Chunglo to end 36-run in Hadley politics; town election set for May 21

JOYCE CHUNGLO

JOYCE CHUNGLO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 02-03-2024 11:00 AM

HADLEY — In 1988, Joyce Chunglo began a 15-year tenure on the Hadley School Committee that ended in 2003, when she was elected to the Select Board, a board she has remained on for the past 21 years.

With nomination forms for the May 21 town election available this week, Chunglo announced at the Jan. 3 Select Board meeting that she would be ending her public service after 36 years, opting against running for an eighth term.

“I’m giving enough notice to people who would like to have this position,” Chunglo said that evening.

Town Clerk Jessica Spanknebel this week provided information that nomination forms are now available for those interested in running for townwide office. Nomination forms can be picked up at her office through March 29 at 5 p.m., with an April 16 filing deadline. Residents have until April 22 to register to vote.

Both the terms of Chunglo and Amy Parsons, who is completing her first three years on the Select Board, are up in May.

A Northampton native, Chunglo worked as a nurse for more than 50 years for Cooley Dickinson Hospital, starting there professionally in October 1970, though as a teenager, attending the former St. Michael’s High School, she had been a “candy striper” hospital volunteer.

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Her first foray into town politics came 36 years ago when her two children were in the Hadley public schools.

“I hope I have served the town well. I have enjoyed it,” Chunglo said through tears in making the announcement about her planned departure, which came in response to those who had inquired. “Thank you everybody.”

Chunglo said she expects to continue to stay involved in town affairs, but on the other side, with her colleagues joking to her that public comment at meetings is limited to 15 minutes.

The ballot will also include a five-year position on Plannign Board held by Mark Dunn, who is running for reelection, and two, three-year positions on School Committee held by Humera Fasihuddin and Paul Phifer. Fasihuddin said she is running for another term.

Other incumbents whose terms are up include Jeffrey Mish for a three-year position on the Board of Assessors; Margaret Mastrangelo for a three-year term on the Board of Health; Jessica Kem for a three-year position as library trustee; Steve Higgins for a three-year term on the Park Commission; Richard Witkos for a five-year term on the Hadley Housing Authority; and Maureen K. Devine for a one-year position as elector under the Oliver Smith Will.

There are also vacant positions available, including three-year and two-year term as library trustees, and a one-year term on the Hadley Housing Authority.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.