The Recorder – Selectboard seat up for grabs in Buckland

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Published: 4/30/2022 4:05:06 PM

Modified: 4/30/2022 4:03:33 PM

BUCKLAND — Tuesday’s town election ballot has no contested races, but voters will determine a new Selectboard member.

The board has operated with just two members since Feb. 1, when then-Chair Zachary Turner resigned. Therefore, there are two Selectboard seats on the ballot: one to fill a one-year vacancy, for which current Chair Barry Del Castilho is running; and one for a three-year term sought by Lawrence Wells.

Wells, 73, has lived in the area most of his life and is a retired teacher, having worked for 45 years across numerous schools, including Colrain Central School, Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School and Mohawk Trail Regional School. He was also assistant athletic director at Mohawk Trail, and coached baseball, basketball and soccer programs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Fitchburg State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Westfield State University.

“When I was teaching I was always involved in everything,” he said, citing school budgets and his service on the negotiations committee.

Wells feels his background will be beneficial in a Selectboard role, although he said he has no agenda. If elected, this would mark his first role in town government, although he has helped residents sign up to vote for three years.

“I just want to do my part to make sure that the town keeps going well,” he explained. “The town of Buckland is a good place to want to help. I hope I can help.”

Wells, a member of St. Joseph Parish and the Knights of Columbus, feels the village of Shelburne Falls is a good place to raise children — he has three grown sons of his own, Matthew, Tim and Stephen, and lives with his wife, Gina. He also feels his ability to keep an open mind and be a good listener will be an asset as a board member.

“I think that’s what makes me a good person to have in this particular position,” Wells said.

Other positions

The majority of positions involve incumbents running for re-election. While there are no candidates on the ballot for three positions — individual two- and three-year terms on the Finance Committee, and a three-year term as tree warden — Town Clerk Karen Blom said she is aware of write-in campaigns for at least two of the three positions. Blom said Robert Andrew Dean is a write-in candidate for the three-year Finance Committee seat and Jeffrey A. Purinton is running as a write-in candidate for tree warden.

The remaining uncontested positions on the ballot are as follows:

■Finance Committee, three-year term — Paula Consolo, incumbent.

■Finance Committee, one-year term — Dena G. Willmore, incumbent.

■Buckland Public Library trustee, three-year term — George L. Dole, incumbent.

■Board of Health, three-year term – Carmela Lanza-Weil.

■Constable, three-year term— Arthur H. Phillips, incumbent.

■Board of Assessors, three-year term — Marion E. Scott, incumbent.

■Mohawk Trail Regional School District School Committee, three-year term — Martha J. Thurber, incumbent.

■Moderator, one-year term — Phoebe Walker, incumbent.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the second floor of Town Hall at 1 William St. Voters are asked to use the side entrance to access the stairs or elevator. According to a notice on the town website, the Board of Health recommends practicing social distancing and wearing masks at the election.

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