Lanesborough, Williamstown officials pick new Mount Greylock School Committee member

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WILLIAMSTOWN — Jamie Art has been chosen to fill a vacant seat on the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee.

Art was elected Monday night during a joint meeting of the Select Boards from both Williamstown and Lanesborough, along with the School Committee. He replaces Joe Bergeron, who resigned earlier this month.

There were five candidates, after one withdrew from consideration, but discussion centered on Art and Christopher Kapiloff.

Meeting moderator Adam Filson noted that with 14 members in the joint meeting, it would take a majority — at least eight votes — to choose a new committee member.

Members of all three boards were impressed that so many people came forward to fill the gap left when Bergeron's family decided to relocate to California for a professional opportunity.

The other three candidates were Micah Manary, Catherine McKeen and Whit Montgomery-Nassif. John Skavlem withdrew his candidacy before the meeting began.

A native of Williamstown, Art is an attorney representing Williams College as its general counsel. He has worked at the college since 2015, previously in charge of real estate and legal affairs.

He started working in Williamstown in 2002, when he joined Grinnell Partners LLP as a partner. Art previously worked in the law field in California and Illinois. He earned his bachelor's degree at Williams College and his law degree at Yale Law School.

Art has served on the Williamstown Elementary School Endowment Fund advisory board, the Williamstown Economic Development Committee, Northern Berkshire Healthcare ethics and governance committees, Coolidge Hill Foundation board of directors and Williamstown Youth Center board of directors.

Kapiloff is also a native of Williamstown and directs a small business, Advanced Impact Technologies Inc. He graduated from Mount Greylock High School in 1996 and later worked there as a history teacher from 2001 to 2003. He has also served on several town boards over the years, including the School Committee from 2004 to 2008. He also served on the planning board in 2017 and 2018.

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During Monday's joint meeting, board members praised the qualifications of both candidates, saying either one would be a good choice.

"Either way, we win," said Williamstown Select Board Member Andrew Hogeland.

The focus of the discussion seemed to be centered on the need to be sure the high school construction is complete and the Massachusetts School Building Authority closeout procedure — about an 18-month process — is completed. Meeting members noted that both Kapiloff and Art have experience in construction projects that would be useful.

School Committee member Stephen Miller noted that he has received messages of support for Art from constituents.

Williamstown Select Board Chairman Jeffrey Thomas said Kapiloff is uniquely qualified due to his construction expertise and his previous experience on the school board.

When Filson called for the vote, the count was seven votes for Art, six for Kapiloff.

Williamstown Select Board member Hugh Daley noted that the School Committee members seemed to favor Art, and since they would be working with the new committee member, he suggested he would change his vote.

Filson called for another vote, and Art won with 10 votes to three against.

Art will serve out the remainder of Bergeron's term, with the seat coming up for election in November 2020.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.


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