North Adams Sees Races for Mayor, Council
|City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau waits for any final candidates to return nomination papers on Tuesday.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. —
Nearly more than half the City Council will turn over in this year's municipal elections.
Among the names missing from the ballot will be Council President Michael Bloom, Alan Marden and Marie Harpin — all of whom have served for at least two decades. Also missing is another veteran of city politics, John Barrett III, who served only two years on the council but 26 as mayor.
Three potential candidates had taken out papers to challenge Mayor Richard Alcombright but only one had returned them by Tuesday: Robert R. Moulton Jr.
Not returning papers are Richard David Greene, who had been handing out his campaign stance while collecting signatures, and former mayoral candidate Ronald A. Boucher. Greene is reportedly running a write-in campaign.
"We've been friends for 50 years, I still consider him a friend and he comes from a great family," said Alcombright of his opponent. "Rob was right with me at my announcement four years ago but we've had our differences."
Alcombright said Moulton had described their positions as "far apart," how far apart to be debated this campaign season. "I'm looking forward to raising these issues with him," he said. "It should be a good and friendly campaign."
Moulton agreed, saying "we're friends with different points of view ... We'll let the people decide."
"I'm looking forward to the campaign, I'm sure there are a lot of good issues we'll be debating, some different views on the way the city should be run," he said. "It should be very entertaining and I think it will be good for the city."
15 14 13 12 candidates for the nine at-large City Council seats, although three still need signatures to be certified: incumbents Lisa Blackmer and David A. Bond, and newcomer Kate Hanley Merrigan. (David Bond did not have enough certified signatures.)
"There are a lot of new people," said City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau, as the seconds counted down to the 5 p.m. deadline. "But we always have a big amount of people [for council]."
Newcomers on the ballot this year are Merrigan, David R. Robbins, Benjamin J. Lamb, Joshua J. Moran,
*Anthony M. Sarkis Jr. and Michael Denault, as well as Planning Board member Wayne J. Wilkinson and previous council candidates Eric Buddington, Robert F. Cardimino and Michael J. Hernandez. (Michael Denault withdrew his candidacy on Aug. 19 because he is moving to Vermont.)
Incumbents returning papers were Blackmer, Bond, Keith Bona, Jennifer M. Breen and Nancy P. Bullett.
Edward Lacosse, Richard Lacosse Jr. and MaryAnn Benoit-Albee had informed Gomeau they would not be returning papers for council.
"I'm just really pleased to so many candidates, and a new younger field taking an interest in the city, and to see so many incumbents staying in," said the mayor. "It's sad to see Mike Bloom and Al Marden off the council because of the historical reference that they bring and their service to the city. They should be commended.
"Marie, her years of service not only on the council but through the BCAC and beyond, that just speaks volumes of her as a community leader. I wish them all well."
Alcombright said he commended "anybody for coming out now and being in public service ... it's not an easy thing to do."
Running for three seats on the School Committee are incumbents John Hockridge, Heather Putnam Boulger and Mark P. Moulton and newcomer Michele L. Vareschi. Stewart Burns did not return papers.
There is no race for McCann School Committee, with incumbents Paul A. Gigliotti and Gary F. Rivers running unopposed.
*Sarkis submitted a letter to the city clerk on Aug. 8 stating he was withdrawing because his professional business had to be a priority.