Staff Reports On: 11:58AM / Monday August 19, 2013
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Barring any further changes, voters will have a round dozen City Council candidates on the ballot this fall.
The potential field had been a large 18 — one short of the number for a preliminary election — but swiftly declined as the deadline drew near. Three more candidates have fallen off after the deadline passed.
The latest to withdraw is Michael Denault, who informed the city clerk on Monday that he was buying a house in Vermont, taking him out of the running. Anthony Sarkis Jr. withdrew his name earlier and incumbent David A. Bond, who took out papers late, missed the required 50 certified signatures by two.
City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau said candidates have until Thursday to withdraw their names from the ballot.
So far, appearing on the ballot will be only four incumbents — Lisa Blackmer, Keith Bona, Jennifer Breen and Nancy Bullett — ensuring that more than half the council will turn over this election.
Seven newcomers and previous candidates will join them: Eric Buddington, Robert F. Cardimino, Michael J. Hernandez, Benjamin J. Lamb, Kate Hanley Merrigan, Joshua J. Moran, David R. Robbins, Wayne J. Wilkinson.
Voters can select up to nine candidates so it will be a tight race to get into the top slots.
Historically, voters have been amenable to keeping all or most of the incumbents in office. Three of the incumbents not running this year have around 20 years each under their belts — Michael Bloom (22), Marie Harpin (16) and Alan Marden (24); the fourth, John Barrett III, served one term but is the city's (and state's) longest serving mayor (26).
The incumbents running for re-election can't boast those numbers yet. Blackmer and Bona are the veterans this time, with Blackmer running for a fourth consecutive term and Bona seeking a third term, although he previously served four terms in the 1990s. Both Breen and Bullett were elected in 2011.
The candidates will be listed alphabetically on the ballot with the incumbents listed first.
iBerkshires will be asking all the candidates for their views on various city issues. We are inviting North Adams residents to give us questions they think the candidates should answer. You may post your question in the comments below or send to info@iBerkshires.com with "Candidate Questions" in the subject line. Please, stick to issues and avoid personal attacks.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
North Adams: Candidate forums are being broadcast live by WNAW at 8:30 a.m. daily Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 except Wednesday, when mayoral candidates Richard Alcombright, the incumbent, and challenger Robet Moulton debate live from 9 to 10.
Meet the candidates at the Elks Lodge breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 3.
The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.
Absentee ballots are available at city clerk offices until noon on Nov. 4.
Voter registration: The deadline to register or change in voter information for the November election is Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The North Adams city clerk's office will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 16.