BECKET — A Select Board race that pits the current Planning Board chairman against the daughter of a former Select Board member is the only contested race in this year's town election.
Robert T. Ronzio, 70, and Nicole Ledoux, 25, are running for the seat currently held by Angela Hilton, whose term expires this year. Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Ledoux owns Ledoux Enterprises after taking it over from her father, Andre, about two years ago, she said.
She hasn't always been interested in politics, but she has been wanting to contribute to her community for a while and felt public office would be an ideal way to do so.
Ledoux said her age hasn't seemed to be of great concern to the voters she's spoken with and from whom she's received feedback.
She said it appears people appreciate the idea of a younger person taking an interest in local politics and civic duty.
Ledoux said, if elected, her negotiation skills would be an asset.
"I would be a good person to negotiate with people to solve a problem," she said. "I'd rather try and find a solution rather than make more problems."
She said she's also in favor of addressing concerns she's heard from Becket's senior citizens, including better access to public transportation and senior housing.
"I think that would be something interesting I could try and help them out with," she said.
Ledoux is a 2009 Lee High School graduate who is currently attending classes at Berkshire Community College studying business administration. She also works with intellectually disabled children in Great Barrington.
Ledoux said she's been regularly attending Select Board meetings in order to get better insight on procedure and to glean which issues are of concern to the town.
She's also been able to tap into the experience of her father from his time as a board member.
"He's been a pretty good mentor for me," she said.
Ronzio touts his service as chairman of the Planning Board and his service as representative on the Massachusetts Broadband Initiative and Wire West Organization committees among his qualifications for the post.
Ronzio also serves on Becket's Regional Planning Commission and has served on the Central Berkshire Regional School District Strategic Planning Committee.
In a statement, Ronzio addressed the lack of contested races and what he called "voter apathy."
"Many positions on various boards, commissions and committees in the town are unfilled and remain that way," he said. "One can speculate as to why this is, but fundamentally, it comes down to leadership."
Ronzio said he'd be a "tenacious watchdog" on spending if elected.
"I believe holding taxes steady or decreasing them if possible helps everyone," he said.
Ronzio said his hope is that new composition of the board will open up a dialogue with voters who may feel disenfranchised from the process.
"I want people to openly voice their opinions, to attend meetings, participate on commissions, boards on committees," he said. "Open dialogue is good."
"If elected, I promise I will work hard each and every day for our community," he said. "Of that, you can be assured."
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.