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Alcombright Questions Proposed Sewer Fee Cuts
Alcombright Campaign On: 08:47AM / Monday November 07, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Candidate Richard Alcombright, who is running for a second term as mayor, responds to his opponent's pledge to cut the sewer fee:

In his most recent communication, Councilor Boucher states that he will reduce the sewer fee by 50 percent. He further stated that I promised at the time of the adoption of the fee that it would be placed in an enterprise fund to be used for infrastructure improvements. For the record, that was not what was presented nor was it what the Council voted on. But that aside, let me state the hard reality of Mr. Boucher's last-minute campaign promise.

While the sewer fee was controversial and one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, it has been used to offset the approximately $1 million assessment that the city receives each year from the Hoosac Water Quality District. This years' budget reflects a sewer fee revenue line item of $745,000 which is approximately 42 percent of our water revenue. Should Mr. Boucher cut this revenue line item by 50 percent as stated, $372,500 will be slashed from our local receipts.

Mr. Boucher's promise to cut the sewer fee with absolutely no plan as to how to replace the revenue or cut the budget seems very irresponsible. The reality here is that the FY2012 budget has been set and expenses have been allotted based on anticipated revenues (to include the sewer fee). Does this mean mid-cycle cuts in the school and municipal budget and what will those cuts be? Additionally, if Councilor Boucher is that adamantly opposed to the sewer fee, why not remove it entirely? How far back will this take us?

I have stated time after time that I have not made any of my fiscal decisions in a vacuum. They have been made in consultation with city finance department heads, the City Council Finance Committee, our external auditors and the Department of Revenue.  I have made significant strides in reducing our deficits through a combination of cuts coupled with increases in revenue and the institution of efficiencies. Please believe me when I tell you....cutting the sewer fee will only add to further cuts in the budget and further reduction in services. And while no one likes a sewer fee, it plays a vital role in the funding of services in our city.

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Barbalunga Asks for 2 More Years on School Committee
Barbalunga Campaign On: 08:11AM / Monday November 07, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  Statement from Alf Barbalunga, candidate for School Committee.

It has been two years, and I continue to be excited about my work on the city of Pittsfield School Committee. If you believe I have served competently, please support me for re-election. 

The school department spends 45 cents of every dollar the city takes from you in taxes. My highest priorities are to ensure your hard earned money is spent wisely, and our community is kept safe. Public safety and reduced crime rates go hand-in-hand with a quality education. As some of you know it took me a long time to get back to the Berkshires, and I’m not going anywhere. I am committed to doing my part to promote Pittsfield's future growth. If you believe merited and award me your vote, I will be honored to give you another two years of service.

Thirty-one year resident of Pittsfield and the only candidate under the age of 40
Attended Pittsfield Public Schools, K-12
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Total Quality Management
Community Development (Planning) Board Clerk, 12-plus years

Massachusetts Trial Court, Probation Service Chief
20-plus years Public Safety career
Previously employed as a Juvenile Probation Officer working in the Pittsfield schools
Chairman of the Safety & Transportation subcommittee

Only School Committee member who voted against across the board management pay raises
Only subcommittee member who voted against the outright spending of more than $3 million dollars on the purchase of a new citywide fleet of school busses
Berkshire Brigades Democratic Organization committee member
Continues to not accept campaign donations

AFL-CIO / Local 1134
AFL-CIO / Local 285
SEIU / Local 254 - Shop Steward
SEIU-NAGE / Locals 229 & 118 - Regional Steward

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Breen Kirsch Gets Nuciforo Endorsement for City Council
Breen Kirsch Campaign On: 08:34PM / Sunday November 06, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., former state senator and Middle County register of deeds, on Friday announced his endorsement of Jennifer Breen Kirsch for a seat on the North Adams City Council. 

"Jennifer has the educational background, work ethicand vision to provide leadership for the city," Nuciforo said. "Her strong commitment to serve will benefit the people of North Adams, and I endorse her without reservation."

"I would just like to thank Andy for his support today," Breen Kirsch said. "I have much respect for him as an attorney,and as a respected political figure in Berkshire County. I know him and his wife Elena personally, and I look forward to working with him on behalf of our fine city."

Breen Kirsch earned her bachelor of science degree from Union College, and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. She served as an assistant district attorney in the Middlesex district attorney's office before returning to her hometown of North Adams to enter private practice. She has recently opened Breen Law Office and Mediation, located in Building 13, second floor at Mass MOCA.

Breen Kirsch has served as chairman of the North Adams Housing Authority and serves on the Berkshire Commission on the Status of Women. She is one of 16 candidates seeking election to the North Adams City Council.

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Caccamo Rally to Get the Vote Out
Staff Reports On: 05:42PM / Sunday November 06, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Committee to elect Nicholas Caccamo for City Council will host a rally Sunday, Nov. 6, aimed at encouraging younger voters in Pittsfield to hit the polls this Tuesday. The event will take place at Spice Dragon at 291 North St. from 7 to 10 p.m.

The popular Noah Weiss Quartet will provide entertainment, where candidates in all municipal election races are invited to provide information about their campaigns and help instruct voters in the critical 18-35 demographic why they should turn out.  This demographic comprises about 7,000 of Pittsfield's 29,000 registered voters, a little less than 25 percent in total.

This event is free and open to the public and all Pittsfield candidates running for office.

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Nuciforo Endorses Blackmer for City Council
Blackmer Campaign On: 01:18PM / Saturday November 05, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., former state senator and Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds, on Saturday announced his endorsement of Lisa Blackmer for re-election to the North Adams City Council. 

"Lisa has shown her willingness to work with others to address the issues facing North Adams," Nuciforo said. "She does her homework. Her work ethic and commitment to improving the local economy are impressive. I am pleased to give Lisa my support."
"I would like to thanks Andrea for his support," Blackmer said. "This endorsement adds to the forward momentum for my City Council campaign and I look forward to working with Andrea on addressing the issues facing our great city."
Blackmer is seeking re-election to her third term on the City Council. She has served on numerous city and regional organizations such as the Northern Berkshire Food Festival, Berkshire Food Project, Fall Foliage Parade and Festival Committee, and the North Adams Open Studios Committee. She is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, holding a degree in business administration.

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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.

Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

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.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

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