Highway super, boiler operator vie for sewer commissioner in Northfield

  • Northfield resident Bernard “Bernie” Boudreau is running for election to the Northfield Board of Sewer Commissioners, the only contest in the May 4 town election. He is also running unopposed for a three-year Selectboard seat. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Thomas Walker is running for election to the Northfield Board of Sewer Commissioners, the only contest in the May 4 town election. Walker is the highway superintendent and previously served on the Board of Sewer Commissioners for 12 years. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 4/20/2021 3:26:28 PM

NORTHFIELD — The only contest on the ballot for the May 4 town election is between Thomas Walker and Bernard “Bernie” Boudreau, who are vying for a three-year seat on the Board of Sewer Commissioners.

In-person polling will take place from noon to 8 p.m. at Town Hall. Residents may request an absentee ballot from Town Clerk Daniel Campbell, townclerk@northfieldma.gov or 413-498-2901, ext. 112, by noon on May 3.

Bernard “Bernie” Boudreau

Boudreau has lived in Northfield with his wife, Karen, since building their home 33 years ago. He has held his wastewater license since 2003, and works as a high-pressure boiler operator at Coca-Cola in Northampton.

“I’ve been doing that for the last four years. The first six years there I was the chief wastewater operator,” Boudreau recounted. “I still do wastewater at Coca-Cola, too, but now I’m in the boiler room.”

He said his professional experience helped prepare him to transition onto the Board of Sewer Commissioners, if elected. Friends in town who knew of his career encouraged him to run, he said.

“I have friends in town that pay sewer, and they know I do wastewater and they realize the sewer commission deals with the operators, (the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency),” Boudreau said. “I’ve done that in the past with my wastewater license.”

While Boudreau is running for the Board of Sewer Commissioners as well as an unopposed three-year seat on the Selectboard, he said he is not concerned about the time commitment of accepting both offices if elected.

Thomas Walker

Walker, currently the highway superintendent, was on the Board of Sewer Commissioners for 12 years, but took a break and did not seek re-election when his term ended. Like Boudreau, Walker said he was encouraged to run by fellow residents.

“People wanted me to run again,” Walker said of his potential return. “They liked what I did to try and manage the budget, and to try to help out. Being an enterprise fund, it’s a tricky thing, because the users pay for everything.”

Walker said his experience from his past work with the Board of Sewer Commissioners, and his knowledge of the wastewater treatment plant and budget, would allow him to easily transition back into the position if elected. He also worked in the private sector of municipal sewer work for more than 40 years before working with the town.

Like Boudreau, Walker said he is not concerned about the time commitment for the position, having previously served on the Board of Sewer Commissioners and Board of Health simultaneously, in addition to serving as highway superintendent.

Other candidates

■Assessor: Bethany Walker, three-year term

■Board of Health: David Balk, three-year term

■Board of Health: Karen Boudreau, three-year term

■Dickinson Memorial Library Trustees, two openings: Nolan Briggs Kitfield and Gretchen Licata, three-year terms

■Planning Board: Tammy Pelletier, five-year term

■Recreation Commission: Robert Emberley, two-year term

■Town Clerk: Daniel Campbell, three-year term

■Moderator: Nathan L’Etoile, three-year term

Seats without candidates

According to Campbell, there are four positions on the ballot for which no candidates are running. These may be filled by write-in campaigns.

■Planning Board, four-year term

■Board of Trustees of Veterans Memorials & Veterans Services Information, veteran’s position, three-year term

■Board of Trustees of Veterans Memorials & Veterans Services Information, non-veteran’s position, two-year term

■Recreation Commission, three-year term

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.



Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

Copyright © 2020 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy