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Bissaillon Joins Crowded Democratic Field for State Rep

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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David Bissaillon spent five years as head of the Berkshire Chamber before joining the Coakley, etc., insurance agency three years ago.
ADAMS, Mass. — The race for state representative is getting crowded as David R. Bissaillon, former president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, jumped in last night.

The 44-year-old Adams resident made a splash with a formal announcement at Armory Court, surrounded by about 30 or 40 family members and supporters including several town officials and North Adams City Councilors Michael Boland and Keith Bona. A campaign Web site was launched shortly before.

"There's a growing collaborative spirit in North Berkshire and Franklin County, and Berkshire County in general," he said. "My whole career has been about collaboration, team work and respect. I think you solve a lot of problems with those three things."

There are now four Democrats aching to succeed longtime legislator Daniel E. Bosley in the 1st Berkshire District. Last week, Margaret Ware of Williamstown, North Adams City Councilor Gailanne Cariddi and former Adams Selectman Edward MacDonald said they had taken out nomination papers for the post.

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.

Ware, regional director of health information programs for Elder services and a former Williamstown selectman, quietly let the word out by e-mail of her decision to run. Cariddi, a 21-year veteran and past president of the North Adams City Council, confirmed to the North Adams Transcript that she, too, was gearing for a run.

Both women are longtime Democratic activists with strong roots in the state party and years of experience in local government. MacDonald was ousted as a selectman in Adams last year and is now town administrator for Chester in Hampden County. All three had expressed interest in Bosley's seat three years ago when the North Adams representative had planned to join the Patrick administration.

Bissaillon, 44, a lifelong Adams resident, has never held elected office but been interested in public service beyond his current involvement in with community organizations and youth sports. Then Bosley announced in January he would run for sheriff.

"It was something I had to do a lot of thinking about," said Bissaillon. "It's a great opening and I'm very excited."

He believes his experience in business and the community will serve the district well. "Community and public service solves problems and creates opportunities for people."

Bissaillon will retain his position as vice president at Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency during the campaign. He expected to pull his nomination papers on Thursday morning and get his signatures fairly quickly.
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Adams Historical Society Repairs Historic Chairs

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The trustees also got an update on the progress on changing administrative control of the Miller Fund, discovered last year. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Furniture can get a little worn after 120 years. So members of the Adams Historical Society members have been tightening up the historic chairs still in use in Memorial Hall.
 
Library Director Holli Jayko told the trustees Thursday that volunteers are making their way through the dozens of antique chairs dating back to the 19th century and that are original to the building.
 
"They have been lovingly putting them back together and they are finding the ones that are kind of loose or coming apart," she said. "They are just going through and making them safe to sit in."
 
The library was completed in 1899 and the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall — one of the few left in the state — is located on the second floor. Trustees and Historical Society member Eugene Michalenko noted the chairs, that are still in use today, were once occupied by Civil War veterans at their GAR meetings. 
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