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Deborah Maynard, seen here campaigning outside Town Hall on Tuesday morning, won a three-year seat on the Select Board.

Lanesborough Has Hot, Quiet Election Day

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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Voting was slow but steady at Lanesborough Town Hall.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town had a steady and sweltering election day that saw Deborah Maynard elected to the Select Board. 
Maynard outpolled Joseph Trybus 181-87 to fill the seat left vacant by longtime board member John Goerlach.
About halfway through polling hours, about 150 people had turned out in the 90-degree weather to cast votes for the Select Board, Finance Committee, Planning Board, library trustee, and town moderator. In total, about 400 votes were cast out of the 2,515 registered voters, or about 16 percent.
"It's been kind of slow but steady," poll worker Sheila Parks said. "No exciting news, which is good."
Town Clerk Ruth Knysh guessed that many would vote after work. Polls opened at noon at Town Hall and closed at 8 p.m.
"It's going great. It's been steady since we opened the doors at noontime. No issues at all," she said. "So we're hoping for smooth sailing until eight o'clock tonight."
Earlier in the day, there was road construction in front of the town offices that could have been a deterrent, she observed.
"We have some great candidates and I'm really excited about that," she said.
John Goerlach declined to run again after serving Lanesborough for 18 years, being first elected in 2006.
Both Trybus and Maynard were campaigning outside Town Hall. Maynard has been on the Planning Board for a few years and also serves on the Public Safety Building Committee. The candidate explained that when the town lost its treasurer and tax collector, she volunteered her time in the position until it could be filled.
"That was very important to me," she said. "And not taking the pay was because I knew we were going to have to pay somebody more money in order to keep the position."
Finances led Maynard to seek a seat on the Select Board.
"I just think we need to get a handle on her finances and get back to basics really because until something happens with the Berkshire Mall, it's just draining our coffers," she said. "And our budget has just increased to accommodate for the Berkshire Mall revenue and we don't have it anymore."
Last week at the annual town meeting, she voted against an article that would have expanded the full tax exemption to parents of military personnel who went missing in action or died as a proximate result of injuries sustained or contracted during active duty service.
"They wanted to grant the full abatement for taxes as a local option, not a state option, and the state does not reimburse for any of that and I think our town is so small and it's not a rich town where we could absorb — I didn't feel we could absorb that," she said.
"And that is the only reason from a financial perspective. Emotionally, obviously, my heart goes out to any person that has lost a family member. It was not an emotional decision. It was strictly a financial decision."
This triggered disappointed feedback on social media from a local Gold Star family and others argued that it would not raise taxes.
Trybus also has served on the Planning Board and on the Conversation Commission for over a decade and thought it was time to advance to the Select Board.
"I've done my time on other boards and I think it's time to move up to Select Board and try to figure out for one, what's done at that level, and how can I contribute," he said.
While he was out of town for this year's annual town meeting, Trybus wants to bring articles to the community.
"I am passionate about bringing something to the annual town meeting when I sit on the Planning Board. Bringing a new something, a new bylaw to the board. We have to vote on it at the Planning Board level to make it go there," he said.
"I've always been passionate about trying to move forward and never sitting stagnant so I will do the same thing as a selectman as soon as I figure out exactly what the job entails."
The Planning Board has gone through a journey with accessory dwelling unit bylaws, having one passed years ago, regulatory language failing at the 2023 town meeting, and new language not even making it to last week's town meeting.
Voters rejected an article last year to remove the 900 square-foot cap on ADUs with concerns that people would build large structures on their property. This year, the Planning Board proposed a 2,500-square-foot cap and it was referred back to the board due to uncertainty at the state level.
Trybus felt that the article was sabotaged after all the work that was put into it but didn't want to speak too much on it until he watches a recording of the town meeting.
"I will definitely bring it back to back to the board because even if I bring something to the table that makes it to the annual town meeting and it gets voted down, I don't stop I just find out another way to present it the following year," he said.
In the only other contested race, a five-year seat for the Planning Board, Courtney Dondi defeated Mark Siegars 156-86. Both have served on town boards and commissions.
Running uncontested were Renee Degragon for a one-year term on the Planning Board; Kristen Tool and David Parks for two three-year terms on the Finance Committee and Lydon Moors for a two-year term on the committee; Elizabeth Drury won re-election on a three-year library trustee term and David Rolle for a three-year term as town moderator.

Tags: election 2024,   town elections,   

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PIttsfield 16s Fall in Babe Ruth Regional Final Sports
AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Norwalk, Conn., Babe Ruth 16-year-old All-Stars Tuesday beat Pittsfield, 2-0, in the championship game of the New England Regional.
It marked the second shutout loss to the Connecticut State Champions in three days for Pittsfield. But it was a very different game this time around.
On Sunday, Norwalk beat Pittsfield, 10-0, in six innings to wrap up pool play.
That forced Pittsfield to win two straight games to get a rematch in the finals, and it did so, blanking Lyndon, Vt., on Monday and edging Eastern Mass Champion Lynn on Tuesday morning.
But in the title game, Norwalk pitcher Jaxon Ermo held Pittsfield to four hits and allowed two walks while striking out six in a complete-game shutout win.
For Pittsfield, Connor Paronto and Sam Glockner split time on the mound, striking out three.
But Norwalk generated 10 hits and scored a run in the second and a run in the sixth to give Ermo the offensive support he needed.
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