Two Vying for North Adams Council Seat
Robert Moulton Jr. submitted a letter of interest in rejoining the board when Cariddi resigns.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Robert R. Moulton Jr. and David A. Lamarre, runners-up in the last City Council election, are now vying to be appointed Councilor Gailanne Cariddi's seat.
Cariddi will be sworn in as state representative on Jan. 5 and will resign from the council at the following meeting on Jan. 11.
Council President Ronald A. Boucher said the council will move quickly and hopes to appoint somebody to the seat at the subsequent meeting on Jan. 25.
"I need to have that seat filled. We have a lot of important votes coming up and I need nine councilors," Boucher said after Tuesday's meeting.
Moulton and Lamarre, chairman of the License Board, were the two highest vote-getters not elected to the council last election in a race so tight that it triggered the city's first recount in a decade.
The initial count showed Lamarre beating out Keith Bona for ninth place by only three votes. After election officials spent two days hand counting the ballots, Bona claimed victory by only two votes.
David Lamarre lost the last election by only two votes but could soon be appointed to the board to fill the vacant seat.
Moulton was the only incumbent beaten in the election. The top nine vote-getters are elected and Moulton finished at No. 11 behind Lamarre, one of eight challengers vying against seven incumbents.
The council was down two after Councilor Clark Billings resigned earlier in the fall and Richard Alcombright mounted a run for mayor. Billings' announced departure — he'd retired to Rhode Island in the spring but kept his address in North Adams during the summer — had prompted questions about filling vacant seats.
In the past, the council had appointed the 10th highest vote-getter but that appears to be more tradition than rule. Billings had said he'd delayed his formal resignation to keep politics out of the picture, considering it was an election year. No. 10 in the 2008 election was one-term councilor Christopher Tremblay who at first indicated interest in either being appointed or in running again, but changed his mind weeks later.
In the end, David Bond, the highest vote-getter of the challengers, was seated immediately after the 2009 election.
Candidates must submit a letter of interest and have an opportunity to give a presentation to the council before being appointed to the vacant seat, said Boucher.
Moulton has submitted his letter and Lamarre has verbally expressed interest, according to the council president, but has not filed a letter with the city yet.
Boucher called for interested candidates from the public at a previous council meeting.
"Everybody knows she is leaving. The word is out there," Boucher said about Cariddi.
Cariddi won election for the 1st Berkshire District in the state House of Representatives in November.
Attempts to reach both Moulton and Lamarre on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.