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North Adams Has a New Mayor!

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Alice Mirante casts her ballot at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center on Tuesday. Projections are a 74 percent turnout because of the contested mayoral and council races. Top, a line at Greylock School waits to cast ballots.

Updated at 7:51 p.m.

North Adams handed Alcombright a decisive victory on Tuesday, giving him 3,046 votes to Barret's 2,166. All numbers are unofficial.

Alcombright supporters were riding along Main Street honking horns and yahooing out the windows as the state's longest-serving mayor prepared to bid farewell to the office he's held for 26 years.

We've started adding up the totals for city council, but don't have time to complete them. We'll get back to them ASAP.


Update: 6:18 p.m.

Took a trip to Pittsfield to check on that election. Not nearly as exciting as North Adams. If you thought it was crowded at St. Elizabeth's before, it twice as packed now.

Both sides of the street are lined with supporters waving signs; the mayor's still there. Over at Greylock School, there's a line - yes, a line - of people waiting to cast their ballots.

More than a thousand had already been cast when we were there 20 minutes ago. City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau said Ward 4 historically has a high vote rate but she's never seen lines like this for a city election.

"It's like the elections used to be way back, I've been told, but this the first time I've seen it," said Gomeau, between shooing voters toward the right doors. She also didn't think Bob Moresi's estimate of a 74 percent turnout would be too far off the mark.

Gomeau said voting was going smoothly despite the large numbers and that her team "is what makes all this happen." She particularly wanted recognize the workers from the city yard who did all the setup, along with the poll workers and police, for the good job they'd done.

We also caught up with Dick Alcombright, who's been busy running from ward to ward. He was headed back to St. Elizabeth's this time. He said he felt good about the turnout and his campaign, but repeated that "it's all in the hands of the voters."

Alcombright's election part is being held at the Eagles Hall; a peak through the lit windows as we drove by revealed table decked in white and green, the colors of his campaign.

Bill Blackmer, candidate Lisa Blackmer's husband, and Robert Moulton were also outside Greylock with more than a dozen other candidate supporters. We met Alan Marden coming out of the polling station at Greylock and had to ask, "did you give one vote to Al?" He did, but it's the only vote he would tell us.

Next up, we'll be back at St. Elizabeth (or, as we prefer to call it, St. Anthony's) for the next update. We've been having trouble with our laptop - thus the late update - but it seems to be working now.

Don't forget, NBCTC goes live at 7 for results and our media partner Charlie at WJJW will be back on the air at 7:30. He's been doing a terrific job today talking to candidates and others about the election.

Updated at 2 p.m, Nov. 3

NORTH ADAM, Mass. There's been a steady stream of voters at the city's three polling stations since they opened this morning at 9 a.m.

In fact, some were so eager they were waiting outside the doors before they opened — annoyed that they couldn't vote at 7, said poll worker Carol A. Robare.

"We've seen a lot of first-time voters," she said. "We've had to walk them through the process."

 

 

By noon, just under a 1,000 voters had cast ballots at the three wards at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center; two years ago, nearly 1,500 had ballots total had been cast. The numbers were similar at Ward 3 at the High Rise, where 344 had voted by 1 p.m.

Outside, more than three dozen people were holding signs for the two mayoral candidates and the 15 candidates running for City Council.

Mayor John Barrett III, who's in a tough race against challenger Richard Alcombright, was out with the crowd, the first time he's stood at the polls in some time. While not holding a sign, the mayor was greeting voters and upbeat about being re-elected to a record 14th term.

"I think we ran a good campaign," said Barrett. "People say we weren't doing anything but we worked all summer planning our strategy and and kicked off the campaign on Labor Day."

The state's dean of mayors believes the two debates, his television commercials and mailings got his message out to the voters.

For David Lamarre, who's running for the first time for City Council, the election's offered some different experiences.

"I've done a lot of things I never dreamed of doing, like standing up in forums and speaking and writing position papers," he said. "This whole experience has been great."

We haven't run into Alcombright yet, but we'll try for some comments from him. In an interview with WJJW earlier in the day, Alcombright told host Charlie Schnitzlein he'd had fun but the race was out of his hands in the voters at this point.

Schnitzlein is also hoping Barrett will stop by or call into his show at 4 p.m., or at any point he has time. Anyone can call in and talk about the election with Charlie at 413-662-5110.



Posted at 10:31 p.m., Monday, Nov. 2, 2009

 

 

 

 



There was last-minute campaigning Monday on Main Street as candidates - mostly newcomers - looked for support today.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There a real possibility that North Adams citizens could have their first new mayor in 26 years by evening's end - or not.

John Barrett III, the longest-serving mayor in the state's history, knows how to win elections. After all, he's claimed victory in 13 straight. But all eyes are on the state's smallest city today as popular City Councilor Richard Alcombright attempts to dethrone him.

The City Council could also be in for an upset as a strong field of challengers tries to shoulder their way into the nine-member council. There'll be at least two new faces this time round as seven incumbents face off against eight challengers.

Running unopposed are Heather Boulger, John Hockridge and Mark Moulton for School Committee and Paul Gigliotti and Gary Rivers for McCann School Committee.

Poll workers and the city clerk's office were busy today preparing for an expected heavy turnout, the likely the highest since Barrett was challenged for the second time by Paul Babeu in 2001. Just over 60 percent voted in that election, but Robert Moresi of the Board of Registrar of Voters is hoping for even better this time, certainly better than the paltry 18 percent that voted two years ago.

"It's going to be a close race," predicted Moresi. "I think 74 percent turnout. That may be a little on the high side, but if the weather's nice more people could come out."

According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday will be partly cloudy with highs in the 50s and rain in sight for a change.

"I think we've got a good setup at the polls," said Moresi, reminding voters that Wards 1,2 and 5 are now all located at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center now that both Conte Middle School and Notre Dame Church have closed. There are some 9,024 voters registered in the city, up nearly 500 from two years ago. Polls are open from 9 to 7.

 

 

 

  • Ward 1, 2 and 5: St. Elizabeth's Parish Center
  • Ward 3: Ashland Street Apartments
  • Ward 4: Greylock Elementary School

The mayoral candidates have planned their victory parties: Barrett will be at the American Legion and Alcombright at the Eagles Hall.

iBerkshires will be updating with news and photos throughout the day. You can also follow the election news with our new media partner WJJW 91.1-FM at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts throughout the day and with our old media partner the Berkshire News Network beginning at 7 p.m. on LIVE 95.9 and 1420 WBEC, 100.1 FM WUPE and 1230 WNAW.


Most voting totals are unofficial.

 

 

 

M
a
y
o
r
John Barrett III

Richard Alcombright
Ward 1
438
 636
Ward 2  468  650
Ward 3  304  487
Ward 4  578  699
Ward 5  378  574
Total  2,166  3,046

 

 

 


 

 

City Council Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3 Ward 4 Ward 5 Total

Lisa Blackmer
 564






 
 604






 
 393






 
 688






 
 500






 
 2,749






 


Michael Bloom
 581






 
 630






 
 395






 
 683






 
 507






 
 2,796






 

Ron Boucher
 493  551  343  665  435  2,487

Gailanne Cariddi
 652  711  486  804  577  3,230

Marie Harpin
 590  640  424  700  547  2,901

Alan Marden
 518  572  357  701  464  2,612

Robert Moulton
 493  525  342  605  449  2,414
 
Michael Boland
 518  647  429  670  477  2,741
 
Keith Bona
 523  556  361  517  486  2,443

Recount
vote:
2,448


See story
 
David Bond
 658






 
 652






 
 419






 
 711






 
 542






 
 2,982






 
 
Eric Buddington
 198






 
 215






 
 198






 
 202






 
 177






 
 990






 
 
Brian Flagg
 339






 
 349






 
 209






 
 324






 
 343






 
 1,564






 

David Lamarre
 537  501  349  628  431  2,446

Recount
vote:

2,446

See story

Gregory Roach
 280  276  214  290  234  1,294

Dennis Whitney
 420  444  285  470  398  2,017

 


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