15 Vying for City Council in North AdamsBy Tammy Daniels
09:03PM / Tuesday, August 04, 2009
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Fifteen people are vying for the nine seats on the City Council this November.
With only minutes to go before the 5 p.m. deadline, all but two declared candidates had returned their nomination papers with the 50 required signatures.
City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau said she has been certifying the signatures as soon as the candidates have been returning papers. All of those who returned papers will be on the ballot.
Seven council incumbents are up for election: Alan Marden, Robert R. Moulton Jr., Lisa Blackmer, Gailanne Cariddi, Marie Harpin, Michael Bloom and Ronald Boucher. Vying against them are Brian L. Flagg, Michael S. Boland, Dennis J. Whitney, David A. Bond, Keith J. Bona, David A. Lamarre, Gregory B. Roach, and Eric R. Buddington.
Not returning signatures were Ronald K. Sheldon, Maryann Benoit-Albee and David Costa, who had decided last month he would not run. Christopher A. Tremblay also decided he would not stand for election; he did submit signatures in April but did not have the required 50 so his name will not be on the ballot.
If all four had returned papers, it would have triggered a preliminary election, said Gomeau. "It has to be double the number of councilors  plus 1."
The number of candidates is equal to that of four years ago; there were 16 candidates to start until incumbent William E. Donovan Jr. dropped out of the race a month before the election because he was moving to Adams.
The 2005 field was sparked in part by a controversy over the exhibition of an abstract sketch of a nude women in a gallery window. Four artists in the community — Kelly Lee, Buddington, Richard Harlow and Nikolai Rudd — threw their hats in the ring along with local businessmen Tremblay and Peter D. May, and resident and nontraditional student Andrew Etman.
Tremblay was the only challenger to win in that election but was ousted in 2007 by Blackmer in a quiet election that saw only three challengers, including Buddington again. Local businessman Howard D'Amico ran also, mostly on veterans issues.
This time around, there will be two fewer incumbents running and a pitched mayoral race that's drawing some well-known names into the fray.
City Councilor Richard J. Alcombright is challenging Mayor John Barrett III for the corner office, the first serious competition the longest-serving mayor in the state has had in some years. Councilor Clark H. Billings, who has moved to Rhode Island, announced his resignation effective Aug. 29.
Also up for election are Gary F. Rivers and Paul Gigliotti for McCann School Committee; and Mark P. Moulton, Heather Putnam Boulger and John Hockridge for North Adams School Committee.
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