|By Alex Ross|
SOUTH HADLEY Annual town elections were conducted on April 2. A new select board member, Dr. Daniel Champagne, was elected and the non-binding referendum about the building of a clubhouse at Ledges Golf Course, which he pushed, was approved.
Champagne was elected to the vacant seat left by Barbara Eckman, who declined to seek re-election, with 51 percent of the vote. His challengers Gregory. Sheehan garnered 43 percent of the votes and Michael Herrick, whose candidacy Eckman endorsed earlier but who later dropped out of the race managed to get 4 percent. Approximately 23.59 percent of those registered voted in the election.
The referendum, which is non-binding, requests that "the Select Board Members, its Town Administrator, and all other applicable officials to put a moratorium on all future golf course expansion expenditures while pursuing the sale of said property and/or seeking alternative uses for this land". The referendum was approved by a margin of 59.3 percent to 40.6 percent.
A meeting scheduled for April 15 at 7pm at the Town Hall will take up the issue as to whether or not to approve the new contract for architectural and engineering services to Signature Architecture, who has done work in earlier stages of the project, as well as to discuss the future of the clubhouse building itself.
In other races, School Committee member Edward J. Boiselle faced opposition not by a name printed on the ballot, but from three write-in candidates. Boiselle, however, was able to retain his seat with 64 percent of the vote. Write-in challengers William Adams, Edgar Noel, and Cheri Champagne, the wife of newly elected Select Board member Dr. Daniel Champagne, received 10.6 percent, 9.4 percent, and 7.5 percent of the vote respectively.
Many others, such as Moderator Edward J Ryan Jr. member of the Board of Assessors Francis Conti, Ann M. Canata of the Board of Health, Cheryl Scott Nickl of the Municipal Lighting Board, Gail Scanlon of the Trustees For Free Public Library, and Joan B Rosner of the Planning Board, won re-election with little if any opposition from write-in candidates.
A number of other non-incumbents such as Haley Hollis and Doris Newman for Trustees For Free Public Library, Donna L Asselin running for Housing Authority, and Mark Cavanaugh for one of the two seats on the ballot for the Planning Board, also won with only minimal opposition from any write-in challengers.