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Deadline looms for residents interested in city positions

By Michelle Kealey

Staff Writer

AGAWAM Residents interested in running for the various positions on the School Committee, City Council or mayor have a little under a week and a half left to take out nomination papers and return them.

With the deadline of Aug. 23 for returning papers with the needed number of signatures coming soon, some candidates have already handed them in to the City Clerk's Office.

Each potential candidate must collect 100 signatures from registered voters, which will then be certified by the Board of Registrars, in order to be placed on the ballot.

As of Aug. 3, Mayor Richard Cohen is the only candidate to return nomination papers for the position of mayor.

Another resident, Michael Elliot Thomas Davidson, has taken out papers to challenge Cohen, but has not yet returned them.

Three of the 11 current City Council members who have taken out papers have returned them. These include incumbents Robert Magovern, Joseph Mineo and George Bitzas.

The nine other incumbents who are seeking re-election include Cecilia Calabrese, Ruth Carr Bitzas, Robert Rossi, Robert Young, Gina Letellier, Dennis Perry, Jill Simpson and Donald Rheault.

In addition to all 11 incumbent councilors, six newcomers are seeking a seat on the Council.

Of those six possible candidates, Marc Katsoulis and Maryann Paleologopoulos have returned papers.

Candidates for City Council who have not returned papers as of Aug. 3 include Owen Broadhurst, John Cesan, William Sampson and Gary Geiger.

If all of the residents who took out nomination papers for School Committee return them, the city will have to hold a preliminary election, which would take place on Oct. 11.

As of Aug. 3, 14 residents have taken out papers for the six positions on the School Committee, and six have returned them.

Incumbents who have taken out papers this far include Rosemary Sandlin, Diane Juzba, Roberta Doering, Linda Galarneau and Paul Carvallo.

Of the incumbents, Juzba, Doering and Galarneau are the only candidates to return papers.

Former School Committee members Teresa Kozloski and Susan Dawson, who did not get re-elected in 2003, are looking to regain their seats on the Committee.

Kozloski has returned her papers.

Other candidates for School Committee include Pamela Jones, John Cesan, who also took out papers for City Council, Donald Charest, Michael Beaudry, Anthony Bonavita, Marie Mazza and Abbe McLane.

Of those candidates, Bonavita and McLane have returned their papers as of Aug. 3.

Each candidate has until 5 p.m. Aug. 23 to file nomination papers, after which the Board of Registrars will meet to certify the signatures.

The last day for candidates to file a withdrawal of or objection to all nomination papers for the preliminary election is Sept. 8 by 5 p.m.

The preliminary elections, if needed, will take place on Oct. 11 from 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

The city election will take place on Nov. 8 from 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Editor's Note: Any candidate who would like to submit a political statement can do so by e-mailing it to mkealey@reminderpublications. com or by faxing it to (413) 592-5286. Reminder Publications will do its best to publish it as space is available.