The Recorder – Retired police officer, teacher searches for Selectboard seat in Charlemont
CHARLEMONT – If retired police officer and substitute teacher Dan Girard were elected to the open seat on the Selectboard in Tuesday’s municipal election, the 71-year-old hopes to work to draw people to the city and ensure his post-pandemic recovery.
“I think we are going through tough times, but I think the city is fortunate to be mobile upward over the next few years,” Girard said of his reason for running. “There is a lot of tax burden on homeowners. We have to find something that helps so that we don’t evict families who cannot afford to stay here. “
Girard, who has lived in Charlemont since 2001, is running unopposed for a three-year term on the Selectboard, which has been vacant since former board member Sarah Reynolds became city administrator. She resigned from Selectboard on November 30 and became a city administrator after a 30-day waiting period.
The remaining positions with candidates on the ballot are also not contested, and there are eight seats for which no one is on the ballot that can be filled by written vote. Polling stations will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the fire station. City clerk Kathy Reynolds said voters must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
Prior to moving to Charlemont, Girard served six years in the United States Army as a Military Police Staff Sergeant, and 29 years as a Police Officer in Salisbury and with the Investigation Unit special from the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston. He also spent 14 years as a substitute teacher at Hawlemont Regional School, Mohawk Trail Regional School, Sanderson Academy and Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School, working primarily with children with learning disabilities and anger management issues.
Additionally, Girard was a division manager at Berkshire East before the pandemic began, and since then he has contributed to a more administrative role while working remotely. He has also served on other city councils previously, including the Planning Council and the Flag Committee.
Girard said if he was elected to the seat of Selectboard, he was eager to hear from voters on the city’s issues that are important to them.
“One of the things I’ve always been adamant about is that people are elected to a position, and sometimes I think they forget that they were elected by the people of the city,” he said. -he explains. “I want to make sure their voices are heard when it comes to meetings and decisions. It is as it should be. “
He wants to ask residents where they would like to see Charlemont in five or 10 years and in which direction they would like to see the community move. Girard said he would personally like to see more businesses come to town.
“There are a lot of resorts in town that in their heyday were thriving and doing well,” Girard said. “I would really like to see that part come back, where someone in the community could find a decent job working in the city.”
The other positions on the ballot are as follows:
■ Director of the Tyler Memorial Library, three-year term – Esther Haskell, incumbent
■ Planning Council, five-year term – Robert Nelson, incumbent
■ Board of Health, three-year term – Douglas Telling, incumbent
■ Parks and Recreation Commission, four-year term – Jacqueline Cashin
Positions that do not see anyone on the ballot, which can be filled by written votes, are:
■ Board of Reviewers, three-year term
■ Charlemont School Committee, three-year term
■ Mohawk Trail School District Regional School Committee, three-year term
■ Local Board of Education, three-year term
■ Gendarme, three-year term
■ Moderator, one-year term
■ Planning council, four-year term
■ Parks and Recreation Commission, five-year term
Contact Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or [email protected]