Two-way race for Colrain selectman’s seat

COLRAIN — Two men with a long history of service to their community are running against each other for outgoing Selectman Duane Scranton’s seat.

Jack Cavolick, 71, will face Michael Friedlander, 60, in Tuesday’s election. Both are retired and currently hold various town positions.

Jack Cavolick

Cavolick serves on the town’s Historical Commission and Board of Health, for which he is the housing inspector. He is also emergency management director, animal control officer and animal inspector.

“I love it,” he said of his service. “Because of all my roles and responsibilities over my 18 years in town, the community has become very much like my family.”

In the past, Cavolick has served on the Board of Library Trustees and was chairman of the Conservation Commission. He first got involved in community affairs when he moved to town, not having the time to do so before he retired.

Cavolick said his community experience, as well as his former career, will serve as an asset if he is elected.

“I owned construction companies for 25 years,” he said. “I had a very large, complex company and I learned how to manage money, people, projects and results.”

Why does Cavolick think he should be a selectman?

“I’m a thinker and a hard worker, I’ve got a lifetime of experience and I care about my community,” he said.

Michael Friedlander

Friedlander serves on the Board of Health alongside Cavolick. He is also the town’s tree warden, a library trustee, and constable, and volunteers at Town Hall two days per week.

“I’ve lived in Colrain for about 30 years,” he said. “This is my home, my town and these are my neighbors. Somebody’s got to step up to do the work.”

He has been stepping up since 1994, when he first became involved in town matters.

One of the biggest issues he sees facing Colrain is the rising cost of education. He wants to preserve the quality of education in the town and district, while keeping the school budget from growing out of control.

“I believe that maintaining an elementary school in Colrain is important,” he said. “But we have to figure out how to pay for it.”

A former electrician, Friedlander’s reasons for running are two-pronged. He feels a commitment to his community and, when he heard Cavolick was running unopposed, he decided to throw his hat into the ring, so voters would have a choice.

He’s hoping for a big turnout Tuesday at the polls, whether people vote for him or his opponent.

“In Australia, people get penalized if they don’t vote,” he said. “Something like that would never happen here, but I like the concept.”

Common ground

Cavolick and Friedlander agree that rising town budgets and a fixed tax base are big issues facing Colrain. They also agree that town government functions best when people in the community are active and share their thoughts with town boards and committees.

The two candidates also said that they don’t have all of the answers, but they’re willing to work hard to find them. Both retirees, they believe their flexible schedules will be an asset to the board, the other two members of which hold day jobs.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the town office.

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