Clarksburg ballot: Select Board, school board races, debt exclusion question

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CLARKSBURG — Tuesday's annual town election promises to be hotly contested.

The ballot features competitive races for a three-year term on the Select Board and the School Committee, as well as a proposition 21/2 override debt exclusion proposal to fund $1 million in town infrastructure projects.

Polls will be open from noon to 7 p.m. at the Clarksburg Senior Center on West Cross Road.

Incumbent Karin Robert faces a challenge from Danielle Morgan Luchi for another three-year term on the Select Board, while Eric J Denette and David B Robert are competing for a three-year seat on the School Committee.

Karin Robert joined the board last May, when she won an uncontested race to finish the final year of a vacant seat on the board.

There also is an open one-year term on the Select Board that drew no candidates. Voters can write in a candidate for the position.

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Candidates running unopposed are David B Robert for a five-year term on the Planning Board; Patricia Denault for a three-year term as library trustee; Michael Rivers for a three-year term on the Board of Health; Edward Denault for a three-year term as a war memorial trustee; Ernest Dix for a one-year term as tree warden; Richard J. Bernardi for the three-year term as a representative on the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District; and Carol Jammalo for a three-year term as Town Clerk.

The debt exclusion must pass by a simple majority at the annual town election and a two-thirds majority at the annual town meeting — scheduled for Wednesday — in order to take effect.

If granted by town voters, the $1 million will be used to take on a variety of infrastructure projects. The funds would be split evenly between Clarksburg School and the town.

"The realism is it's time we need to invest in the community," said Select Board Chairman Ron Boucher, adding that the debt exclusion "gives us the ability to jump-start some projects."

In the first year, the borrowing would increase the tax rate from $15.79 per $1,000 of assessed value to about $17.82, a rise of about $2.03. The interest payments on the loan are front-loaded, so that cost would decrease in each of the subsequent four years of the loan, Boucher said.

"The nice thing with a debt exclusion is it's not forever," he said. "This is a five-year loan, and at the end of five years, it falls off the tax rate."

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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