Vast majority of Erving voters want Indian mascot back

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

ERVING — In Erving’s town election on Monday, residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of bringing back the controversial Indian mascot of Turners Falls High School.

The nonbinding referendum — 93 voted in favor, 23 opposed and 11 voters left blanks on the question — recommends reinstating the school’s former mascot and making adjustments to the image to make it more accurate of Native Americans who lived in the area.

Because it is a nonbinding referendum, it serves more as a public opinion poll, and does not change the contentious vote the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee took in February to change the school’s mascot.

Erving isn’t a member of the Gill-Montague Regional School District, but students “tuition in” to the district after sixth grade, if they do not choose another district.

Selectboard results, more

In other news from the election, the town re-elected William Bembury to another three-year term on the Selectboard nearly unanimously, with 113 voters selecting him, and one choosing challenger Gary Betters and 11 leaving the race blank on the ballot.

The town also selected Mackensey Bailey for a three-year term and Holy Fitzpatrick for a one-year term as library trustees.

Erik Semb and Katelyn Mailloux-Little won three-year seats on the Erving School Committee. Mailloux-Little also won the one-year seat on the committee. Town Clerk Richard Newton said she will need to pick which term she wants, and then the other seat will become vacant.

Christopher Hilaire was elected as tree warden, defeating Michael Gordon.

In uncontested races, Jeffrey Rollins was elected to the Board of Assessors, Julie Wonkka was elected as treasurer, Richard Peabody was selected as moderator, Arthur Kaczenski was selected as constable, Debra Smith and George Davis were both selected for three-year terms on the Planning Board. Renee Tela and Erik Eichom were both chosen for three-year terms on the Recreation Commission, and Jeffrey Rollins was selected for a two-year term and Bruce Scott was elected for a three-year term on the Board of Health.

Newton said 127 of 1,116 residents voted in this year’s election, for an 11 percent turnout.

Reach Miranda Davis at 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or mdavis@recorder.com.