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.