April election sees three contested races

by Town Reminder


Twelve Town Meeting Member vacancies

By Kristin Will

SOUTH HADLEY – Candidates are vying for three different town government seats in this year’s annual town election.
The positions are a three-year term on the Municipal Light Board, a one-year term on the Municipal light Board and three, three-year terms as Trustee for Free Public Library.
The annual town election is set for Tuesday, April 14.
“I think it’s exciting for South Hadley,” said Town Clerk Carlene Hamlin. “I always think that having a choice in determining who will be your future leaders is a good thing.”
Town Administrator Michael J. Sullivan agreed.
“It’s nice to see contested races,” he said.
Jeffrey LaBrecque, up for reelection, is running against Anne S. Awad for a three-year Municipal Light Board term.
Peter B. Webster, who was elected in January by the Selectboard to fill Cheryl Scott Nickl’s vacated Municipal Light Board seat, is running against Kevin M. Hennessey, Kurt C. Schenker and Daniel L. Whitford for a one-year term.
Constance A. Clancy and Mitchell B. Resnick, candidates for reelection, are running against Donald J. D’Amato and Timna Tarr for three, three-year terms as Trustee for Free Public Library.
Other candidates running for non-contested positions on the ballot include:
Edward J. Ryan Jr. for a one-year term as Town Moderator; John R. Hine and Bruce C. Forcier for a three-year Selectboard term; Kevin M. McAllister and Christine A. Phillips for two three-year terms on the School Committee; Suzanne M. Cordes for a three-year Board of Health term; Mary C. LaPlante for a five-year term on the Housing Authority; Hazel R. Snopek for a three-year Board of Assessors term; and Mark Cavanaugh for a five-year Planning Board term.
Twelve vacancies are spread among the five precincts.
Precinct A has five; B has one; C has four; D has one and E has one.
“I’ve never had this many vacancies in a single precinct,” said Hamlin. “I’m disappointed that we have vacancies across the board with our Town Meeting Members. Moving forward, I think we need to take a good strong look at those numbers.”
Sullivan said there is a possibility of putting an article on an upcoming Town Meeting warrant regarding the reduction of Town Meeting Members.
“It’s really unfortunate,” he said about the large number of vacancies.
There are also discussions about merging ad hoc committees that are “difficult to populate” with similar groups.
For instance, the Agricultural Committee has commonalities with GRO South Hadley. The Agriculture Committee is lacking in membership, and perhaps GRO South Hadley could assume its responsibilities.
Town Meeting Members running for reelection or election include:
Pauline L. Casey
William E. Foley
Michael R. LaFreniere
Mary H. D’Amato
Leonard M. Finkowski
Lucille J. Blasko
Robert F. Blasko, Sr.
Kathleen M. Keane
Michael T. Keane
Steven R. Longpre
Jodi K. Miller
Charles H. Viens
Jon E. Camp
Kenneth E. Kostek
Gail Catherine Lehtomaki
Robert Ziomek
Anthony J. Pluta
Mark Cavanaugh
Michael M. Fisher
Stephen B. Hamlin
Margaret E. Jodoin
Patricia C. Kraske
Cynthia F. Pyle
Barry C.D. Waite
Harriet Corbin Finkel
Christine M. Archambault
Lawrence H. Dubois
Judith A. Fortier
Marilyn G. Ishler
Steven J. Merrill
Robert L Robertson
James R. Swindell