Police sergeant, former teacher vying for Monterey Select Board seat

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MONTEREY — A former school teacher and a current police sergeant are vying for the Select Board seat left vacant by Scott Jenssen's decision to not seek re-election.

Carol Lewis Edelman, 65, and Michael Johnson, 47, will face off for the three-year post at Tuesday's election.

Johnson has lived in Monterey for six years and currently serves with the Monterey Police Department.

Johnson said, if elected, he will have to recuse himself from matters involving the department, but otherwise he sees no conflict of interest while serving in both capacities.

He has previously lived in Franklin County and served with the Buckland Police Department from 2005 to 2009 before joining the Monterey force.

He's never held elected office, but he has been involved with town councils and committees including the Council on Aging and the Parade Committee.

Johnson said he decided to run, in part, when he learned the open seat on the board was otherwise going to be filled in an uncontested race.

He hopes to promote more transparency on the board and financial security for the town for the next 10 to 15 years, instead of what he feels is only planning ahead financially for the next one to two years.

He also said he's in favor of establishing a town-run broadband system rather than attempting to join part of a regional network.

Johnson lives with his wife, Emily, and the couple has two sons, Benjamin, 27 and Aaron, 26.

Edelman has lived in Monterey since 1981 and has taught public school in Lenox for 25 years.

In a statement, she said she volunteered on the Health Advisory committees of Southern Berkshire Regional and Lenox public schools, Morris School Council, Education advisory committee at the Bidwell House and was a founding member of the Monterey Preservation Land Trust.

She said she's also served on the Committee for the Monterey Fire Company, spearheaded development of the Monterey Town playground, and was a Monterey Library Trustee for many years.

Edelman is a graduate of Westfield State University and said she has publishing, broadcasting and business experience.

She currently works as a therapy dog team partner with the Good Dog Foundation and is a tour guide and special events volunteer with the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Edelman lives with her husband, Jim, and the pair have two children, Annabel 27 and Jacob, 20.

"I'd love to keep Monterey as perfect as it has been for me," she said in a statement. "I recognize that we also need to make adjustments and changes to meet the challenges facing our town in order to maintain the quality of life we share."

The only other contested spot in Tuesday's election is the contest for tree warden between incumbent Winston Wilson and Kevin J. Fitzpatrick.

Three ballot questions are also up for a vote.

The first asks for approval of raising $500,000 in real estate and property taxes for general operating expenses for the next fiscal year.

The second asks for approval of an tax override to pay for the issuance of a bond for the purchase of a new fire truck for the town.

The final question asks for approval of another tax override to help pay the town's share for, "the construction, installation and startup of a regional broadband network."

Polls open at noon Tuesday at the Monterey Firehouse, 411 Main Road.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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