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Two vie for treasurer post in Williamsburg election

— At this year’s town elections there will be one contested seat on the ballot as Town Clerk Brenda Lessard, 50, and resident Nathan Rosenwarne, 24, contend for the position of town treasurer.

After seven years of serving in the post, Peter Mahieu decided not to run for re-election this year.

“I have done over two terms there and I feel that I have done my duty and it was just time to move on,” Mahieu said. He will continue to serve as town treasurer until July 1.

Lessard, of Nash Hill Road, has been town clerk since 2007 and is running unopposed for another three-year term in that position. She says she decided to throw her hat into the ring when she heard the treasurer position was open.

Lessard said that as treasurer she would be able combine her practical experience in bookkeeping and tax preparation with a desire to serve the town.

“I have always been interested in town government,” Lessard said. “I also used to do the taxes and the payroll for the family business.” Lessard’s family owned and ran the Lunch Box restaurant on Route 9 in Haydenville for 35 years before it closed in 2003.

Lessard said that she was also the treasurer for the Williamsburg Visiting Nurses Association in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Rosenwarne, who lives on Ashfield Road, studied at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, receiving his bachelor’s degree in business in 2011. Rosenwarne works for Community Business Associates in Williamsburg as a tax preparer.

Rosenwarne said he heard that the town was seeking someone to serve as town treasurer from Town Administrator Charlene Nardi.

“I think the treasurer position is stable work and it is a nice fit with my experience,” Rosenwarne said.

Being a newcomer to town government, Rosenwarne said he will use mailings and Internet social networking sites to provide information about his candidacy.

Both candidates come from families who have a history of public service.

Rosenwarne’s father, Bruce Rosenwarne, who is also a Williamsburg resident, held the position of town treasurer from 1995 to 1998.

Lessard’s father, Anthony Thomas, served intermittently for a total of 15 years as a selectman in Goshen beginning in 1970, and was a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years in Goshen, Williamsburg and Chesterfield.

The treasurer position is a 20-hour-a-week post. It pays $18,831 annually.

If elected, Lessard said she would split the two positions, serving 20 hours as town clerk and 20 hours as treasurer.

There are two candidates running unopposed for the Finance Committee who will be new to town government: Richard Kisloski of Cole Road is seeking a three-year term and Jacqueline Dufrane of Goshen Road is seeking a one-year term. One seat for a three-year term still remains open on the Finance Committee.

Town elections will be held May 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at town offices in Haydenville.

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