Petition filed for recount in election to Sheffield Select Board


SHEFFIELD -- Select Board candidate Martin Mitsoff has filed a recount petition to the town clerk following his 11-vote defeat last week to David Smith Jr.

The petition was submitted on Thursday, but has not yet been certified, according to Town Clerk Felecie Joyce, who said she'd try to certify the petition as quickly as she can, but couldn't provide a timeline for when.

The petition requires 10 certified signatures and requires a specific request for why the recount should be reviewed. Joyce declined to comment on the reason submitted because the petition hadn't been certified yet.

If certified, Joyce said a recount could happen only after Thursday -- which is the deadline to submit a recount petition -- and after volunteers had been gathered.

By a count of 489 to 478, Smith Jr. defeated Mitsoff in last Monday's special town election to fill a vacancy after Selectman Ted Dobson resigned, citing a lack of time.

Both candidates shared similar goals, but they brought different backgrounds that they said better prepared them for the job. They agreed a proposed Dollar General store -- the source of considerable controversy in the community -- had a right to be built under town zoning law, and they also shared an interest in more local vocational training to allow people to stay in Sheffield.

Mitsoff is an independent investment adviser at Berkshire Financial Strategies with experience as an urban planner working with small towns coming out of college.

Smith Jr. touted his experience on the Select Board, which includes a lengthy tenure while in Great Barrington. He is also a former member on the Finance Committee and Council on Aging.

Smith previously has been on the losing end of a recount effort in a close Sheffield election. In 2006, he initially won election to the Select Board by a two-vote margin over challenger Rene Wood. But after a recount, that result was overturned, with Wood winning by four votes.


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