Banister, Smith Harder win seats on Williamsburg Select Board; Write-in to represent Chesterfield on regional school board


For the Gazette

Published: 05-02-2017 12:26 AM

WILLIAMSBURG — Denise Banister was re-elected to a three-year term on Select Board Monday night in a landslide town election where she received 305 votes to challenger Robert Parker’s 38 votes.

The race for a two-year seat on the Local School Committee was much closer with Amber Smith Harder winning that seat with 175 votes to Gail Paddock’s 124.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Chesterfield, 24-year-old Jesse McMillan won a one-year term on the Hampshire Regional School Committee as a write-in candidate. He received 17 votes at Monday’s town election.


Banister, 66, has served on the Williamsburg Select Board for 15 years. She also serves as the town’s assessor and emergency management director.

Prior to the election Banister, a native of Williamsburg, described herself as passionate about serving the town, and said that if re-elected, she would continue to work diligently to forward plans for a Public Safety Complex in Williamsburg.

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The town’s two fire stations and its police station have been in serious disrepair for several years, and a Public Safety Complex Committee is currently working to build a safety complex where all departments would be housed.

She also said that she is dedicated to the effective re-use of various municipal buildings in town that are currently empty or underutilized.

Banister could not be reached for comment after the election.

Of the town’s 2,009 registered voters, 348 voters turned out for Monday’s election.


CHESTERFIELD — Originally from Greenfield, McMillan said by phone after the election that he has always been a strong supporter of public education.

McMillan, who will fill an empty seat on the committee, is a sixth-grade teacher at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield, and prior to that taught high school English in Springfield.

He said that he plans to become a school administrator, and has just completed a master’s degree in school administration.

McMillan said he is looking forward to working on the Hampshire Regional committee.

“I think it is an exciting new learning opportunity and will be an invaluable experience working on the other end of the school system,” he said.

McMillan is a new resident of Chesterfield, relocating to town at the end of December.

Of the 901 registered voters in town, 101 cast ballots on Monday.

There were no contested races at Chesterfield’s annual Town elections on Monday evening and all candidates and incumbents on the ballot won or kept their seats. They are as follows:

Patricia Colson-Montgomery, Select Board; Mary Anne Severance-Rys, assessor; Henry L. Bander, Board of Health; Betsy Todd, library trustee; Judith Terry, Maureen L. Borg and Daniel Henshaw, Planning Board; Leslie Kellogg, Hampshire Regional School Committee; Russell Peotter, Hampshire County councilor; Robert E. Judd, constable; Lenore Pittsinger, tax collector; Sandra L. Wickland, town clerk; Margaret McWherter, treasurer; John (JB) Lynch, tree warden.

The following candidates won unopposed races in Williamsburg:

Robin Everett, assessor; Helen Symons, Board of Health; Patricia Billingsley and Robert Stinson, board of library trustees; Eric Cerreta, Elector-Oliver Smith Will; Jacqueline Dufresne, Gilbert Loud III and Paul Wetzel, Finance Committee; Keira Durrett and Meg Taylor, Local School Committee; Joseph Larkin, moderator; Pamela Plumer, Recreation Commission; Stuart Brisson, Recreation Commission; Sarah Christiansen, Regional School Committee; Collin Black, Trust Fund/Cemetery Commission; Don Hultman, Water/Sewer Commission; Jeremiah Roberge, Water/Sewer Commission.