SHEFFIELD -- Two hopefuls are competing for an open seat on the Board of Selectmen being vacated by Julie Hannum, who has decided not to run for re-election.
Nadine Hawver and Martin Mitsoff submitted nomination paperwork with the town clerk by the Monday filing deadline. The annual election is scheduled for May 12.
Hawver, a longtime Sheffield resident, works as the assistant to Senior Center Director John Miller. Mitsoff is an independent investment adviser at Berkshire Financial Strategies, LLC, and a board member for BerkShares Inc.
The candidates still need to be certified, a process that will need to take place before April 7.
Hawver said 27 percent of Sheffield's population is over 65 years old, and she said she'd be a "strong voice for seniors" raising concerns about rising real estate taxes. She added she'll bring "forward movement" at town hall.
"I felt Sheffield needed a strong voice to be concerned about the rising cost of real estate taxes, declining number of children in our schools, and the lack of affordable housing for seniors and the young," Hawver said.
Hawver said she knows the community better than Mitsoff. She moved to Sheffield as a 12-year-old, graduated from Mount Everett Regional in 1977, and she eventually moved away but returned in 2001. Hawver co-owns the Ramble Wood Inn Bed and Breakfast on Route 41, and she has 23 years in the banking industry, working primarily in residential mortgage lending.
"When you are on the Board of Selectmen, it's important to understand the history of the town," Hawver said. "I think six years doesn't give you the historic background. I think as a selectman you have to be familiar with the history."
Mitsoff identified himself as a "good financial head," and someone who would work with all citizens and not just certain interest groups. He is a volunteer Sheffield firefighter and emergency medical technician, and has served on the ad hoc Community Development Strategy Committee.
His resume includes "30-plus years in community revitalization," capitalizing small-and medium-size businesses that could have a budget from $40,000 to $10 million. He also worked as an urban planner in New York and Indiana following graduation from college.
In March, Mitsoff ran against Selectman David Smith Jr but lost a close 487 to 480 vote.
Mitsoff described himself as someone who would ask "hard questions about the budget."
"I am running because I think I can make a difference in the way the town is governed and bring more people in to the issues that are relevant and how to address these issues," Mitsoff said.
Mitsoff emphasized the importance of embracing an inclusive plan that everyone could support. He said he'd encourage greater transparency, and promote economic development through "smart, intelligent growth and not growth at any cost."
"Without those things, we put the future of Sheffield at risk," Mitsoff said. "Without keeping our young people here and making opportunities for them, the senior citizens risk higher taxes, reduced services and possibly isolation."
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