Board Elections - November 3, 2022
Official ballots will be mailed to all voting eligible active and retired members along with postage-paid return envelope.
All completed ballots must be returned and postmarked by November 23, 2022 to be counted.
Meet the candidates:
Timothy Sorrell is 56 years old and resides in Lanesborough, with his wife of 29 years, Donna. They have two sons, Nicholas who is a Police Officer for the Town of Adams, and Matthew who is a Sophomore at UMass Amherst.
Mr. Sorrell began his municipal career in Lenox, working for the Lenox Highway Department, after his Honorable Discharge from the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Sorrell then went on to serve 33 ½ years with the Town of Lanesborough Police Department, working his way up through the ranks, before retiring in June of 2021, serving the last 6 years of his career as the Chief of Police .
Mr. Sorrell currently serves as a Select board Member for the Town of Lanesborough after winning the election in June of 2022. Mr. Sorrell is running for a seat on the Berkshire County Retirement Board so he can represent and better serve the active and retired members of the Berkshire County Retirement Board and its system. Mr. Sorrell wants to be a voice and representative of the active and retired members of the Berkshire County Retirement System and believes that the members, active and retired have earned and deserve the best the retirement system can provide for them.
Mark Bashara, incumbent
Mark Bashara is retired after serving 12 years as Police Chief for the Town of Lanesborough. Mr. Bashara has been a member of the Lanesborough Police Department for 28 years. As the Police Chief, his duties included all administrative functions of the department as well as being responsible for preparing budgets for the Police Department and obtaining grants, managing salaries and expenses.
Mr. Bashara has served as the president of the Lanesborough Police Association. He also served on the Legislative Committee for the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association as well as on the Legislative, Finance and Indoctrination Committees for the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. He was also the chairman of the MEMA committee for Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
Mark has a vested interest in the benefits of the current retirees because he is a retiree himself. He brings a unique perspective to the Board, with a strong understanding of the retirement system due to his years of law enforcement and retirement board member experience. He is a life-long resident of Berkshire County and continues to serve his community by volunteering at the Lanesborough VFW food pantry, which he has done for over 7 years.
Kenneth Walto has served in local public and non-profit organizations for more than 45 years. He began his full-time professional career with the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority in 1976. In 1980, he went to work in the City of Pittsfield’s Department of Community Development. He held several positions there eventually heading the department for six years in three mayoral administrations. In 1999, he accepted a management position with the Brien Center and in 2001 was appointed Town Manager of Dalton. He continued in that position until 2020, when he retired from the town of Dalton.
In 2021, he accepted a part-time position with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, where he provides community-planning services to the county’s municipalities. Ken has experience related to the board for which he seeks election. For eight years, during his time in Dalton, Ken served on the board of the insurance arm of the Mass Municipal Association, the Mass Interlocal Insurance Association. The board of that agency is responsible for oversight of a diverse multi-million-dollar portfolio of investments of communities’ premiums for health, property/casualty and workers comp policies. In addition, while in Dalton, Ken was responsible for creating an OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) Trust for the town. As part of the due diligence for investing the funds, Ken led an effort to investigate several investment opportunities and became familiar with the Commonwealth’s system in which the funds were invested.
Born and raised in Pittsfield, Ken is a resident of Dalton where he and his wife Mary Ann have raised four children. He is a graduate of St. Joseph High School, Northeastern University (BA in Economics) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MS in Economics)