April 8 election sees contested races

by Town Reminder

Potential write-in campaign interest high

By Kristin Will
Staff Writer
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SOUTH HADLEY – Two contested races for Municipal Light Board and Precinct B Town Meeting Member top the April 8 town election ballot.
Residents will be asked to choose between Rita Lawler and Christine Archambault for a three-year term for Municipal Light Board. For Precinct B Town Meeting Members, residents will choose eight residents for three-year terms among these 10 candidates: Thomas Terry, Rudy Ternbach, Eleanor Klepacki, Francis DeToma, Evelyn Chesky, Ann Awad, Stefani Holmes, Gerald Judge, Steven Longpre and Daniel Pease.
Multiple positions on the election ballot are vacant – one is a five-year Planning Board position and another is a one-year position for Hampshire Council of Government councilor. The remaining vacancies fall under Town Meeting Member positions in various precincts.
Town Clerk Carlene Hamlin said to her recollection, the town hasn’t seen this many vacancies on an election ballot before.
“Hopefully people are vested in this and understand the importance of our elections,” she said.
Interest in write-in campaigns is high. Hamlin said she has seen a number of residents visit her office asking how to properly run such a campaign.
“I’m hoping that if folks missed the deadline, and if they’re interested, they will actually wage a campaign,” she said.”
In order to properly vote for a write-in candidate, Hamlin reminds residents to not only include the candidate’s full name and address, but to also “bubble-in” the circle provided on the line. Ballot machines counting votes are electronic, and only process filled-in bubbles.
Save-the-date magnets should be arriving at households soon in the latest effort to get the word out about voting and to remind residents of the changed election date. South Hadley residents will now vote on the first Tuesday in April, rather than the first Monday.
On the ballot
All Town Meeting Member precincts see eight members elected each year, including those who are re-elected. Precinct A has only five total members running for election. Four are incumbents: Mitchel Malinowski, Barbara Duguay. Constance Clancy and Deborah Bergeron. One, K. Michael Taugher, is running for the first time.
In Precinct C, two positions are vacant. Incumbents Kevin Taugher, John Hine, Jeff Cyr, Marguerite Clancy and Andrew Beaudry are running for reelection while Michael Wozniak is running for the first time.
One position is vacant in Precinct D. Barbara Bristol, Richard Constant, Beverly Gagne, Peter Gagne, Michael Rosner and John Scibak are running for reelection. Veronique Blanchard Smith is running for the first time.
Precinct E has no vacancies and five residents running for reelection. They are Frances Abrams, Robert Abrams, Nancy Knadler, Dennis Swartwout and Linda Young. Three residents, David Baldwin, Robert Berwick and Brian Cahillane, are running for the first time.
Edward J. Ryan Jr. is running for reelection as Town Moderator.
Frank DeToma and Sarah Etelman are running for reelection as Selectboard members.
Barry Waite and Eric Sarrazin are running for reelection to the School Committee.
Michael Rosner is running for reelection to the Board of Health.
Mary Dufault is running for reelection to the Housing Authority.
Kevin Taugher is running for reelection to the Board of Assessors.
Susan Obremski Crowther is running for reelection as a Trustee for the Free Public Library while David Morrell and Gillian Woldorf are running for the first time.
Absentee ballots are available in the Town Clerk’s office to be picked up daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Applications must be made in writing; ballots can be obtained by voters who won’t be in South Hadley during poll hours or who have physical disabilities or religious beliefs that will keep them from the polls.
For more information about voting and the April 8 town election, call the Clerk’s office at (413) 538-5017.

Learn more about the candidates in our Meet the Candidates feature here, on pages 4 & 5: http://townreminderonline.com/pdfs/tr03.21.14.pdf