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Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast

Bissaillon Campaign
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Bissaillon Committee is hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday, June 6, from 8 to noon at the Adams Elks Lodge, 63 Center St.

The event provides an opportunity to meet David Bissaillon, the candidate running for state representative, 1st Berkshire District, or for people who already know him to learn more about why Bissaillon seeks to represent the district at the State House.

"I hope to see new friends and old at this event, so I can hear about the state legislative issues that matter to you," Bissaillon said.

Bissaillon, a vice president at Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency and former president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, has a long history of community service.

He seeks to convert his professional and community experience to public service by representing the residents of the 11 communities that comprise the 1st Berkshire District. The district consists of Adams, Clarksburg, Florida, North Adams, Savoy and Williamstown, all in Berkshire Couunty, and Charlemont, Hawley, Heath, Monroe and Rowe in Franklin County.

Tickets are $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; and $3 for kids under 12. You may purchase tickets in advance at Creations and Shima in North Adams and Smith Brothers-McAndrews Insurance Agency Inc. in Adams. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

For more information about Bissaillon, visit www.bissaillon.com, call 413-672-2460, or e-mail dave@bissaillon.com.

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Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign

By Patrick Ronan
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass.  — The sun broke through gray clouds just after noontime Friday. It was perfect synchronicity for Gailanne Cariddi.

To kick off her campaign to become state representative of First Berkshire District, Cariddi shed light on her top priorities in front of the North Adams Public Library. Joined by a modest gathering of family, friends and supporters, including fellow Councilors Ronald Boucher and Marie Harpin, the North Adams native drew upon her more than 20 years of experience as an elected official and her imbedded roots in the business field as the outlining criteria for her candidacy.

"I am committed to using my skills as a listener and facilitator to bring our collective wisdom to Boston," said Cariddi, who is in her 21st year as a city councilor. "I know that working together we can make our district and our commonwealth better, safer and more prosperous."

Cariddi is hoping to fill the position currently held by fellow North Adams resident Daniel E. Bosley, who is ending his 24-year tenure as state rep in an attempt to become Berkshire County sheriff. Cariddi, 56, is running against David Bissaillon and Edward McDonald, both Adams Democrats, with the primary election date set for Sept. 14.

She said the First Berkshire District, which encompasses 11 communities, has an "economic engine" in the arts, culture and creative sector. If elected, Cariddi plans on creating a capital fund to foster the development of new space for artists. She also hit on topics ranging from small-business growth, small-town farming, health-care costs and budget control, which can be found in more detail here.

Cariddi also discussed the state's PILOT ("payment in lieu of taxes") fund, which provides annual payments to communities that host state property. According to Cariddi, the First Berkshire District is home to 47,000 acres of of state-owned land, and in rural towns such as Hawley, Monroe and Savoy, the PILOT fund is a vital source of aid.

"Despite reports from the state auditor that the program be fully funded, this has hardly ever occurred," she said. "This year, the program is slated to be level funded at $27.2 million, well short of where the appropriation needs to be. If elected, I will join the Legislative Rural Caucus to push for full funding of the PILOT budget."

Standing beside Cariddi during her speech, which was taped for Northern Berkshire Community Television, was her 94-year-old father, Jimmy Cariddi. He has been an operating partner with Cariddi Sales Co. for over 70 years, and said his daughter was a hard worker from a very young age.

"She started working with me when she was 10 or 11 years old," he said.

While she's a seasoned vet in city government, Cariddi is looking forward to the new challenges of a broader role. She admitted that the biggest challenge, if elected, will be her status as a freshman rep.

"You don't have all the clout you probably deserve going down to Beacon Hill [as a new rep]," she said. "I think I'll earn their respect with my work ethic and my ability to network and communicate with my co-legislators."

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Cariddi Kicking Off Campaign for 1st Berkshire

Campaign Statement
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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North Adams City Councilor Gail Cariddi will formally announce her candidacy for state representative for the 1st Berkshire District on Friday, May 14, at noon at the North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, North Adams.

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Bissaillon Campaign Kicks Off With Spaghetti Supper

Campaign to Elect Bissaillon
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dave Bissaillon's campaign kick-off spaghetti supper will be Thursday, May 13, from 4 to 7 at the North Adams American Legion.

The event provides an opportunity to meet the candidate running for state representative, 1st Berkshire District, or for people who already know him to learn more about why Bissaillon seeks to represent the district at the
State House.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and kids under 12. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Creations  and Shima on Main Street or Smith Brothers-McAndrews Insurance Agency Inc. in Adams. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

To donate baked goods for the dessert table, contact Ashley Cote at 413-663-6209.

"I hope to see new friends and old at this event, so I can continue hearing from you about the state legislative issues that matter to you," Bissaillon said.

Bissaillon, a vice president at Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency and former president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, has a long history of community service.

He seeks to convert his professional and community experience to public service by representing the residents of the 11 communities that comprise the 1st Berkshire District. The district consists of Adams, Clarksburg, Florida, North Adams, Savoy and Williamstown, all in Berkshire County, and Charlemont, Hawley, Heath, Monroe and Rowe in Franklin County.

For more information, visit www.bissaillon.com, call 413-672-2460, or e-mail dave@bissaillon.com.

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1st Berkshire Candidates Talk Regional Issues

Kathy Keeser
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Attorney general candidate Maura Healey addresses local supporters and hospital advocates on Saturday.
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Candidates Gailanne Cariddi, left, Edward MacDonald, moderator Joyce Wrend and David Bissaillon at the first candidate session for the 1st Berkshire distir

 

FLORIDA, Mass. — Florida is first — first for snow, as one candidate noted, and first when it came to scrutinizing the potential replacement for its native son in the 1st Berkshire seat.

About 30 people were in attendance at the Florida Senior Center, an appropriate place to kick off the race since Florida is the hometown of Daniel E. Bosley who will be stepping down after 26 years as state representative. Joyce Wrend of the League of Women Voters, moderator for the forum, started things off with a few comments including joking she was from "South Florida" — North Adams.  

The candidates are North Adams City Councilor Gailanne Cariddi, former Berkshire Chamber of Commerce President David Bissaillon and Chester Town Manager Edward MacDonald. All three are Democrats, like Bosley, and will vie in a September primary for placement on the November ballot. The primary will essentially settle the election.

Citing his experience with the chamber, as a member of the business community, volunteer leader in many nonprofits and as longtime youth athletic coach, Bissaillon said, "the distinctions that I bring to this race are that my perspective has always been a regional one. My track record has been built on collaboration and I already have in place the strong professional relationships across the district that are necessary for success." 

He listed his key issues as are the evolving regional economy (creating and sustaining job opportunities), education (local schools and colleges), and the infrastructure (more than roads and bridges).   

Cariddi pointed to her experience in business, legislative and public policy as manager of a small family wholesale business in North Adams (Cariddi Sales), her more than 20 years of experience as a city councilor, and as a lifelong community volunteer.

Bringing up ideas for more openness in government, Cariddi said, "the concept of open and accessible government has become a quaint relic of the past on Beacon Hill. I will be inclusive of our diversity, build bridges across any divides, and be truly in touch with each of our communities. I am committed to using my skills as a listener and facilitator to bring our collective wisdom to Boston."  

MacDonald, a former Adams selectman, said he brings a "unique personality with a background that is very diversified." McDonald emphasized his 20 years of public service in the state of New York, on a school committee and, in particular, as Chester's town manager.

"We have been through $400,000 cuts in a million-dollar budget and can still keep the town going, we are not looking at a tax increase next year," he said. "We were able to hold the line for next year in our taxes."

His three priorities are to "Keep the [North Adams Regional] Hospital the way the hospital should be instead of as a secondary-care unit, taxes and that people have a job they can go to and be proud of."

Regarding regional development, McDonald brought up a need for "seed money to provide economic development for small business, because that is the foundation of our society, and we haven't given enough tax credits. I think it should be $15,000 to 25,000 for small businesses." 

Cariddi mentioned the importance of working on access to broadband Internet, incuding how people would receive communications (computers and cell phones) and ensuring the decommissioning of the Yankee Rowe nuclear plant continues safely. She is already working on those issues, she said, but stressed it is not just the issue, but also researching, talking to all the people involved and trying to bring together a focus that everyone can agree on. 

"Jobs know no boundaries," said Bissaillon. "What is important that we have a process in place to help people find jobs."

Bissaillon said he would match state resources to programs like the new 1 Berkshire (which brings the region's bigger  players together for economic development) and Berkshire Compact. "It is the role of a state rep to find resources in the state to support good projects that are under way."  

In response to question about the qualities of state representative, Bissaillon said it was important to have someone you can trust and "who cares more about the district than he cares about his own career." 

Cariddi said it was important to develop trust, to have passion for the work, and have a desire to bring the constituents what they need. She said it is also important to know what the priorities are in general for your district and to have the ability to bring people together with one focus.

MacDonald said it is important to be able to listen to constituents, take care of the constituents and do what they need. But the bottom dollar was to "bring home the bacon."

In answer to how he would make cuts to the state budget, MacDonald focused on the need to look at and cut down the budgets of the state Legislature, calling them slush funds that are spent on things like meals.  

Cariddi agreed that this was a good place to start: "Line items for legislators should be an open process. Right now it is a secret how they spend their funds. ... Taxpayers want value for what is spent for their tax dollars." She would also scrutinize line items and ask questions about why things like Tufts University's Veterinary School receive funding. 

Bissaillon stated that he would start by asking what are core areas that are most important to the voter. "Make sure to take care of kids in school, whatever we can for cities and towns, do as much as we can for infrastructure — those are the things that we just can't play budget games with, those are the things that are important every year — what I would focus on."

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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

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

Auditor
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

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



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