Two Challenge Alcombright; Barrett Tries For Council
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This year's municipal elections should prove interesting, with a mayoral preliminary and a full slate for council that includes the state's longest-serving mayor.
Should all of the City Council candidates be certified, it will result in one of the largest fields in the past decade. At least three newcomers will be elected.
Mayor Richard Alcombright will face off against Council President Ronald Boucher and newcomer Robert Martelle in September; the two highest votegetters will go on to the general election in November. Alcombright is seeking a second term in the corner office while Boucher is completing his sixth term.
All three mayoral candidates have been certified and will appear on the ballot.
Among the 18 candidates who have turned in papers for City Council, the standout name is John Barrett III.
Barrett served 13 terms as mayor before being ousted by Alcombright in 2009. It's been rumored for months that he might run for office again, possibly taking on Alcombright for a rematch. But Barrett, who's recently showed up at City Council meeting to chastise its members, waited until deadline day to take out and return nomination papers for council.
He's not the only political veteran to delay a decision. Alan Marden, Marie Harpin and Michael Bloom, all with seven or more terms under their belts, hadn't planned on running this year until it became apparent that next year's City Council would be light on experience.
Councilors Lisa Blackmer, David Bond and Keith Bona were the first to pull papers; Blackmer is seeking a third time, Bond his second. Bona is also seeking a second term although he has past experience on the council.
Michael Boland and David Lamarre, who was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi earlier this year, have both declined to run again. Lamarre, however, will seek a seat on the School Committee. Boucher is running for mayor.
Another council veteran who returned papers, Diane Gallese-Parsons, served three terms a decade ago. Past candidates running include Gregory Roach and Eric Buddington, along with newcomers Nancy P. Bullett, Robert Cardimino, Chatherine Chaput, James B. Gyurasz, Michael Hernandez, Jennifer Breen Kirsh, Kellie A. Morrison and Gail Sellers.
The nine highest vote-getters will be elected to the council. One more candidate would have triggered a preliminary election since 18 is the maximum. However, only seven of the 18 candidates have so far had their nomination signatures certifed by the city clerk's office: Buddington, Cardimino, Bond, Gyurasz, Bona, Bullett and Kirsch.
Three people, Shane Gaudreau, Roland Gardner and Brian Flagg, took out papers but did not return them.
Returning papers for School Committee are incumbents Mary Lou Acetta and Lawrence Taft; William B. Schrade Jr. decided not to stand for re-election. Newcomers challenging the incumbents are Lamarre, Tara Jacobs and Leonard Giroux Jr.
George Canales is running for re-election to the McCann School Committee, leaving one North Adams seat empty because Hernandez is running for City Council.