New faces win Cheshire, Lenox Select Board seats

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Cheshire's Select Board has two new faces with more to come next spring, and Lenox's newest Select Board member won in a landslide.

The town elections in those communities highlighted a busy Monday at the polls for four Berkshire municipalities.

In Adams, the voters reelected the treasurer-collector, while in Florida the electorate decided between incumbent Krista Bishop and challenger Michael Bedini for a seat on the Select Board. Florida's town election results were not available late Monday.

Cheshire

Cheshire had the busiest ballot with five contested races and a ballot question on whether to expand the Select Board from three to five members.

By a count of 270-212, Mark Biagini defeated Planning Board Chairwoman Donna DeFino for a three-year term on the Select Board. Biagini succeeds Carol Francesconi, a 30-year veteran of the Select Board who didn't seek another another three-year term. Last year, Biagini ran unsuccessfully to unseat incumbent Selectman Robert Ciskowski.

Jason Levesque took the other Select Board slot up for grabs, beating E. Richard Scholz, 352-145. Levesque fills the seat Ed St. John IV vacated in September so he could apply for the job of town administrator, to which he was appointed in mid-December. Levesque will serve out the final year of St. John's term, which ends next May.

Voters agreed to expand the Select Board, approving Question 1, 266-209; the fourth and fifth seats will be contested in 2020. By a 276-201 margin, the electorate in 2018 asked state lawmakers to support special home-rule legislation for the expansion.

Christopher "C.J." Garner joins the Board of Health by ousting incumbent Michael "Mickey" Biagini Jr., 287-215. The Cemetery Commission race goes to Richard Francesconi winning over Julie Ciskowski by a margin of 313-167.

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Garner, along with Robert Copeland and Alison Warner, won the three constable positions with Jason Hoellerich finishing fourth by 56 votes.

In all, 512 out of 2,376 registered voters cast ballots, a 21 percent turnout.

Lenox

Marybeth Mitts was the runaway winner in the three-way race to succeed Kenneth Fowler on the Select Board. Mitts racked up 462 votes to 114 for Max Scherff and 78 for Michael Feder. Lenox had an 18 percent voter turnout with 657 out of 3,631 registered voters casting ballots.

"I'm happy to continue working for the town in a new role," said Mitts, who served nine years on the Lenox School Committee and is chairwoman of the Affordable Housing Trust.

Adams

By a count of 597-198, Kelly Rice beat Paul Nowicki to earn another three-year term as treasurer-collector. The remaining races were uncontested, including incumbent Selectmen Joseph Nowak and Richard Blanchard returning for another three years to the town's top board.

Only 810 of Adams' 5,989 registered voters marked ballots, a 13 percent turnout.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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