Mount Greylock School Election Causes Confusion

By Stephen DravisWilliamstown Correspondent
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Chris Dodig was technically turned out of his seat on the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee by Sheila Hebert, who's already serving on the committee.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Sheila Hebert burst out laughing when told she won a seat on the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.

The joke was: She did not want to win.

Hebert, who already is serving out a term on the committee, actively encouraged everyone she knew to vote for one of the other candidates vying for the single open Lanesborough seat on the committee.

But when the votes were tallied on Tuesday, Hebert had 1,630 votes (1,067 from Williamstown; 563 from Lanesborough). Her opponents, Chris Dodig and Mark Schiek, had 1,256 and 537, respectively.

"Are you kidding me?" Hebert asked when reached at her home on Tuesday night. "I'm a little shocked, to be honest.

"They do a Lanesborough newsletter electronically, and each of us put out statements, and in mine I said, 'I encourage you to give your vote to one of the other two candidates so they have a chance to get in.'"

Dodig, like Hebert, is filling out an unexpired term on the committee for members who resigned mid-term. Dodig's term expires at the end of November. Hebert’s current seat has two more years on a four-year term.

Hebert told iBerkshires.com in October that she did not want to win the seat Dodig currently occupies because it would require Williamstown's and Lanesborough's Boards of Selectmen to appoint someone to fill the seat she currently holds.

That may be the scenario the towns now face.

Or, it may not.

Lanesborough Town Clerk Judith Gallant said Tuesday that Hebert may be able to avoid displacing Dodig yet.

"She can write a letter declining the position, and then it would go to the next top vote-getter," Gallant said. "I think that's how it works. That's what we'd do in a town election.

"But I could be wrong. It's been known to happen."

Hebert said she will consult with Gallant on Wednesday to see what can be done.
Tags: election2012,   MGRHS,   school committee,   


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Pittsfield Continues Tax Classification Hearing Over Free Cash

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Mayor Linda Tyer says she wants to focus on building reserves. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday continued the tax classification hearing after clashing with the mayor over how much free cash should be used to offset the tax rate.
 
At the end of a nearly three-hour meeting, councilors and Mayor Linda Tyer were at a stalemate with the majority of the council unsatisfied with Tyer's $750,000 compromise.
 
"We are taking this out of the pockets of our taxpayers and putting it into the city coffers," Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers said. "I know that's how it works but at this moment we can afford to give some of that savings back."
 
The original proposal was a residential tax rate of $19.99 per $1,000 valuation and a commercial rate of $39.96 per $1,000 valuation, which holds the residential rate to a 57 cent increase and the commercial rate to a 2 cent increase.
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