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North Adams Council Election Garnering Interest

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Thirteen people have so far pulled nomination papers for City Council and Mayor Thomas Bernard has announced he will seek re-election. 
 
Bernard will make a formal announcement on Thursday, June 13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn. He pulled his nomination papers on Friday for second two-year term. 
 
"I look forward to working with the residents of North Adams as we continue to build our shared future on a foundation of economic development, community revitalization, and sustainability," he said in a press release. "I look forward to building on the strong foundation my team and I established with the support of so many in our community."
 
Council incumbents taking out papers so far include Keith Bona, Marie T. Harpin, Benjamin Lamb, Jason M. LaForest, and Wayne Wilkinson. Bona, current council president is attempting his fifth consecutive term; he also served several terms in the 1990s.  Harpin and LaForest were first elected in 2017, and Wilkinson was returned that year after losing his seat in the prior election and then being appointed to complete a term. 
 
Lamb was elected 2013, part of a cohort of younger candidates who significantly changed the face of council. So far, he is the only one of that group standing for election this year. Both Eric Buddington and Joshua Moran, who came into office with him, have indicated they will be not be running for a fourth term. Rebbecca Cohen and Paul Hopkins, who both won office in 2017, have not taken out nomination papers at this point. 
 
Should all the incumbents running be re-elected, that will still leave at four open seats on the nine-person council. 
 
Taking out papers for council as of late last week are Ronald Sheldon, Bryan A. Sapienza, Robert Cardimino and Roger Eurbin, all of whom have run, or indicated a desire to run, in the past. Also taking out papers are newcomers Jonathan Schnauber, Cameron Lapine, Peter J. Oleskiewicz (who ran in the preliminary mayoral race in 2017), and Jessica Sweeney. 
 
There are also three seats up for election on the School Committee currently held by Karen Bond, Nicholas Fahey and Tara Jacobs and three on the Northern Berkshire Vocational Technical School District (McCann School Committee) currently held by Rachel Branch, George Canales and William Diamond. Branch has indicated she does not plan to run for a second term.
 
Update: Jacobs has returned her papers for School Committee and Bond has said she intends to run.
 
Nomination papers have been available since April 2 and must be submitted with the required 50 signatures of registered voters by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 19. The last day to withdraw is Aug. 6. 
 
Should there be a preliminary election — in the case of three mayoral candidates or 19 council candidates — the last day to register to vote is Aug. 28 by 8 p.m. The last day to register to vote in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Oct. 16; absentee ballots must be completed by noon on Monday, Nov. 4.

Tags: city election,   election 2019,   


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Something New Under the Sun: Solarize Project Begins in North Adams, Williamstown

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Six years ago, the Solarize Williamstown initiative helped 79 homeowners add solar photo-voltaic panels to their properties.
 
Six years later, Solarize Plus looks to replicate and expand on that model thanks to more options, a wider pool of property owners, new technology and a greater need than ever to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
 
It seems like weekly new evidence is released about the threat of climate change, which the scientific community overwhelmingly agreed is fueled in part by human activity.
 
Just last week, a study by the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development found that in the next 20 years, U.S. coastal communities will need to spend more than $400 billion to defend property from sea-level rise. The price tag for Cape Cod's Barnstable County: $7 billion over 20 years.
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