Races emerge for trustees, not village president in Bellows Falls


BELLOWS FALLS — Village residents will have a five-way race for two seats on the Bellows Falls village trustees to decide next month during the annual village meeting.

But an anticipated challenge to Village President Deborah Wright by Trustee Stefan Golec never materialized, according to acting Village Clerk Kathleen Neathawk.

Golec, who is now both a Bellows Falls village trustee and a Rockingham Select Board member, had taken out a petition to run for village president in addition to the trustee's seat. While he returned his petition for his trustee's seat, he did not return the petition for village president, Neathawk said late Monday afternoon, shortly before the 4:40 p.m. deadline. Efforts to reach Golec were unsuccessful Monday.

In addition to Golec running for village trustee, the other incumbent, James "Jiggs" McAuliffe also filed a petition, as well as Colin James, James Mitchell and Wright.

Wright said late Monday afternoon that if Golec indeed wasn't running for the village president's job, she would withdraw her petition for one of the two trustee seats that will be vacant. If Wright does withdraw, it will be a four-man race for the two, two-year seats.

Wright was elected village president last May and ran unopposed last year. As a result, she gave up her trustee seat. "He was messing around with me for the last month," said Wright,

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referring to Golec's less-than-committed decision to run for village president.

Golec told the Reformer he wasn't sure he would run for village president, even though he was collecting signatures on a petition for the position.

James is a former village trustee and Mitchell is a longtime local blogger and government gadfly.

In addition to the trustee and village president positions, village voters will also have to elect a new village clerk, since Kerry Bennett resigned the position earlier this year. Neathawk was appointed to fill the job until the village meeting.

Also filing paperwork were Paul Obuchowski for village moderator, Donna Harty for village treasurer, and Patricia Fowler and Timothy Powers for village auditors. Obuchowski filled in last year as moderator after the death of Michael Harty, and he's now running for the position.

Contact Susan Smallheer at ssmallheer@reformer.com or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.


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