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Candidates Robert Ericson, Gordon Hubbard, Barbara Davis-Hassan, and Kevin Towle all spent time during the day campaigning outside Town Hall, where voting was taking place.

Hubbard Wins Lanesborough Board of Selectmen Seat

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Hubbard owns the Mount Greylock Campsite Park on Scott Road.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Gordon Hubbard will join the Board of Selectmen after defeating Robert Ericson on Tuesday.
 
Hubbard reeled in 269 votes to Ericson's 114.
 
Hubbard is the owner of the Mount Greylock Campsite Park and campaigned on his wide-ranging experience in teaching, school administration, volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical technician, and now as a business owner running a "mini-village" that is the campgrounds. 
 
"I'm excited and invigorated. I'm humbled that the citizens have trusted me to serve as their Selectmen," Hubbard said Tuesday night after hearing the results. 
 
Ericson, a retired engineer, has a long history in elected roles in the town starting with serving on the Mount Greylock School Committee and then winning a seat on the Board of Selectmen in 2013. He focused his campaign on fiscal responsibility.
 
Perhaps the most dividing issue between them was the police station. Ericson had been in favor of, and has physically done much of the work, to renovate the current station. He sees a renovation as an opportunity to save a significant amount of money to keep the tax rate from climbing. 
 
However, the progress has frustrated police officers who want a new station. Ericson had been resistant about spending money on a request for qualifications for a feasibility study to look at options.
 
Hubbard supported the feasibility request and was supportive of including a look at the Vacation Village property as well. He wasn't committed to any of options but was supportive going through the process. Hubbard received strong support from town police officers and firefighters for the position because of his support for public safety.
 
Hubbard agreed that issue-wise that was one of the biggest things he heard during the campaign. But he said people were also drawn to his experience. Hubbard had moved to town three years ago when he purchased the campground and he said voters wanted to see new ideas brought to the board.
 
"I think people wanted a change and that's what I represented, a change," Hubbard said, adding that he often had residents provide positive feedback about his prior experiences elsewhere.
 
Hubbard said his focus is now to get even further caught up with the various issues in town and "blend" his experience and viewpoints into Lanesborough's history and present. He also vowed to keep his door open and listen to concerns and ideas from residents.
 
"I have to get up to speed on all of the issues the Selectmen here have been dealing with and then bring my experience and blend them together," Hubbard said, saying he wants to make sure he has the background on everything so he is fully prepared for when issues come to a vote. 
 
The win was fairly decisive, which Hubbard said he did not expect. He thought it would be a close race. He credited a team of supporters who helped him campaign and thanked the voters for electing him. 
 

Expecting a smaller turnout than in other elections, the voting set up was scaled down a bit from the booths that are usually set up.
"I'll do the best job that I can in moving Lanesborough forward," Hubbard said.
 
In the other contested race, Barbara Davis-Hassan defeated incumbent Ronald Tinkham for five-year a seat on the Planning Board.
 
Tinkham had been a longtime member of the Planning Board and Davis-Hassan, a real estate agent, has served in a number of volunteer roles, currently and most notably on the Economic Development Committee.
 
The remaining races were uncontested. Kevin Towle and Tinkham were both seeking seats on the Finance Committee; Tinkham is an incumbent and Towle would be a new addition to the board. Incumbent Rebecca Flood did not seek re-election.
 
Chris Dodig, who defeated longtime Moderator Robert Reilly in a write-in campaign last year following a contentious town meeting, was re-elected as moderator.
 
Reilly will return to his seat on the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District (McCann Technical School) and Rachael Eramo will return as a library trustee.
 
The election no longer features local a school committee race after the regionalization with the Mount Greylock Regional School District. Those seats are determined during the state elections.

Tags: election 2019,   town elections,   


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Lanesborough Planning Board Extends Solar Permits

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Representatives of solar developer Engie North America address the Planning Board on Monday night.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Solar power was the topic of the evening at the Planning Board meeting on Monday night as the board extended permits for three large commercial solar operations. 
 
Engie North America Inc. was seeking an extension to special permits previously issued for projects at 405 South Main St. (Skyline Country Club), 550 North Main St. (Pillar LLC), and land on Partridge Road owned by Petricca Development. The substantial use permit expired on Aug. 20 and the company is seeking an extension to the end of the year. The extension was made necessary by recent snags in obtaining the panels.
 
"We can get the panels, but in mid-June there was an exemption that was put in on bifacial (two-sided) solar panels to the tariffs that are being imposed on imported solar panels," said Matt Singer, project developer for Engie. "What that did was really turn the solar module market upside down. We were pretty far along with a supplier, ready to finalize a deal, then the market changed overnight and [the supplier] essentially backed out and we had to line up a new supplier. Which we did."
 
All the sites had minor issues that were addressed by Engie.
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