Cakounces Faces Challenger in Commissioners Race

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Commissioners Chairman Leo Cakounces will have a challenger in his upcoming bid for reelection.

Democrat Ronald Bergstrom, the Chatham representative to the county’s Assembly of Delegates, has announced that he will seek the position in this November’s election.

Bergstrom has spent nearly a dozen years on the assembly, eight as chairman and he says that he hopes to bring back many of the county services which have been cut by the current commission in the name of fiscal responsibility.

“They seem to be in the process of dismantling a lot of the services which the county provides and I think the final straw, what really motivated be to run was a 25% cut to AmeriCorps,” said Bergstrom, “I thought that was a gratuitous slap in the face of a lot of dedicated people for no reason other than the supposed fiscal situation, which I think exists pretty much in their mind rather than in reality.”

Barnstable County Commission Chairman Leo Cakounces

Cakounces, as one might presume, sees his record quite differently,

“As the chairman of the finance committee, I think that that statement goes to show that he knows little, if nothing, of county,” explained Cakounces “Because, basically we have cut no services at all in the county. Yes, we had made a number of the budget, but that has been covered by having the excellent staff that we have step up and redistribute the work load so that everything is being done but at a lesser cost.”

As far as AmeriCorps goes, Cakounces says that he is proud of the reduction and sees it as a message to the federal government,

“I believe that if we all start tightening our belts a little bit, we can all do a little better.”

The Chatham resident also had some words for Cakounces’ fellow Republican on the commission, Ron Beaty, known for his blunt social media presence, and flair for unconventional solutions to county matters. Bergstrom says his not afraid to take him on.

“I’m a big guy, I’ve been around for a while, Ron Beaty doesn’t bother me,” he said, “He can say whatever he wants, do whatever he wants, but with myself and another commission of like mind we can neutralize him.”

Beaty, seldom one to let opportunity pass him by, referred to Bergstrom as “One of the most incompetent and dysfunctional liberal Democrats to have ever washed up on the shores of Cape Cod!”

Along with the comment, Beatty tweeted out a link to a 2010 story about Bergstrom resigning as Chaiman of the Chatham Board of Selectmen after berating his colleagues.

For his part, Cakounces hopes that this will be a campaign about his record, and sees pros and cons with having a competitive race.

“A part of me is looking forward to the fact that now I will be able publicly get out everything that I have been doing the last three years of my four year term,” he said.

“I feel very strongly that up all the politicians, especially in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I’m probably the only one that has campaigned on issues, and completed every single thing I said I was going to do in my first campaign. I’m very proud of that fact.”

By David Beatty, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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