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North Adams Sees Races for Mayor, Council

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau waits for any final candidates to return nomination papers on Tuesday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Nearly more than half the City Council will turn over in this year's municipal elections.

Among the names missing from the ballot will be Council President Michael Bloom, Alan Marden and Marie Harpin — all of whom have served for at least two decades. Also missing is another veteran of city politics, John Barrett III, who served only two years on the council but 26 as mayor.

Three potential candidates had taken out papers to challenge Mayor Richard Alcombright but only one had returned them by Tuesday: Robert R. Moulton Jr.

Not returning papers are Richard David Greene, who had been handing out his campaign stance while collecting signatures, and former mayoral candidate Ronald A. Boucher. Greene is reportedly running a write-in campaign.

"We've been friends for 50 years, I still consider him a friend and he comes from a great family," said Alcombright of his opponent. "Rob was right with me at my announcement four years ago but we've had our differences."

Alcombright said Moulton had described their positions as "far apart," how far apart to be debated this campaign season. "I'm looking forward to raising these issues with him," he said. "It should be a good and friendly campaign."

Moulton agreed, saying "we're friends with different points of view ... We'll let the people decide."

"I'm looking forward to the campaign, I'm sure there are a lot of good issues we'll be debating, some different views on the way the city should be run," he said. "It should be very entertaining and I think it will be good for the city."

There are 15 14 13 12 candidates for the nine at-large City Council seats, although three still need signatures to be certified: incumbents Lisa Blackmer and David A. Bond, and newcomer Kate Hanley Merrigan. (David Bond did not have enough certified signatures.)

"There are a lot of new people," said City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau, as the seconds counted down to the 5 p.m. deadline. "But we always have a big amount of people [for council]."

Newcomers on the ballot this year are Merrigan, David R. Robbins, Benjamin J. Lamb, Joshua J. Moran, *Anthony M. Sarkis Jr. and Michael Denault, as well as Planning Board member Wayne J. Wilkinson and previous council candidates Eric Buddington, Robert F. Cardimino and Michael J. Hernandez. (Michael Denault withdrew his candidacy on Aug. 19 because he is moving to Vermont.)

Incumbents returning papers were Blackmer, Bond, Keith Bona, Jennifer M. Breen and Nancy P. Bullett.

Edward Lacosse, Richard Lacosse Jr. and MaryAnn Benoit-Albee had informed Gomeau they would not be returning papers for council.

"I'm just really pleased to so many candidates, and a new younger field taking an interest in the city, and to see so many incumbents staying in," said the mayor. "It's sad to see Mike Bloom and Al Marden off the council because of the historical reference that they bring and their service to the city. They should be commended.

"Marie, her years of service not only on the council but through the BCAC and beyond, that just speaks volumes of her as a community leader. I wish them all well."

Alcombright said he commended "anybody for coming out now and being in public service ... it's not an easy thing to do."

Running for three seats on the School Committee are incumbents John Hockridge, Heather Putnam Boulger and Mark P. Moulton and newcomer Michele L. Vareschi. Stewart Burns did not return papers.

There is no race for McCann School Committee, with incumbents Paul A. Gigliotti and Gary F. Rivers running unopposed.

*Sarkis submitted a letter to the city clerk on Aug. 8 stating he was withdrawing because his professional business had to be a priority.


Two Vying For Seat on Lanesborough Board of Selectmen

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The annual town election next week has several races, including for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Mount Greylock Regional High School Committee member Robert Ericson is running against former Selectman Joseph Szczepaniak Jr. The seat is that of longtime Selectman William Prendergast, who is not running for re-election.

Ericson currently sits on the high school committee and formerly served on the Lanesborough School Committee. Szczepaniak was on the Board of Selectmen from 2008 until 2011, when he was defeated by a write-in campaign by Robert Barton.

Barton is resigning from the board to run for School Committee. However, because the resignation was too close for this election, that seat is not on the ballot next week.

For the School Committee, Barton is running against incumbent Renee Poplaski.

Three people are vying for two seats on the Finance Committee. Incumbent Al Terranova is facing newcomers Ronald Tinkham and Stephen Wentworth for the three-year seats. Incumbent Christine Galib is running unopposed for a one-year seat on the committee.

Incumbent Cemetery Trustee Mary Reilly is being challenged by Gregory Wolf for that position.

The remaining candidates are running unopposed. They are Robert Reilly for both moderator and representative to the Northern Berkshire Regional School Committee and Christa Sidway for library trustee. Two seats on the Planning Board and two seats on the Sewer Commission have no candidates.

The election will be held Tuesday, June 25, from 7 a.m. until 8 pm. at Town Hall.



Four Candidates Eyeing 2 Adams Selectmen Seats

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — Four candidates will be vying for two vacant seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Nomination papers were due Monday and Richard Blanchard, Joseph Nowak, Donald Sommer and Michael Young have all returned papers to be on the ballot. They have until April 3 to withdraw their nominations.

That's one short of last year, in which five candidates tried for two seats. The race also ensures new faces on the board — albeit Sommer has served before.

The two three-year seats available are those that had been held by Paula Melville and Scott Nichols. Melville resigned from the board last year and Nichols has opted not to run for re-election.

Nichols instead will be running for moderator against Edward Driscoll, another former selectman. Both are looking to fill the seat left vacant by Joseph Dean Jr., who died in December.

The one-year seat left open by the resignation of former Chairman Richard Frost on the Board of Health will also see competition with two candidates. Glen DeMarsico and Allen Mendel are both vying for it.

A three-year Board of Health seat held by Roy Thompson is also up for election but Thompson will run unopposed.

Three people will by vying for one three-year assessor seat. Dennis Gajda, Lorraine Kalisz and Susan Rowe have all returned papers to run.

There are a number of unopposed elections as well; Holly Denault for treasurer; Karen Kettles for library trustee, Martha Stohlmann for Planning Board; Lawrence Clairmont for cemetery commissioner; Elizabeth Buskey for Redevelopment Authority; and Joseph Allard for McCann School Committee (Northern Berkshire Vocational School District). Paul Butler and Joshua Ryan DeMarsico-Birkland are running unopposed for two seats on the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Committee.

A three-year library trustees, a five-year Housing Authority seat and a one-year Redevelopment Authority seat have no candidates.

The town election is Tuesday, May 6.


Pittsfield, North Adams, Adams Announce Democratic Caucus Dates

Feb. 8: Due to the impending storm, the Pittsfield caucuses (excluding Ward 5) has been rescheduled for March 2.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Democrats will hold caucuses in their respective wards to elect delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Party's 2013 Platform Convention to be held June 1 July 13 at the Tsongas Center at University of Massachusetts in Lowell. All registered Democrats in Pittsfield wards 1 through 6 are eligible. 

The caucuses are scheduled on: 

► Ward 1 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Back Nine Bar and Grille, 303 Crane Ave.

► Ward 2 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Kennedy IUE/CWE Union Hall, 789 Tyler St.

► Ward 3 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, DelGallo’s Restaurant, 390 Newell St.

► Ward 4 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Miss Hall’s School, 492 Holmes Rd.

► Ward 5 – Noon, Sat. March 2, American Legion, 41 Wendell Ave.

► Ward 6 – 2 p.m., Sat. March 2, Polish Community Club, 55 Linden St.

Delegates to the 2013 Massachusetts Party Platform Convention will hear from future party leaders, debate and adopt a new party platform. The number of delegates for each ward will be divided equally between men and women. Those not elected as delegate and/or alternate, who meet the qualifications, may apply to be add-on delegates in the following categories: youth, minority and disabled. 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Wards 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the North Adams Democratic City Committee
will caucus on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. to elect delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Party's 2013 Platform Convention.

All registered Democrats residing in those wards are invited and eligible to participate in the caucus, to be held at North Adams Housing Authority Community Room, 150 Ashland St.

State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, will convene the caucus.

Ward 1 will caucus on March 2.

At the statewide convention, to be held at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on Saturday, July 13, delegates will debate and adopt a platform for the next four years.

State Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh announced the postponement of the convention from June to July to follow election of the U.S. senator to replace John Kerry, now confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.  

Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin has scheduled a primary for April 30, and special election of U.S. senator to be held on June 25.

Cariddi is also scheduled to address local Democrats on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m. at a gathering at the Freight Yard Pub. Cariddi is interested to hear from North County constituents as to their legislative priorities; she will also update them as to current statewide initiatives in Boston.

ADAMS, Mass — The Adams Democratic Committee will hold its caucus on Saturday, March 2. The caucus will elect delegates to attend the Platform Convention on July 13.

The caucus will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Miller Annex of the Adams Free Library. It is open to all registered Democrats in Adams.
For more Information, call Ed Driscoll at 413-743-0639.



Town Meeting & Election Roundup

Staff Reports

Election Results

Budget Approved at Becket Annual Town Meeting
BECKET, Mass. — The town held its annual town meeting on Saturday, May 8. Only 74 of the town's 1,261 registered voters were in attendance. Voters approved a total municipal budget of just over $4.5 million. The town's assessment to the Central Berkshire Regional School District was also approved at nearly $2.1 million. The town's vocational budget of $264,000 was also given voter approval on Saturday.

Also of interest, voters did not approve the expansion of the town's select board from three to five members. They also turned away an article that would have made the town clerk's position an appointed position instead of an elected one as it is now.

Town election is Tuesday, May 18, noon to 7 at the Senior Center
Town meeting is Wednesday, May 19, at 7 at the Elementary School

Dalton Voters OK Debt Exclusion, Elect New Selectman
DALTON, Mass. — Voter turnout in Dalton was not good Monday as residents went to the polls. Elected to the Board of Selectmen was Mary R. Cherry, who pulled in 429 votes. Opponents Thomas Burgner picked up 247 votes and Timothy Kirby, 232. Current Chairman John Boyle and Selectman William Chabot were re-elected to their seats unopposed.

The debt exclusion question of $230,000 for Town Hall renovations and equipment passed 499-399 while the non-binding ballot question to re-format the Select Board to three positions and eliminate the town manager's job lost by 494-409. Voter turnout was dismal, with only 935 out of 4,255 registered voters casting ballots.

Elected unopposed were Ronald J. Marcella Sr. as moderator; Karen M. Quinn and Caleb J. Darby for Planning Board; E. Edwin Cady as cemetery trustee; John Kittredge, Anne M. Ronayne and Stephanie Shafiroff as library trustees; Judith A. Conroy for the Dalton Housing Authority; and William A. Drosehn III, J. Michael Hoffman and Patrick J. Sheehan for Finance Committee.

Egremont Voters Turn Out In Droves
EGREMONT, Mass. — There was very good voter participation in Egremont on Tuesday, May 11, as the town held its annual election. Some 540 of the town's 963 registered voters went to the polls, a 56 percent turnout.

There were four contested races, the most interesting being a rare tie in the race for a two-year seat on the Planning Board between H. Bernard Haeckel and Penny Hudnut. Both candidates received 236 votes. The normal course of action in this case is a recount. If there is still a tie after recounting the votes, then a special election can be scheduled.

In the other races Tuesday, Janis Sagarin beat out David Hall Devine 306-183 for a five–year seat on the Planning Board, Elizabeth Holland defeated Georgette Kinney 317-177 for a three-year term as assessor and Bruce Turner defeated Laura Allen by a mere 13 votes for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. The vote count was 271-258. The remaining races were uncontested: Thomas A. Gage as modertor, Margaret A. Muskrat as town clerk, James Olmsted as tree warden, Rosemary Besancon as constable, Susan Turner as library trustee, Herman Trudeau Jr. as cemetery commissioner, William H. Wood as associate for the Planning Board and Stephen Agar as water commissioner.

Florida Fills Posts with Write-ins
FLORIDA, Mass. — There were no races in the town election this year but 85 of the 540 registered voters went to Town Hall to cast ballots on Monday, May 3 to vote for 11 town positions. Ronald Briggs was returned as selectman to a three-year term with 79 votes; Michael LeClair received one write-in.

There were a large number of write-in votes, some of which filled vacant seats. Judy Embry was re-elected with 79 votes to the School Committee over Jana Hunkler Brule, with two write-ins, but Brule won a seat on the McCann School Committee with 22 write-ins. Ed Drummond had one write-in for McCann. Brule also picked up up the one-year auditor post with six votes; her nearest competition was Al Bedini Jr. and Doris Lewis, garnering a vote each.

Other results are:
Tree warden for one year: Doug Miller, 77 votes, with one write-in for Stanley Brown; assessor for three years: Margaret "Margo" Van Peterson with 56 votes and one write-in vote each for Bradley Furlon and Michael LeClair.
• Board of Health for three years: Alfred Bedini Sr. with 72 votes; Ken Sherman received two write-ins.
• Constable for three years (all write-in votes): Richard LeClair with 13 votes; Kevin Dodge garnered two and Bradley Furlon, Richard LeClair, Calvin Peters, Michael Bedini and Ronald Briggs received one.
• Library trustee three years: Alfred Bedini Jr. with 58 votes; Heidi Dugal, 18 write-ins. In the two spots for trustees for Soldierss Memorial, Theresa Culpepper was elected with 80 votes and Drummond with 14 votes.
•Planning Board for five years: James Pedro with 63 votes and one write-in for Francis Mundy.

New Faces On Great Barrington Board
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Two three-year seats on the Selectmen went to newcomers in the Tuesday, May 11, election.

Alan Chernila polled 1,016 votes and Stephen Bannon 553, ousting Selectwoman Deb Phillips. Phillips garnered 649 votes and fourth candidate Walter F. Atwood III received 524. Turnout was 30 percent, with 1,352 of the town's 4,460 registered voters casting ballots.

A write-in campaign by Alice Reilly earned her 60 votes for a three-year seat on the Finance Committee. All other offices were unopposed.

Lenox Ousts School Committee Members
LENOX, Mass. — There were two contested races in Lenox on Tuesday as 1,056 of the town's registered voters made their way to the polls, including for two three-year seats on the School Committee.

Both incumbents, Arlene Schiff and Shannon Delasco lost their bids for re-election. The winners were David Berkel and Veronica Fenton. Berkel finished with 502 votes and Fenton with 480. Schiff and Delasco came in third and fourth place, respectively, with the least amount of votes garnered by fifth canddiate Jeremiah Ames.

Kenneth Fowler beat out David Roche Jr. and Derrick Holt for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen with 22-vote margin of victory. Fowler garnered 468 votes while Roche finished the night with 446 votes and Holt came in with 131 votes.

Elected unopposed were Moderator Hugh C. Cowhig, Assessor James E. Sorrentino, Planner Joseph A. Kellogg and Theresa E. Sorrentino to the Housing Authority; write-in candidate Christopher Trancynger won a seat on the Board of Health.

Debt Exclusions Pass in New Marlborough
NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. —  Voters approved two Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusions for equipment at the town election on Tuesday, May 11:  $59,000 for a Highway Department truck by a vote of 81-72 and $100,000 for a new ambulance by a vote of 98-56.

All offices were unopposed; 158 voters cast ballots.

Richmond Sets Meeting, Election
RICHMOND, Mass. —  A special town meeting will be held prior to the annual town meeting beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26, at the Richmond Consolidated School. The town meeting will follow at 7:30.

Of the nine articles to be considered at the special town meeting, six address current fiscal-year deficits within several salary accounts, including Winter Roads, the Fire Department and the Road Maintenance accounts (this will replace the funds expended during last July's rain storms). One asks for the funding of the town's portion of a new mower, the remainder of which will come from the school's current operating budget. Another asks for a transfer of funds into the Stabilization Account, and the final for the adoption of certain sections of the Massachusetts General Laws that will allow for the placement of tax liens for unpaid sewer operation and maintenance bills.

The annual town meeting will be asked to consider the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, proposed bylaw changes, and other matters.

The town election will be held on Saturday, May 29, at Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee ballots are no available from the town clerk. There are no races on the ballot.

The offices and individuals who will appear on the ballot are: Selectman for three years, incumbent Marguerite Rawson; two members of the Board of Health for three years, Dean Fulco and Diane Pero, both incumbents, and one for two years (vacant seat), Eric Melle; School Committee for three years, incumbent Christine Triantos; two members for the Finance Committee for three years, John Mason and Diane Pero, both incumbents; Planning Board seat for five years, John Hanson, incumbent; library trustee for three years, incumbent Adeline Ellis; and moderator for one year, incumbent John Whitney.

Town meeting is Saturday, May 15, at 10 a.m.
Town election is Monday, May 17, from 10-8
Both at Old Town Hall on Silver Brook Road
More information: www.sandisfieldtimes.org/

Sheffield Elects New Selectman
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — There one contested race in the town election on Tuesday, May 11. Incumbent Library Trustee Susan Young retained her seat, garnering 319 votes for another three years. Her challenger, David Pottle, finished with 190 votes. Also of note, David Smith Jr. earned an unoppposed three-year term on the Selectmen with 441 votes. Out of the towns 2,275 registered voters, 515 cast ballots.

West Stockbridge Elect Two Selectmen
WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Voters elected Karen Zick to a two-year seat and Edward Denham to a three-year seat on the Selectmen.

Zink won 184-146 against former Police Chief Karl Cooper; Denham, running unopposed, garnered 253 votes. Kathleen Davis was re-elected 194-113 to a three-year term as library trustee against Michael Polizzi.

A third of the town's 1,035 registered voters turned out.

Election Results

No Moderator For Windsor
WINDSOR, Mass. — Voters elected newcomer Brian Koczela to a three-year seat on the Selectmen in the town election on Monday, May 10. Koczela was unopposed. Of the town's 628 registered voters, 122 cast ballots.

Two write-in candidates duked it out for the position of town moderator but ended in a tie. Paul Hoag and Charles Sturtevant both got 7 votes, meaning the voters will have a elect a moderator for each town meeting.

Elected unopposed were George J. Bigelow, Michael R. Tesoro and newcomer Valerie Nickerson-Bird to the Finance Committee, Kip Andrew Boymaster as constable, Hugh Ferry as tree warden, Marcia Musiak to the Cemetery Commission, Andrew M. Schmidt to the Planning Board and newcomer F.A. Webb as library trustee.

Information provided by Berkshire News Network and iBerkshires.com.

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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.

Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

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