Ashfield has election date, selectboard race

ASHFIELD — With a special election to fill the 6-month unexpired Selectboard term of Douglas Field set for Feb. 2, two familiar candidates have already thrown their hats into the ring: former Selectboard member R. Dave DeHerdt and former Selectboard memberBill Perlman.

A town caucus for that seat is scheduled for Dec. 18, but both candidates have already taken out nomination papers for their respective candidacies.

DeHerdt served on the Selectboard for one term, from 2008 to 2011, and currently chairs the town Personnel Subcommittee.

“I would go there without any agenda, to discuss the issues and try to make the best decisions for Ashfield, as I did before,” said DeHerdt. “For this four-month period, they just need somebody, and I hope I can be that somebody.”

“Come May,” he said, referring to the annual town election date, “Other individuals in town will realize it’s not a boxing ring. I’m hoping that in May someone else will step forward to run for the whole three-year term.”

“I’m not doing this because I think the Selectboard needs help,” he added. “I think Ron Coler and Paullette Leukhardt are very qualified. They’re dealing with some very tough issues.

Perlman was on the Selectboard from 1993 to 2000, according to Recorder files. He also served on the board from 2003 to 2009.

Perlman said the main job for the Selectboard, from February to May, will be to create a town budget.

“You’ve got two fairly new Selectboard members,” said Perlman. “They don’t have much experience with that. I would be able to provide the institutional memory and background.”

“I know there has been some discussion as to who might fill the vacancy. I was asked if I planned to run, and I decided I would. I can offer some background experience.”

Field stepped down from the board on Nov. 12, and the person elected to succeed him will serve on the board until the annual town election in May.

Even though this elected term will be brief, the two remaining selectboard members agreed it would be better to have a three-member board making decisions during the budget work this spring.

After the board voted to hold a special election, it received a petition signed by 173 residents that called for a special election.

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