Hadley sees two races in election
24y 2 lines light
HADLEY — Five candidates are facing off for two seats on the Hadley Select Board, and two people are running for a single seat on the Board of Assessors.
The Select Board race has attracted longtime local politicians who have sparked controversy, and newcomers who have not held office.
Among the most controversial candidates in the race is John Mieczkowski, who was removed from the Select Board in a recall election in 2002. Mieczkowski has sued the town on at least two occasions.
Other candidates for the Select Board include incumbent David Moskin and town politics regular Wilfred Danylieko. The relative newcomers in the election are Guilford Mooring and John Waskiewicz II, who have not held elected office in Hadley.
The election will be held April 9. Select Board members serve three-year terms. Chairwoman Gloria DiFulvio is not seeking re-election.
Moskin, of Rocky Hill Road, was elected in 2010 in an uncontested election. He said he that he is glad to see so many candidates in this year’s race.
“To finally have people competing for a seat is a powerful and refreshing thing,” he said.
A vocal critic of the current board and Town Administrator David Nixon, Moskin said that the processes the local government follows are not transparent enough to residents, and he would like to see the framework made more fair.
Mieczkowski, 67, of Sunrise Drive, has run unsuccessfully in several elections since he was recalled in 2002, but he said that this election will be different, and he has heard from many residents who support him.
Mieczkowski said his first priority if elected would be restructuring the Department of Public Works and replacing the director, Gary E. Girouard, with a civil engineer.
He said the current Select Board does not have sufficient respect for Hadley residents, and if elected he would have office hours once a week so that residents could ask questions or give feedback.
“My primary goal is to bring accountability and responsibility back to the board of selectmen,” Mieczkowski said.
Danylieko, 70, of Meadow Street, an electrical inspector for the town and vice chairman of the Hadley Housing Authority, is making his first bid to join the Select Board. He is also running uncontested for re-election to the Housing Authority.
Danylieko said he thinks the most important problem the Select Board faces is dealing with maintenance for town buildings, an area where his expertise as an electrician would help him contribute. Danylieko said he would also make a good addition to the board because he is retired and he has time to keep up to date on laws and policies the town must follow.
Danylieko in September organized an unsuccessful petition calling for Nixon’s removal. He was more muted in his criticism during a phone interview Wednesday, saying that Nixon would “serve better if he depended on his departments.”
One newcomer to the local political scene is Guilford Mooring, 48, of Sunrise Drive, who is running for Select Board. Mooring is superintendent of the Amherst Department of Public Works. He said that he has 23 years of experience in public service, which he believes will help him has a member of the Select Board.
Mooring said that he does not think Hadley is facing any serious problems, but the town is seeing a lot of changes and his goal as a Select Board member would be to make the transition easier. Mooring has served on appointed study committees for the town, but he has not held elected office before.
Mooring, who was born in North Carolina, has lived in Hadley with his wife and three children for 12 years and the Valley for more than 15 years.
Another candidate who has not held elected office in Hadley before is John Waskiewicz II, who ran for sewer commissioner in 1996. Waskiewicz could not be reached for comment.
Board of Assessors
The only other contested race in Hadley is for the Board of Assessors. Two candidates are vying for a single seat on the board, Richard Grader and Theodore Mieczkowski. The seat was held by Daniel Omasta Jr., who died Feb. 19.
Grader, 69, of Bay Road, is a retired police officer who has lived in Hadley for almost 40 years.
“This is my chance to help the town out,” Grader said.
Mieczkowski could not be reached for comment.
The race for the single seat available on the School Committee is uncontested. Two candidates pulled papers, but only Heather Klesch filed them. The available seat was held by Thomas Waskiewicz, who served on the School Committee for 22 years and is not seeking re-election.
The deadline for candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot is March 7.