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Re-elections and write-in winner are highlights of Hampden ballot

Date: 5/10/2010

May 10, 2010

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

HAMPDEN -- "We had a surprisingly good turn out for what most people considered a 'no contest' election," Town Clerk Eva Wiseman said of the May 3 election.

A total of 334 votes were cast -- 9.4 percent of the town's registered voters.

Dick Patullo won the position of town treasurer through a last-minute write-in campaign (with 248 votes) after candidate Tracy Sicbaldi, who was on the ballot for re-election to the position, resigned to take a job with Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Vinny Villamaino, who has been serving as the chair of the Board of Selectmen, earned another three-year term in the election with 256 votes. He is an active member of his community, coaching girls basketball in neighboring East Longmeadow and having served as president of the Recreation Association of Hampden and the Hampden Lions Club in the past. His business, E.J. Villamaino Paving, is based in town. He even recently participated in the Theater Guild of Hampden's production of "Chicago."

"It's been a great ride so far. I have no regrets," Villamaino said. "I believe in this town and I always vote for what's best for the town."

He added that the work he does with fellow selectmen Rick Green and John D. Flynn is "a great love" of his.

Villamaino said his goals for his next term are to create more commercial space in Hampden, to get the roads in better shape and to, over the next few years, create a new safety complex for the fire and police departments.

Another goal? To run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, with his friend David Callahan of Palmer Paving. "It's not a dream [to run with the bulls], per se, but I'll take whatever comes across my path that's good," Villamaino said.

Also elected on May 3 were Robert Howarth for Town Moderator; Eva Wiseman as Town Clerk and Town Collector; Stanley Witkop as Assessor; George Stone Jr. to the Housing Authority; Kathleen Hutchison as a Library Trustee; Richard Hatch Sr. to the Cemetery Commission; Joseph Kruzel to the Planning Board; Arthur Booth Jr., George Stone Jr. and Charles Wood as Constables; and Jay Ray and Michael Cronin as Park Commissioners.