors being vacated by Lynn D. Avery.
"I am glad to serve the town of Adams again and I will do everything I can," said the former selectman. "I really appreciate the voters."
All other offices were unopposed.
Town Clerk Haley Meczywor said 1,171 of the town's 5,861 registered votered made it to the polls, or about 20 percent. That's on par with last year's election at 1,182 voters.
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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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