Four women in running for Hadley Select Board seat

  • Amy Parsons SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Brenda Fydenkevez SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Jane Nevinsmith SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Nicole Bercume SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2020 11:42:42 PM

HADLEY — Four residents are competing for a seat on the Select Board at the April 14 town elections.

Though voting is still more than a month away, campaign signs are already dotting the town landscape for candidates Amy Parsons, Jane Nevinsmith, Brenda Fydenkevez and Nicole Bercume, all of whom are seeking to succeed incumbent Molly Keegan, who decided not to seek reelection.

Bercume, 32, grew up in Hadley and, as a lawyer, runs Bass/Bercume Attorneys at Law with her husband, Andrew Bass. In addition to being the mother of a 4-year-old and 9-month-old, Bercume said she is interested in supporting both the business community and the public schools.

“I’m really interested in Hadley being a place where businesses can thrive to expand the tax base,” Bercume said.

Bercume said she would like to build on the success of the current board, noting that Hadley is well run by officials and employees and she wants that to continue.

As part of a younger generation, Bercume said she would use social media to provide regular updates to residents about town affairs.

“A better website is needed for the town of Hadley that is more useful and is up to date technology-wise,” Bercume said.

Bercume’s campaign website is at facebook.com/NicoleBercumeforHadley and an initial meet and greet with the public is scheduled for March 7 from noon to 2 p.m. at her 185 Russell St. office.

Fydenkevez, 60, who has owned Split Excavating Inc. for nearly 24 years and served in the Air Force reserve for 12 years, eight in active duty, said she is hoping to dedicate time to serving Hadley.

“Planning is so essential, and getting the right financing is important,” Fydenkevez said. “We’ve got to be careful with our taxes.”

She is concerned about senior citizens and others on fixed incomes, as well as younger families who are finding Hadley less affordable.

One of her aims will be determining how to upgrade infrastructure, noting that there are aging sewer and water systems. Fydenkevez said she would work with department heads to learn about needs in the current year and in future years, and making sure that the needs of first responders are also met.

Fydenkevez has scheduled two meet-and-greet events at the North Hadley Sugar Shack, the first March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m., the second March 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Nevinsmith, 78, a resident since 1979 when she came to Hadley with three of her five children, has been involved with the senior center since 2001, when she started to drive vans for the Council on Aging. She has also been a business owner, formerly co-owning Stuff It Storage with her spouse, Diane, and overseeing 19 employees in running Jane of All Trades Inc., a household-related services enterprise.

Nevinsmith said her goals include preserving and improving infrastructure, increasing affordable housing, maintaining an inclusive and progressive community, preserving the historic and rural character and understanding challenges, including hiring a new town administrator and building commissioner.

She understands communication from officials has to be better. “Much improvement has been made with the new town web page, but in general, citizens don’t even know about it,” Nevinsmith said.

Nevinsmith also would like to be more welcoming to start-ups and new businesses that may be unfamiliar with town processes.

“We need a better information guide for someone wanting to build and open a business in Hadley,” Nevinsmith said.

Parsons, 31, grew up in Hadley and works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and on her family’s farm.

“I feel like I owe it to myself and the town to be involved,” said Parsons, who was away for a time but returned following her brother’s death in 2018.

Her previous experience in elective office came when she was in college and served as undergraduate president of the Kansas State University Association of Residence Halls. But Parsons said she knows she will need to understand town finances, the budget and taxes, and how decisions by the Select Board affect residents, including farmers.

“My philosophy for being in office is to listen to people. I really want to get a general feel for the constituents and what people have to say,” Parsons said.

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


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