Incumbents keep Housing Authority, Board of Assessors seats in Montague

By JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer

Published: 05-18-2023 2:03 PM

MONTAGUE — Incumbents prevailed on the Board of Assessors and Housing Authority with victories in Tuesday’s election.

The two seats were the only contests on the ballot and the winning candidates each received about 60% of the vote out of the 414 ballots cast.

Incumbent Assessor Rebecca Sabelawski received 238 votes, while Christopher Pinardi received 102, and Diane Sumrall and Brendan Kuntz received 35 and 22 votes, respectively.

Incumbent Housing Authority board member Karen Casey-Chretien received 239 votes, while Linda Ackerman received 129 and Brendan Kuntz received 24.

“I would like to thank all the voters who came out to vote from Montague and to vote for everybody on that ballot who was great,” Casey-Chretien said, adding that it will be a “pleasure” to continue serving alongside her colleagues.

Other results from Tuesday’s election are as follows:

■Selectboard, three-year term — Matthew Lord, incumbent, 346 votes.

■Board of Health, three-year term — Michael Nelson, incumbent, 364 votes.

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■Library trustee, three seats with three-year terms — Lydia Ievins, incumbent, 306 votes; Miryam Vesset, 284 votes; David Detmold, 243 votes.

■Library trustee, one-year term — Louisa Rachel Khettab, 337 votes.

■Parks and Recreation Commission, three-year term — Jeffery Singleton, 15 write-in votes.

■Trustee, Soldiers Memorial (Veteran), three-year term — Lori Lee Adams, incumbent, 335 votes.

■Trustee, Soldiers Memorial (Non-Veteran), three-year term — Christopher Boutwell, incumbent, 326 votes.

■Gill-Montague Regional School District School Committee (Gill representative), three-year term — William Tomb, incumbent, 303 votes.

■Gill-Montague Regional School District School Committee (Gill representative), one-year term — Cristina Marie Marcalow, 283 votes.

■Gill-Montague Regional School District School Committee (Montague representative), three-year term — John Frederick Irminger, incumbent, 299 votes.

Among other School Committee results, Montague tallied four write-in votes for a vacant three-year Montague representative seat, 26 write-in votes for a vacant two-year Montague representative seat and 28 votes for a vacant one-year Montague representative seat. Town Clerk Deb Bourbeau said Montague’s write-in votes for School Committee positions must be pooled with votes from Gill by the superintendent’s office before results are conclusive.

Ballot questions

Montague’s town clerk and treasurer/tax collector positions will now be appointed, following the approval of each of the ballot’s two questions. Question 1, pertaining to the town clerk position, received 227 “yes” votes and 155 “no” votes. Question 2, pertaining to the treasurer/tax collector position, received 222 “yes” votes and 158 “no” votes.

Town officials have argued that both positions are procedural rather than political, with both requiring a highly trained candidate appointed more commonly through selection by a hiring committee than a public election.

Additionally, during Montague’s Special Town Meeting in March, Bourbeau argued that the transition from an elected town clerk position to an appointed one has been necessitated by the job becoming “increasingly complex.” Having to follow different sets of laws unique to voting by mail, in-person early voting, accessible voting and voting for those serving in the military is what most significantly contributed to the job’s increased complexity, she said.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or jmendoza@recorder.com.

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