MONTEREY -- Two candidates are competing for an open seat on the Board of Selectmen being vacated by Muriel Lazzarini, who will not be seeking another three-year seat.

Ken Basler, a retiree and the former owner of the Monterey General Store, will run against Steven Weisz, a real estate broker at Sotheby's Realty. The election will be held on May 6.

Weisz touted a work history that includes advocating on behalf of towns from 1989 through 1999 in New York's Westchester County as a real estate re-developer. He is also the chairman of the Historical Commission, a member of the Monterey Historical Society, founder of Monterey 2020, which has gathered the community to discuss the future of Monterey.

Basler is a trustee at the Monterey Library, who said he'd improve communication between the town and community.

Both candidates are supporters of keeping the Mon-
terey School, which has been targeted for closure amid low enrollment and its failure to meet certain state and federal building codes.

Basler is running to provide support and leadership on a raft of projects under discussion at Town Hall, including the future of the Monterey School, planning for renovations at the Monterey Library, and discussions about turning the town-owned Wilson Mc-
Laughlin House into a community center.

"Monterey needs to focus on the issues coming within the next two years and not 2020," he said.


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Weisz said he's a hands-on politician who'd encourage collaboration.

"I get my hands into it," Weisz said. "I don't believe in legislating from an office."

Weisz moved to Monterey about five years ago. He described his "newness" as a positive: His experience elsewhere would allow him to think in creative and new ways, and makes decisions without prejudices or being influenced by long alliances.

"The reason why I want to get involved is because there are wonderfully talented people in Monterey with great ideas and I'd love to bring them to fruition," Weisz said.

To reach John Sakata:
jsakata@berkshireeagle.com
or (413) 496-6240.
On Twitter: @jsakata