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Mayoral Candidate Boucher Shares Views On School Buildings
Boucher Campaign On: 12:55PM / Wednesday October 12, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Over the next few weeks, mayoral candidate Ron Boucher will be sharing his position regarding the important issues facing the city on a weekly basis. This week will focus on his position concerning the proposed building of one or two new schools.

"I strongly endorse the neighborhood school concept currently employed in our community. As a parent and grandparent myself, there is a certain level of comfort you feel when sending your child off to school in your own neighborhood.  That feeling needs to continue.  I do not believe the city is currently in the financial position to fund a new school, or schools, as proposed by the School Committee, chaired by the mayor.  Chances are good that the [state School Building Authority] will not pass the two school option and I believe a Debt Exclusion vote would face a similar fate as the Proposition 2.5 override," Boucher said.

"Instead the city should invest money to temporarily fix the current Greylock and Sullivan buildings, to keep our children in neighborhood schools.  My plan for the future would be, once the Drury and Brayton debts are paid, to replace one school, and only then if we can absorb the cost in our budget, so a Debt Exclusion vote would not be needed.  Finally I would like to add that it is not the building, but rather the teachers and curriculum that make up an excellent school system."

You can learn more about Ron Boucher, his campaign and views by visiting his website at www.VoteBoucher2011.com. Inquiries can be mailed to VoteBoucher2011@yahoo.com.



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Miller Endorsed by Clean Water Action
Miller Campaign On: 05:08PM / Tuesday October 11, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mark Miller has earned another endorsement in his bid to become state representative for the 3rd Berkshire District in the Oct. 18 special election.

"Clean Water Action is pleased to endorse Mark Miller for the Massachusetts House in the 3rd Berkshire District in the upcoming special election," said CWA Massachusetts Political Director Jeff Knudsen. "We were impressed by his commitment to protecting our drinking water; reducing global warming pollution; promoting clean renewable power and quality green jobs creation; and to replacing toxic chemicals in children's products with safer alternatives. CWA believes that Mark Miller will be a strong environmental leader and we look forward to working with him in the House."

In addition to CWA, Miller is running with the support of Planned Parenthood, the UAW, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and Mass Alliance.


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Pittsfield Ward 5 Candidate Lothrop Sets Dinner Fundraiser
Lothrop Campaign On: 07:25PM / Monday October 10, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Jonathan Lothrop, Ward 5 city councilor, will host a campaign fundraiser this Thursday, Oct. 13, at the American Legion on 41 Wendell Ave. from 5 to 7 p.m.

Lothrop is seeking a fifth term as the council representative of the southwest Pittsfield district.

The event will feature a pasta dinner with homemade desserts. A cash bar will be available. A contribution of $20 at the door is suggested; children 12 and younger are welcome for free. Checks may be made out to Citizens to Elect Jonathan Lothrop.

For more information, call 281-0994 or email jlothrop@Berkshire.rr.com.
 


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Malumphy Says Opponent's Anti-Choice Stance Hidden
Malumphy Campaign On: 05:32PM / Monday October 10, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Independent candidate Pam Malumphy said she is troubled by a letter written by Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh.

Following a unity rally for 3rd Berkshire District Democratic nominee, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Malumphy reached out to Lee Harrison, the chairman of the Berkshire Brigades (the countywide organization for the Democratic Party) to relay that she had learned that their nominee was anti-choice.

Mr. Harrison responded with an email stating, "I guess this response sums it up" and attached a letter written to Massachusetts Democrats by Chairman Walsh.

In the letter, Walsh offered the following:

"Tricia and I don't need to agree on every issue for me to be enthusiastic in my efforts to support her election."

The letter, however, never states what issue or issues Mr. Walsh is referring only leaving further suspicion that Ms. Bouvier's anti-choice stance is being hidden. In this letter, which begins with a reference to Congressman Barney Frank, Mr. Walsh gives the impression that he and Ms. Bouvier disagree on a far less important issue than one that is fundamental to the core of the Massachusetts Democratic Party platform.

"I was offended that Mr. Harrison was so dismissive regarding this crucial issue and equally offended in reading the letter from Chairman Walsh. He begins by making a reference to Congressman Frank which only added another layer of vagary to a letter that never addresses the real issue of Ms. Bouvier being anti-choice," said Malumphy. "What is the Democratic party if it does not uphold its core value in supporting a woman's right to choose?"

Speaking as a former Democrat, Malumphy is a pro-choice advocate currently chairing the Berkshire Commission on the Status of Women and a member of a countywide consortium working to address the critically important issue of teen pregnancy.

[Farley-Bouvier has said she is personally against abortion but supports programs that educate about pregnancy and family planning. In a statement in The Berkshire Eagle, Farley-Bouvier said, "As an elected official, I understand that I am responsible for all of my constituents and their varied needs. ... Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and it is my responsibility to uphold the law. I will not vote to restrict access to or funding for programs and services for women who seek services."]


LETTER FROM JOHN WALSH BELOW

We support Democrats in elections

Like so many things, Barney Frank has the most interesting way of describing situations like this. I once heard the congressman explain that there was only ONCE where he voted for a candidate whom he agreed with on everything. That was himself — the FIRST time he ran. He conceded that by the time he was running for reelection there were a few votes he wasn’t too happy about. I guess the point the congressman was making – and one I agree with – is there are many different factors voters take into consideration when casting their votes for a candidate. Our party is strong because Democratic primary voters are wise in their decision-making and we nominate and elect excellent candidates who hold a wide variety of positions on many issues. As a state party organization, we trust the wisdom of the people who make up our party on the ground and once they have chosen the nominee we do what we can to help them win.

The Democratic primary voters in Pittsfield had a familiar challenge: three talented Democrats running for this one open seat. They chose in Tricia Farley-Bouvier a woman who has worked hard for Democrats and Democratic causes for many years. She ran a grassroots, door-knocking, person-to-person campaign that would make anyone in the BMG community proud. Tricia and I don't need to agree on every issue for me to be enthusiastic in my efforts to support her election. If the voters in Pittsfield agree, she'll be a welcome addition to a very strong – and very Democratic – legislative delegation from the Berkshires.

Last week, I traveled to Pittsfield with two members of our staff for the event to kick off the final election. Our staff has been in regular touch with Tricia and her team this week and I’m looking forward to being back in Pittsfield early on Saturday to help and would encourage any Democrat who is free to join Auditor Suzanne Bump as Tricia's campaign kicks off a canvassing effort that will be crucial to her victory.

It's beautiful in the Berkshires this time of year.

John Walsh, Chair
Massachusetts Democratic Party


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North Adams Upholds Preliminary Election Results
By Andy McKeever On: 12:48PM / Thursday October 06, 2011

With council President (and mayoral candidate) Ronald Boucher recusing himself from the discussion, council Vice President Lisa Blackmer presided at the emergency meeting.


City Solicitor John DeRosa said the petition would uphold the election results.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council passed a home-rule petition Wednesday to uphold the preliminary mayoral election results after 460 ballots were deemed illegal.

The ballots for the preliminary election held on Sept. 28 erroneously instructed voters to select up to two candidates, which 460 voters did. However, voting for more candidates than there are seats to be elected violates state law.

Following the election, City Solicitor John DeRosa rendered an opinion that even if those votes were not counted, the same two candidates would have received the most votes and, therefore, the results could be upheld by an act through the state Legislature.

"Even if you didn't count 460 votes, the results would be the same," DeRosa told city councilors Wednesday. "What you do tonight will let the vote stand."

The home-rule petition will validate the election results instead of forcing the city to hold a second election or to throw out the ballots of 460 voters. The petition is expected to be shipped overnight to state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, and state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, to be filed on Beacon Hill.

The city solicitor said there was precedence for the action and did not see any problems in getting legislative approval. The home-rule petition process gives municipalities some "built in flexibility" because technical and clerical errors can occur, he said.

Councilor Michael Bloom asked what the petition means for the vote totals and DeRosa said the totals would remain. The ballots, which are currently stored in the city safe, have not and will not be recounted unless a candidate asks for a recount, DeRosa said.

"We don't want to change, to subtract or add," DeRosa said.

The totals of 1,105 for Richard Alcombright, 741 for Ronald Boucher and 216 for Robert Martelle will be the official results. Alcombright, the incumbent, and Boucher will move on to the general election in November.

"We went through this from every conceivable mathematical way," DeRosa said. "We are quite comfortable we got it right."

City Council candidate Robert Cardimino voiced opposition to the petition and called it unconstitutional to "throw the votes out." However, the petition actually approves the illegal votes, which means 460 people got to vote for two candidates.

The council approved 7-0 with Boucher recusing himself — and sitting in the gallery — and Marie Harpin absent.

DeRosa said City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau contacted his office the day after the election with her concerns. The error was an "honest mistake" but one that he said had not caused "irreparable damage."

"There is no question that this is a good-faith error," DeRosa said. "Sometimes honest people make honest mistakes."


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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Primary
Tuesday, Sept. 9

Voting is from 7 to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation is Aug. 20; only unenrolled voters may select which primary to vote in. More information on registering can be found here.

Candidates on the ballot in a race for their party nomination; all others on the ballot are unopposed

Republican
  Governor: Charles D. Baker & Mark R. Fisher

Democratic
  Governor: Donald M. Berwick, Martha Coakley & Steven Grossman
  Lieutenant governor: Leland Cheung, Stephen J. Kerrigan & Michael E. Lake
  Attorney general: Maura Healey & Warren E. Tolman
  Treasurer: Thomas P. Conroy, Barry R. Finegold & Deborah B. Goldberg
 

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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