Alice Mirante casts her ballot at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center on Tuesday. Projections are a 74 percent turnout because of the contested mayoral and council races. Top, a line at Greylock School waits to cast ballots.
Updated at 7:51 p.m.
North Adams handed Alcombright a decisive victory on Tuesday, giving him 3,046 votes to Barret's 2,166. All numbers are unofficial.
Alcombright supporters were riding along Main Street honking horns and yahooing out the windows as the state's longest-serving mayor prepared to bid farewell to the office he's held for 26 years.
We've started adding up the totals for city council, but don't have time to complete them. We'll get back to them ASAP.
Update: 6:18 p.m.
Took a trip to Pittsfield to check on that election. Not nearly as exciting as North Adams. If you thought it was crowded at St. Elizabeth's before, it twice as packed now.
Both sides of the street are lined with supporters waving signs; the mayor's still there. Over at Greylock School, there's a line - yes, a line - of people waiting to cast their ballots.
More than a thousand had already been cast when we were there 20 minutes ago. City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau said Ward 4 historically has a high vote rate but she's never seen lines like this for a city election.
"It's like the elections used to be way back, I've been told, but this the first time I've seen it," said Gomeau, between shooing voters toward the right doors. She also didn't think Bob Moresi's estimate of a 74 percent turnout would be too far off the mark.
Gomeau said voting was going smoothly despite the large numbers and that her team "is what makes all this happen." She particularly wanted recognize the workers from the city yard who did all the setup, along with the poll workers and police, for the good job they'd done.
We also caught up with Dick Alcombright, who's been busy running from ward to ward. He was headed back to St. Elizabeth's this time. He said he felt good about the turnout and his campaign, but repeated that "it's all in the hands of the voters."
Alcombright's election part is being held at the Eagles Hall; a peak through the lit windows as we drove by revealed table decked in white and green, the colors of his campaign.
Bill Blackmer, candidate Lisa Blackmer's husband, and Robert Moulton were also outside Greylock with more than a dozen other candidate supporters. We met Alan Marden coming out of the polling station at Greylock and had to ask, "did you give one vote to Al?" He did, but it's the only vote he would tell us. Next up, we'll be back at St. Elizabeth (or, as we prefer to call it, St. Anthony's) for the next update. We've been having trouble with our laptop - thus the late update - but it seems to be working now.
Don't forget, NBCTC goes live at 7 for results and our media partner Charlie at WJJW will be back on the air at 7:30. He's been doing a terrific job today talking to candidates and others about the election. Updated at 2 p.m, Nov. 3
NORTH ADAM, Mass. There's been a steady stream of voters at the city's three polling stations since they opened this morning at 9 a.m.
In fact, some were so eager they were waiting outside the doors before they opened — annoyed that they couldn't vote at 7, said poll worker Carol A. Robare.
"We've seen a lot of first-time voters," she said. "We've had to walk them through the process."
By noon, just under a 1,000 voters had cast ballots at the three wards at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center; two years ago, nearly 1,500 had ballots total had been cast. The numbers were similar at Ward 3 at the High Rise, where 344 had voted by 1 p.m.
Outside, more than three dozen people were holding signs for the two mayoral candidates and the 15 candidates running for City Council.
Mayor John Barrett III, who's in a tough race against challenger Richard Alcombright, was out with the crowd, the first time he's stood at the polls in some time. While not holding a sign, the mayor was greeting voters and upbeat about being re-elected to a record 14th term.
"I think we ran a good campaign," said Barrett. "People say we weren't doing anything but we worked all summer planning our strategy and and kicked off the campaign on Labor Day."
The state's dean of mayors believes the two debates, his television commercials and mailings got his message out to the voters.
For David Lamarre, who's running for the first time for City Council, the election's offered some different experiences.
"I've done a lot of things I never dreamed of doing, like standing up in forums and speaking and writing position papers," he said. "This whole experience has been great."
We haven't run into Alcombright yet, but we'll try for some comments from him. In an interview with WJJW earlier in the day, Alcombright told host Charlie Schnitzlein he'd had fun but the race was out of his hands in the voters at this point.
Schnitzlein is also hoping Barrett will stop by or call into his show at 4 p.m., or at any point he has time. Anyone can call in and talk about the election with Charlie at 413-662-5110.
Posted at 10:31 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2, 2009
There was last-minute campaigning Monday on Main Street as candidates - mostly newcomers - looked for support today.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There a real possibility that North Adams citizens could have their first new mayor in 26 years by evening's end - or not.
John Barrett III, the longest-serving mayor in the state's history, knows how to win elections. After all, he's claimed victory in 13 straight. But all eyes are on the state's smallest city today as popular City Councilor Richard Alcombright attempts to dethrone him.
The City Council could also be in for an upset as a strong field of challengers tries to shoulder their way into the nine-member council. There'll be at least two new faces this time round as seven incumbents face off against eight challengers.
Running unopposed are Heather Boulger, John Hockridge and Mark Moulton for School Committee and Paul Gigliotti and Gary Rivers for McCann School Committee.
Poll workers and the city clerk's office were busy today preparing for an expected heavy turnout, the likely the highest since Barrett was challenged for the second time by Paul Babeu in 2001. Just over 60 percent voted in that election, but Robert Moresi of the Board of Registrar of Voters is hoping for even better this time, certainly better than the paltry 18 percent that voted two years ago.
"It's going to be a close race," predicted Moresi. "I think 74 percent turnout. That may be a little on the high side, but if the weather's nice more people could come out."
According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday will be partly cloudy with highs in the 50s and rain in sight for a change.
"I think we've got a good setup at the polls," said Moresi, reminding voters that Wards 1,2 and 5 are now all located at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center now that both Conte Middle School and Notre Dame Church have closed. There are some 9,024 voters registered in the city, up nearly 500 from two years ago. Polls are open from 9 to 7.
Ward 1, 2 and 5: St. Elizabeth's Parish Center
Ward 3: Ashland Street Apartments
Ward 4: Greylock Elementary School
The mayoral candidates have planned their victory parties: Barrett will be at the American Legion and Alcombright at the Eagles Hall.
iBerkshires will be updating with news and photos throughout the day. You can also follow the election news with our new media partner WJJW 91.1-FM at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts throughout the day and with our old media partner the Berkshire News Network beginning at 7 p.m. on LIVE 95.9 and 1420 WBEC, 100.1 FM WUPE and 1230 WNAW.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
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Well, I know Boland lost supporters yesterday when the morons carrying his signs wandered back around on Main St. and held up traffic. I was trying to get home from work and had to wait through 3 cycles of the light at the end of Main St. due to the people meandering through the crosswalk against the light. If Boland loses by 2 votes he should know who to blame.
Greg Roach and Dennis Whitney? Are you assuming they will get 0 votes??
Editor: No! I thought I had everybody in. It was late, I was tired.. I'm stilling tweaking that table - obviously it needs a lot of tweaking. Anyone sees any other errors here or in the Pittsfield one I'd appreciate a heads up.
What is with the polls not being open till 9 am? In past years the polls have been open much earlier to allow people on their way to work to vote then. There are some people prefer the earlier time because going after 5 is such a hassle as the majority of people go then and you must wait in line forever.
Editor: Polls open for city elections at 9; at 7 for state and federal.
it was a pain not having the polls open at 7am like most elections but the CITY picked the times for this one. the mayor knows most of his votes are coming from the elerly who don't have to try and vote before going to work so i am sure the time doesn't bother him at all...
It looks like a record turnout - not a good thing for incumbents. It typically means voters are engaged, and up here, it's the first time since Paul Babeu ran against John Barrett. While early voters are typically a rash of senior citizens, this time around they're actually split between both candidates, something that's not happened in years.
After 5:00, when folks get out of work, that's where this election will be decided. There are many, many first-time and freshly charged up voters. Nationally, pollsters will tell you that's not a good thing for incumbents.
I'm predicting a win for Barrett, BUT with a city council that has it's own mind.
While Dick is a nice guy, which no one diputes, I still have yet to hear how he is going to implement his "visions," which none of us have heard what those "visions" are. Much like Obama, this was all image and no substance. Good luck, North Adams. You are going to need it.
FINALLY--Some relief for the long suffering people in North Adams that Barrett has alienated. King John III's reign has finally come to an end. Hallelujah!!! Dick, thanks for a truthful and dignified campaign. Please get going on auditing all the books in city hall on day one, and thanks for promising to look into the health insurance overpayments by city employees and retirees.
To all of you who thing iberkshires didn't do a good job covering this election are wrong. Tammy is the only reporter working for iberkshires and she had to cover 2 elections, not just North Adams and just because someone was complaining about totals not being posted they think she did a bad job covering this election. All I have to say is job well done Tammy. Keep up the good work.
Tammy you did an excellent job. The radio commentators on the other hand WNAW and 1420 were awful. You couldn't understand anything, they had people winning who lost and those horrible analysis really got to me.What happened to our local newscasters? I enjoyed following your coverage then the radio. Thanks.
To those union people that think they were cheated, the state audits this all the time and the contract were and are available to anyone that can read at anytime under the laws of the state. It’s just that you wanted it explained so that you wouldn’t have to read the fine print for yourselves, that’s called laziness and it’s my guess that you teach in the same manners. That why our schools are failing. Is a poor thing to see a young person run a register and when one hands them a 1.25 for a 1.12 purchase they have to use a calculator to figure out what to return in coinage. The change that’s needed are new teachers that have a brain.
Phil C - It would help if you had any accurate information in your post. But you do not. The state does NOT audit premiums. They simply require that bare minimum funding be available to the trust fund. This law is not in question. It is the law that requires the city to honor its labor contract and pay 70% of the premiums that has been called into question.
If the premiums had been set high, and the city had paid its legal share, there would be money left over in the fund. Since there is no money in the fund, it obviously went back into the budget, when legally it should have been used to reduce future premiums.
If you can't understand the concept, you should find someone who does before you jump to conclusions.
People stop complaining about the polls. They have opened at 9 a.m. for 30 years during city elections. State and federal elections open at 7 a.m.
Ironically, one of the biggest whiners about this ran for City Council in the past and the polls opened at 9 a.m. that year!