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Sue Bush
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Council Candidates on WNAW

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Monday, October 03, 2005

North Adams – City voters have an opportunity to hear from city council incumbents and challengers from Oct. 3 – Oct. 17 during 10 scheduled live “Opinion” radio program broadcasts.

The “Opinion” show is aired on the city-based AM 1230 WNAW radio station from 8:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. during weekdays and encourages listener participation.

There are eight incumbents and seven challengers vying for nine two-year city council terms. A city election is scheduled for Nov. 8.

Mayor John Barrett III is facing an election challenge from city resident Walter Smith Jr..

WNAW News Director Ted Bassani said that he offered Barrett and Smith an opportunity to appear on the “Opinion” show and follow a debate format. Both mayoral candidates opted to appear separately, Bassani said.

Incumbent candidate Robert Moulton Jr. and challenger Christopher Tremblay appeared during the Oct. 3 program.

The remaining candidates are scheduled to appear as follows:

Oct. 4: Incumbent Alan Marden and challenger Eric Buddington

Oct. 5: no candidates scheduled

Oct. 6: Incumbent Gailanne Cariddi and challenger Andrew Etman

Oct.7: Incumbent Richard Alcombright and challenger Kelly Lee

Oct. 10: Incumbent Clark H. Billings

Oct. 11: Incumbent Michael Bloom and challenger Nikolai Rudd

Oct.12: Incumbent Marie Harpin and challenger Peter May

Oct.13: Mayoral challenger Walter Smith Jr.

Oct. 14: Mayor John Barrett III

Oct. 17: Incumbent candidate Ronald Boucher and challenger Richard Harlow

Bassani said that a random drawing governed the incumbent/challenger pairings, and because the candidate slate totals an odd number, Billings will appear alone and be limited to 15 minutes of air time.

The programs are not being presented as debates, Bassani emphasized, but added that should two candidates choose to discuss a particular issue, he will not halt the conversation.

“We have invited all the candidates on the show so as to give each person equal time to lay out his or her platform or policy agenda to the community, not necessarily to debate one another,” Bassani said in a written statement. “I am also giving each candidate the option to be interviewed together for the half hour, or to give each a separate 15-minute block [minus commercials]. That decision will be made by the candidates on the morning of each show.”

Bassani said that he is encouraging program callers to pose questions to both candidates, and said that personal attacks against any candidate will not be tolerated, whether or not the candidate is present.

During the single candidate program, callers should focus their questions on city issues, Bassani said.

The telephone number for the “Opinion” show is 413-664-8255. Callers are not identified on the air during “Opinion” programs.

Susan Bush may be reached at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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