New faces eye Selectboard seats in Petersham Town Election

Petersham Town Hall

Petersham Town Hall


For the Athol Daily News

Published: 03-15-2024 3:56 PM

PETERSHAM – While there won’t be any heated contests or controversial ballot questions, Monday’s annual Town Election in Petersham does feature two political newcomers seeking office for the first time.

Joshua Cayea is the sole candidate for a three-year term on the town’s Selectboard. He will be replacing incumbent Annette Ermini, who was elected in a three-way race in 2021. Among the issues drawing multiple candidates that year were the future of the Nichewaug Inn & Academy, which has since be torn down, and the enactment of COVID restrictions during the height of the pandemic. Ermini opted not to seek a second three-year term.

Deborah Poodry is running unopposed to fill the final year of the term of former Selectboard member Nancy Allen, who resigned her seat in December 2023 after purchasing a home in another community. Allen had been a familiar face at community meetings for many years. She was first elected to the board in 2009 and served a single three-year term. Allen was again elected to the board in 2016, and reelected twice in 2019 and 2022.

Attempts to reach Cayea and Poodry for comment prior to Monday’s election were unsuccessful. The two will serve alongside Susan Dougherty, who ran a successful write-in campaign to win a seat on the board last year.

Most of the candidates for the other elected offices on the ballot are incumbents. These include Tax Collector Renee Wingertsman, Town Clerk Diana Cooley, Jamie Hatch of the Board of Assessors, Rebecca Jackson of the Board of Health, Aaron Kessman of the Petersham Center School Committee, and Planning Board members Stephen Herzog, Irene Perkins, and Fifi Scoufopoulos of the Trustees of Public Library.

All terms are for three years. In the race for Planning Board, Herzog and Perkins are running to fill two positions on the five-member board.

Ballots will be cast on Monday, March 18, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at Petersham Town Hall, 3 South Main St.

Greg Vine can be reached at

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