New selectmen elected in Williamstown, Great Barrington


Williamstown picked up two new selectmen and Great Barrington added a newcomer to its Board of Selectmen during the four annual town elections held on Tuesday.

In Williamstown's four-way race for two available selectman seats, Hugh Daley and Andrew Hogeland received 706 and 805 votes respectively outdistancing Gary Fuls Jr. who garnered 315 votes and Jack Nogueira with 110 votes.

As the only contest on the ballot, the selectmen's race resulted in a 23-percent voter turnout, according to Town Clerk Mary Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Great Barrington voters chose Edward Abrahams over John Beebe to replace Selectman Andrew Blechman who didn't seek re-election. Abrahams defeated Beebe, 865-522.

A small-business owner of 14 years, Daley looks forward to joining the five-member Board of Selectmen in Williamstown.

"I think we have a great team coming in and already have some great folks on board," he said.

Daley views the Mount Greylock Regional School District building project and maintaining the quality of education among the town's priorities. Next Tuesday's annual town meeting will consider an article to fund a feasibility study for Mount Greylock that will be a collaborative effort with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Daley and Hogeland see furthering economic development as a way the town could pay for building projects including a new fire station and police station.

Both winners congratulated Fuls and Nogueira for running and encouraged them to stay involved in the town.

"I think we all developed a respect for each other while being at the polls together," said Hogeland, who currently chairs the Finance Committee. "Hats off to all them for running a good race."

Aside from the selectmen's race, Great Barrington settled four other political contests and rejected a revision to the Community Preservation Act it adopted two years ago.

Richard Needleman defeated incumbent Dana DelGrande, 573-483 for a spot on the town's Housing Authority, whereas Town Moderator Edward McCormick retained his position beating David Magadini, 912-338. The three-way race for two seats on the Planning Board saw Malcolm Fick and Jonathan Hankin with 750 and 748 votes respectively hold off third-place finisher Patrick Fennell who had 511 votes.

By a count of 756-480, Michael Wise defeated Michelle Loubert for a seat on the Finance Committee.

As for the ballot question, voters turned down the inclusion of commercial and industrial properties being exempt from the first $100,000 of assessed value under the Community Preservation Act. Great Barrington adopted the CPA in 2012 and approved the addition at last year's annual town meeting, but failed to get the necessary approval at the ballot box. The CPA, is a state initiative that supports open space, affordable housing and land preservation projects. Last year, 148 cities and towns participated in the matching-fund initiative.

In Mount Washington, all candidates on the ballot ran unopposed, including Selectman James Lovejoy and Gail Garrett who is town clerk and a member of the local School Committee.

Egremont was the fourth community to hold an annual town election in the Berkshires on Tuesday, but final results weren't available at press time.


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