ADAMS -- An Iraq veteran, town native and regular at nearly every town government meeting over the past several years has thrown his name into the mix for the Board of Selectmen.
Richard Blanchard hopes the third time's the charm in town politics, as this represents his third run for the board. He missed by fewer than 100 votes in both 2011 and 2012.
"I want to be a full-time Selectman," Blanchard said in an interview this week. " ... If I win, on Wednesdays, even if the board doesn't meet, I'll be at [Town Hall] waiting to talk with whoever wants to come by."
Blanchard said he'd hold citizens' discussions to keep the public in the loop on developing situations and hear peoples' suggestions and complaints.
Blanchard's advocacy for enhanced lines of communication and teamwork in town run across the board.
Residents, town officials, town departments and its districts and businesses all should be more involved together, Blanchard said.
The school district, always battling back budget cuts and having only just submitted a compromised fiscal 2014 proposal, has decided to take its grievances to local legislators and the state in search of funds and other assistance, and Blanchard said he'd be there to back them.
He said he'd also meet regularly with town department heads for briefings.
On the private front, Blanchard said the town might allow potential entrepreneurs to submit business ideas for public viewing on the Internet.
"I was thinking we should get all these ideas together and put them on the town website," he said.
In Blanchard's view, such a measure might foster collaboration -- joint ventures from people who otherwise couldn't fund their own business concepts.
Turning to Memorial School, the candidate "is leaning more and more toward getting rid of it."
Repairs are estimated at $3 million to $5 million, and Blanchard doesn't feel the prospects are good for a large-scale refurbishment.
The town is assessing the building's needs with state engineers and is in negotiations with the Adams Youth Center and a private business over potential short-term lease arrangements.
Blanchard supports the town's push for Greylock Glen development -- he particularly wants to see an amphitheater built -- and also the attempts on the part of officials to brand Adams "a recreational hub." Such an identity is bound to develop area-specific businesses, Blanchard said.
On taxes, Blanchard thinks measures must be taken to lower the rate.
"We've got 25 homes in tax lien this year and a dozen last year -- that can't continue," he said. "[People] can't continue being taxed out of their houses."
Blanchard is an Army National Guard veteran of 20 years, and works as an armed security officer at the Silvio O. Conte Federal Building in Pittsfield. He served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 in detainee operations.
"I don't represent any special person or group," he said. "I'd like to represent Adams, and the people of Adams."
Town election is Monday and Blanchard vies for two available seats in a field of four candidates. The others are Joseph Nowack, Donald Sommer and Michael Young.
To reach Phil Demers, email