Mieczkowski to seek Hadley Select Board post for 9th time


Staff Writer
Published: 2/21/2019 11:35:16 PM

HADLEY — A former Select Board member recalled by voters from the elective office 17 years ago, and who has run unsuccessfully to get back on Hadley’s top policy board eight times since, will try again this spring.

John Mieczkowski Sr., who currently serves on the Planning Board and is seeking reelection to that five-year post, said Wednesday that he is filing nomination papers for one of the two Select Board seats available at the April 9 election.

Both incumbents, David J. Fill II, of Knightly Road, elected to fill out the unexpired term of Donald Pipczynski in 2018, and John C. Waskiewicz II, of East Street, elected in a four-way race in 2013, are running for re-election. There are no other challengers, and the race for Select Board is the lone contested race on the ballot.

Mieczkowski, of Sunrise Drive, said his interest in getting back on the board he served on in the 1980s and again in the early 2000s is to defeat Waskiewicz.

“I feel Waskiewicz does not serve our town well at all,” Mieczkowski said.

Mieczkowski said Waskiewicz, as an employee of the Hadley Department of Public Works, isn’t able to participate in certain votes that affect town spending. Mieczkowski also takes him and the current board to task for the oversight of three municipal building projects — the senior center, library and fire substation — which he claims have gone beyond the $95 annual increase in property taxes for an average single-family home.

“That board is just not being honest with the taxpayers,” Mieczkowski said.

Waskiewicz said he wouldn’t respond to criticisms from Mieczkowski, but that he hopes voters will give him a chance to stay on the board and continue to work on the three major capital projects breaking ground this year.

“After all we have been through over the past few years with the library, senior center and the fire substation, I would like to see them through to completion, if the citizens and the taxpayers are willing to let me,” Waskiewicz said.

Waskiewicz added that if he wins, his third term would be his final one on the board. “I’m a term limit person, this will be the last time,” he said.

Fill calls his first year on the board a success.

“It’s been a great year in office and we’ve tackled a lot of complex and important issues,” Fill said. “I hope the voters will bring me back for another three years because there is still a lot to do.”

Like Waskiewicz, Fill said it will be up to voters to choose who they want on the board.

“As far as any possible opponents go, I will let the voters decide what’s best for them and for the town of Hadley,” Fill said.

Mieczkowski said that because he is retired he will have significant time to devote to both the Select Board and the Planning Board.

“I love doing research, and I love the town of Hadley, and information out there should be available,” Mieczkowski said. “I understand how important research is before you make a decision.”

When Pipczynski resigned in 2017, he cited concerns over the level of spending in town. Mieczkowski said he will advocate for responsible spending, but also protecting services from public safety and public works to education.

Since the recall election in February 2002, Mieczkowski has been elected to the former Sewer Commission and to the Planning Board. But voters have not put him back on the Select Board. He lost to Kate Nugent in 2005, Daniel Dudkiewicz in 2008, and again in 2011, Gloria DiFulvio in 2009, Waskiewicz and Guilford Mooring in 2013, Joyce Chunglo and Gerry Devine in 2015 and Molly Keegan in 2017.

The town election ballot is expected to feature mostly incumbents in uncontested races.

Newcomers, also in uncontested elections, include Randall E. Izer for moderator for one year, Meghan L. Campbell for library trustee for three years and Richard J. Witkos for Housing Authority for two years.

Incumbents up for election are: Richard S. Grader for a three-year seat on the Board of Assessors, Gregory M. Mish for a three-year seat on the Board of Health, Heather S. Klesch for a three-year seat on the School Committee, Sheila M. Konieczny for a one-year position as Elector Under the Oliver Smith Will, Diane M. Kieras-Ciolkos for a three-year seat on the Park Commission, Jessica V. Spanknebel for a three-year term as town clerk, David S. Moskin for a three-year seat as a library trustee, and William R. Banack and Richard T. Downie for three-year terms as constables.

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