Great Barrington, Egremont boards get new faces; Adams, Williamstown hold elections, too
This story has been updated to clarify that Finance Committee Chairman Thomas Blauvelt retained his seat and member Janet Lee did not seek reelection to that committee.
GREAT BARRINGTON — In contested races that centered on economic development and government transparency, three fresh faces won open seats Tuesday on three Great Barrington boards.
Preliminary results issued from Town Hall at around 9 p.m. indicate challenger Leigh Davis has unseated two-term Select Board member Daniel Bailly by 211 votes for the three-year term. Chairman Stephen Bannon has retained his seat.
Local journalist Eileen Mooney has taken Karen Smith's seat on the Great Barrington Housing Authority board for the five-year term.
And newcomer Meredith O'Connor captured one of two open three-year seats on the Finance Committee. Current Chairman Thomas Blauvelt retained his seat, and O'Connor defeated Walter "Buddy" Atwood III to win the seat held by Janet Lee, who did not run for reelection.
As of press time, it was unclear exactly how many of the town's 4,746 registered voters went to the polls.
The preliminary results show Bannon having received 815 votes, Davis 767, and Bailly 556.
In her campaign, Davis touted her experience in economic development and marketing, and at a recent candidate's forum suggested that town officials could do more to grow and expand the local economy.
For the Housing Authority, Mooney received 703 votes, and Smith 451.
Mooney, a lifelong journalist who currently writes and publishes The Newsletter in Great Barrington, lives in an Authority apartment and writes about the Authority.
She has accused its board of lapses in transparency, and arrives after nearly a decade of tumult at the Authority.
Uncontested seats included those for moderator (one year), Michael Owen Wise; Board of Health (three years), Michael Lanoue; library trustees (one year), Margaret Heilbrun, Samara Klein; library trustees (three years), Lauren Clark, Jane Stanhope; Planning Board (three years), Jeremy Higa, Brandee Nelson; and Zoning Board of Appeals (three years), Carolyn Ivory.
In Egremont's two contested races, Lucinda Fenn-Vermeulen takes an open Select Board seat with 322 votes to Carla Turner's 71 votes.
And Nicholas Keene took a Planning Board seat with 160 votes; Rose Levine received 157 votes, and Thomas Libetti, 34.
The town reported that 404 out of 1004 registered voters came to the polls Tuesday.
Uncontested seats include Assessor, Susan Turner; Cemetery Commissioner, Steve Agar; Constable, James Olmsted; Library Trustee, Francine Groener; Moderator, Stephen Cohen; Town Clerk, Juliette Hass; Tree Warden, James Olmsted.
Meanwhile, voters in Adams defeated a proposal to hire a full-time fire chief 804 to 159. Similarly, a proposal to hire a full-time firefighter for the day shift also failed, 830 to 133. The Prudential Committee put the proposal forward to see if the town would back the effort over concern for a lack of volunteer firefighters in town during the day to answer emergency calls.
In Williamstown, newcomer Dante Birch won a race against Amy Jeschawitz for a 5-year term on the Planning Board. Birch garnered 608 votes Tuesday, while Jeschawitz received 343 votes.
Heather Bellow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871
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