Cyr, Constant win Select Board seats in South Hadley; Matos, Cooke to join School Committee

  • Supporters of candidates in South Hadley's annual town election wave to residents arriving at the high school to vote on Tuesday morning, April 13, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Supporters of candidates in South Hadley’s annual town election wave to residents arriving at the high school to vote on Tuesday morning. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Supporters of candidates in South Hadley's annual town election wave to residents arriving at the high school to vote on Tuesday morning, April 13, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The South Hadley Fire District 1 station at 144 Newton St. (Rt. 116). Photographed on April 13, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • JEFFREY CYR JEFFREY CYR

  • CAROL CONSTANT CAROL CONSTANT

  • JENNIFER MATOS

  • DANIELLE COOKE

Staff Writer
Published: 4/13/2021 8:51:53 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — A mix of incumbents and new faces were elected to town offices in elections Tuesday.

Posts that were contested included two seats on the School Committee, two on the Select Board, two on the Municipal Light Board and two one-year terms on the Board of Health.

Incumbent Jeffrey Cyr was reelected to his Select Board seat by a comfortable margin, winning 1,167 votes, according to unofficial results from the town clerk’s office. Carol Constant finished second with 1,091 votes, securing the Select Board’s other open seat. Renee Sweeney came in third place with 820 votes, and Trevor Baptiste finished fourth with 663 votes.

“I feel honored to be reelected and I’m looking forward to serving the citizens of this great community for the next three years,” Cyr said.

“We had four really astounding candidates,” Constant said. “I’m thrilled to be able to serve on the board but I’m also really happy that we had some really good engagement in the process.”

In the election for School Committee, Jennifer Matos and Danielle Cooke received the most votes, winning the two open seats. Matos finished with 1,085 total votes and Cooke with 1,078. Roxanne Sprague came in third with 754 and Brian Morris came in fourth with 697.

Efforts to reach Matos were unsuccessful on Tuesday evening. In a phone interview, Cooke said that she and Matos supported each other during the run-up to the election and that they watched the results together. She said she is excited to work together with Matos and the committee’s other members.

“We have separate specialties but the same morals,” she said.

Incumbents were reelected to the two open seats on the Municipal Light Board of the South Hadley Electric Light Department, or SHELD. Gregory Dubreuil and Peter McAvoy were the top vote-getters with 1,078 and 837 votes, respectively. Carl Cameron finished third with 735 and Joel Patruno came in fourth with 698.

On the Board of Health, Christine McKiernan came in first with 1,270 votes and Johanna Ravenhurst finished second with 1,063 votes. The two won one-year terms on the board, defeating Adam Sprague, who finished with 661 votes.

A total of 2,050 ballots were cast out of the 12,040 voters in town, a turnout of 17%.

At the town’s polling place, South Hadley High School, a large crowd of campaigners held signs for their preferred candidates at cars pulled into the parking lot on Tuesday. Many voters declined to say who they intended to vote for, but expressed the importance of doing their civic duty by casting a ballot.

“We spend so much time focused on the national level,” Tracy Copeland said. “I think we tend to forget local elections.”

With many new candidates running for seats in town offices, plenty of voters said that they were excited to see new names on the ticket.

“I want new blood in town,” Janice Caron said. She added that she was particularly interested in the School Committee race, which featured four new candidates running for two open seats. “I think teachers need more support in the schools, especially in these times now.”

Supporting Cooke and Matos, the two eventual winners, was Nick Cream. He said the two candidates would have a commitment to social justice in the district.

“They both have a commitment to all students,” he said. “That was very important to me.”

Select Board member Andrea Miles was at the high school Tuesday to cast her ballot for Sweeney and Cyr. She said that she campaigned against Cyr three years ago when he ran for office, but this year endorsed him for reelection. Having worked with him, she said she has come to appreciate his ability to collaborate.

Voting hours were changed this year, with polls open only from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and no early in-person voting hours. Voters were able to submit absentee and mail-in ballots as well.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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