2 seats open on Great Barrington Housing Authority after member steps down

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GREAT BARRINGTON — After a Housing Authority member stepped down, two seats are now open, and those pushing a write-in campaign for an incumbent hope she will accept if reseated in Tuesday's town elections.

Louis Delmasto, 74, is on the ballot for a five-year term on the authority, and write-in candidate Cara Becker, 46, was appointed to the seat last year to fill a vacancy at the end of a term.

Delmasto lives in Flag Rock Village in Housatonic, one of three properties run by the authority and overseen by the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

He says he'd like to see even more transparency from the board to quell a robust gossip mill, and see less bickering among board members and staff.

"We live here and we have a right to know what's going on," said Delmasto, who is retired, previously working for the now-closed Kolburn School.

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Becker said she isn't sure she'll accept the seat if she wins, but she added that she's flattered that tenants are pushing for her reelection.

"They've told me they think I'm unbiased and that's always what you try and strive for as a board member," said Becker, works as executive administrative assistant to town Police Chief William Walsh.

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She also said she thinks much of the drama that has plagued the authority in recent years is abating.

The authority manages at total of 112 units for low-income, senior and disabled residents at Flag Rock Village, Dewey Court in Sheffield and Brookside Manor in Great Barrington.

The ballot includes a question asking voters to approve a Proposition 21/2 debt exclusion that will allow repairs and upgrades to the Town Hall and Ramsdell libraries. The question requires a two-thirds majority vote.

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Polling places are at the fire station at 37 State Road, and the Housatonic Community Center (Housy Dome) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents with ballots for early or absentee voting must return their completed ballot to Town Hall by mail, leave it in the Town Hall outdoor drop box, or return it to the Town Clerk's office no later than 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Applications for absentee or early voting ballots must file an application with the Town Clerk no later than noon on Monday.

Uncontested on the ballot are: Edward Abrahams, Select Board, three-year term; Malcolm Fick and Jonathan Hankin, Planning Board, three years; Anne O'Dwyer, Finance Committee, three years; Ron Majdalany and Michael Owen Wise, Zoning Board of Appeals, three years; Margaret Heilbrun, library trustees, three years; Michael Owen Wise, moderator, one-year; and Ruby Chang, Board of Health, three years.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.


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