Town Election adds new faces to school committee

by Town Reminder

Town Election adds new faces to school committee
Voter turn-out still low

By Kristin Will
Staff Writer,

SOUTH HADLEY – Although four board positions were contested in South Hadley’s 2011 Town Election, just 15 percent of residents voted Monday.
With a little more than double last year’s voter turn-out of only six percent, the 2011 voters, 1,622 of those 10,621 registered, produced some interesting results.
Positions on the school committee were the most sought-after by four candidates, Robert M. Abrams, Shannon L. Hann, Kevin McAllister and Barry CD Waite. Former chair and vice chair persons JoAnn Jordan and Kathryn Mazur, respectively, did not seek re-election. Waite and surprisingly, Abrams, were elected to fill those positions.
Garnering the most votes was Waite, with 909. Abrams had 778, beating out McAllister who had 629 and Hann who had 465. Five voters, three from Precinct C and one each from precincts B and D, wrote in names and 458 residents left blanks.
Incumbents for the three other boards, Selectboard, Municipal Light Board and Trustee for the Free Public Library, kept their positions. For Selectboard, Robert G. Judge drew the most votes, with 1,200, while Francis J. DeToma had 1,134. Chester T. Sinclair garnered 497. Many residents left blanks, 411, and 12 residents have write-ins.
Rita M. Lawler kept her position on the Municipal Light Board with 788 votes. Dale H. Johnston received 691. Two residents, from precincts D and E cast write-ins while 141 residents left blanks.
Remaining as Trustees for the Free Public Library are Susan E. Obremski-Crowther who had the most votes, with 1,042, Helen Correia Gage who received 916, and Joyce M. O’Neil with 943 votes. Not elected was Barbara S. Salthouse, who received 665 votes. Thirteen residents cast write-ins and a large majority, 1,287, left blanks.
Edward J. Ryan, Jr. remains as moderator, Michael A. Rosner stays on the Board of Health, Kevin E. Taugher remains on the Board of Assessors, Helen J. Fantini and Jeffrey D. Squire will stay on the Planning Board with new five-year and three-year terms, respectively, and Constance A. Clancy remains on the Housing Authority.
Unofficial results from the Town Meeting Member section see a vacancy left in Precinct A for two town meeting members with two-year terms. For three-year terms, Constance A. Clancy garnered the most votes with 178. Also elected to three year terms were Deborah L. Bergeron, Barbara A. Duguay, Mitchel J. Malinowski, Barbara F. Randall, Roger R. Roux, Ed Beattie and Kyle Belanger.
Contested was Precinct B, where residents had to choose eight candidates out of 12. Elected were Theodore B. Belsky with the most votes of 288, Evelyn G. Chesky, Carol E. Craig, Francis J. Detoma Sr., Eleanor C. Klepacki, Marjorie R. Kaufman, Gregory R. Sheehan and Thomas A. Terry.
Precinct C Town Meeting Members were also contested. Elected were William Roddy Adams, Andrew R. Beaudry, Marguerite A. Clancy, Alan M. Gardner, John Urekew, Jeffrey A. Cyr, John R. Hine and Kevin E. Taugher. Evelyn Hollering was elected to a one-year term.
Another largely contested race was for a three-year term to Precinct D with 11 candidates from which residents had to choose eight. Elected were Warren M. Bock, Barbara E. Bristol, Richard A. Constant, Beverly A. Gagne, Peter A. Gagne, Michael R. Koske, Michael A. Rosner and John W. Scibak.
Precinct E saw Frances R. Abrams, Robert M. Abrams, Thomas A. Callahan, Linda L. Young and Desiree A. Smelcer elected. Additionally elected through write-ins are Nancy Knadler, Dennis Swartwout and Dale Carey. Marilyn G. Ishler was elected to a one-year term.
Throughout the day, town hall employees sold homemade baked goods to voters. A couple hundred dollars were raised and donated to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Pantry.