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Incumbents Aldrich, Knapp prevail in Belchertown election



Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2017

By SCOTT MERZBACH

BELCHERTOWN — Incumbents earned re-election to three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen and School Committee, while newcomers won other seats on the School Committee in Monday’s town election.

Brenda Q. Aldrich, 79 Howard St., won a new three-year term on the Select Board, 780-663, over challenger Carla H. Dell’Olio, 281 Chauncey Walker St. #56.

Michael J. Knapp, 148 Kennedy Road, won another three-year term on School Committee, with 916 votes, while Heidi G. Gutekenst, 25 Summit St., with 1,001 votes, topped Jeffrey M. Charron, 404 State St., with 404 votes, for the second three-year position available.

“I’m super excited and very humbled to be elected to School Committee,” Gutekenst said.

Knapp, who has been on the committee for four years, said the first objective of his new term will be to have a school operating budget passed by Town Meeting next month.

He said the conversation around the budget is challenging with limited resources available.

Randi B. Shenkman, 48 Warner St, earned the other one-year School Committee seat, defeating incumbent Dawn E. French, 6 Jon Drive, and other newcomers Jacquelin M. Currier, 141 Kennedy Road, and Joseph C. Schmidt, 59 Cheryl Circle.

Uncontested winners included Joseph D. Bernard, 411 East St., as moderator for three years; Sierra Pelletier, 22 Ledgewood Drive, for Planning Board for five years; Thomas A. Barry, 40 Azalea Way, for Board of Assessors for three years; Hope V. H. Guardenier, 185 Summit St., for Board of Health for three years; and Marie L. Ciosek, 279 Old Enfield Road, for Housing Authority for two years.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.