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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Ruberto Claims Second Term As Pittsfield Mayor

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pittsfield – Mayor James H. Ruberto claimed victory during the city’s Nov. 8 mayoral race, defeating challenger Donna M. Walto with 7,090 votes.

Walto captured 2,778 votes.

Ruberto said that his voter-generated return to office “says something” about his first mayoral term. Ruberto defeated incumbent Sarah Hathaway during a 2003 city election.

“This was a campaign based on what we’ve done over the past two years,” Ruberto said during a Nov. 9 telephone interview. “As we look at the vote tally, nearly all the progressive city councilors were returned to city council. We have to continue what we’ve started.”

Issues such as downtown development, education, and public safety are among his priorities, Ruberto said.

He vowed to continue working toward finding solutions to criminal activity within the city. Over the past two years, a number of physical assaults that caused significant injury have occurred on city streets. Five murders occurred within the same time span.

“We must work to find solutions and contain the criminal element,” he said.

Downtown development plans include the planned construction of a movie theater. A $21 million Colonial Theater renovation project has an anticipated completion date of summer 2006, and Ruberto said that bringing business to the William Stanley business park is another priority.

City neighborhoods are also on Ruberto’s second-term agenda, he said, and cited a need to upgrade the city’s neighborhood housing stock.

Three incumbent councilors-at-large were reelected to two year terms. Tricia Farley-Bouvier led the vote with a total of 6045, followed by challenger Peter M. Machetti, who secured 5944 votes. Gerald M. Lee received 5935 votes and Matthew M. Kerwood received 5116 votes. Kerwood’s total edged out incumbent Pamela Malumphy’s bid for reelection; Malumphy received 5084 votes.

Some voters opted to deliver write-in votes for both contested and uncontested races, with most of the write-ins limited to one or two votes. Hathaway received 83 write-in mayoral votes.

And North Adams Mayor John Barrett III, who won reelection on Nov. 8 and will begin his 12th consecutive elected mayoral term in January, appears to have a Pittsfield presence as well: Barrett received one write-in vote on Pittsfield’s school committee ballot.

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