15 Vying for City Council in North Adams

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Fifteen people are vying for the nine seats on the City Council this November.

With only minutes to go before the 5 p.m. deadline, all but two declared candidates had returned their nomination papers with the 50 required signatures.

City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau said she has been certifying the signatures as soon as the candidates have been returning papers. All of those who returned papers will be on the ballot.

Seven council incumbents are up for election: Alan Marden, Robert R. Moulton Jr., Lisa Blackmer, Gailanne Cariddi, Marie Harpin, Michael Bloom and Ronald Boucher. Vying against them are Brian L. Flagg, Michael S. Boland, Dennis J. Whitney, David A. Bond, Keith J. Bona, David A. Lamarre, Gregory B. Roach, and Eric R. Buddington.

Not returning signatures were Ronald K. Sheldon, Maryann Benoit-Albee and David Costa, who had decided last month he would not run. Christopher A. Tremblay also decided he would not stand for election; he did submit signatures in April but did not have the required 50 so his name will not be on the ballot.

If all four had returned papers, it would have triggered a preliminary election, said Gomeau. "It has to be double the number of councilors [9] plus 1."

The number of candidates is equal to that of four years ago; there were 16 candidates to start until incumbent William E. Donovan Jr. dropped out of the race a month before the election because he was moving to Adams.

The 2005 field was sparked in part by a controversy over the exhibition of an abstract sketch of a nude women in a gallery window. Four artists in the community — Kelly Lee, Buddington, Richard Harlow and Nikolai Rudd — threw their hats in the ring along with local businessmen Tremblay and Peter D. May, and resident and nontraditional student Andrew Etman.

Tremblay was the only challenger to win in that election but was ousted in 2007 by Blackmer in a quiet election that saw only three challengers, including Buddington again. Local businessman Howard D'Amico ran also, mostly on veterans issues.

This time around, there will be two fewer incumbents running and a pitched mayoral race that's drawing some well-known names into the fray.

City Councilor Richard J. Alcombright is challenging Mayor John Barrett III for the corner office, the first serious competition the longest-serving mayor in the state has had in some years. Councilor Clark H. Billings, who has moved to Rhode Island, announced his resignation effective Aug. 29.

Also up for election are Gary F. Rivers and Paul Gigliotti for McCann School Committee; and Mark P. Moulton, Heather Putnam Boulger and John Hockridge for North Adams School Committee.

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Time for Some Financial Spring Cleaning

Submitted by Edward Jones

Spring is officially here – and for many of us, that means it's time for some spring cleaning around our homes and yards. But why stop there? This year, why not do some financial spring cleaning, too?

You can apply some of the same principles of traditional spring cleaning to your financial environment. Here are a few suggestions:

• Clear your vision. Spring brings extra hours of sunshine – and to enjoy them, you will want to clean your windows, inside and out. As an investor, you also need to take a clear-eyed view of your situation periodically. Are you on track toward achieving your goals? If not, what moves can you make to get back on the right path? You need to be honest with yourself to see if you’re doing all you can to help make progress toward your objectives.

• "De-clutter" your portfolio. As you go about sprucing up your house, you may find that you have a lot of clutter. Do you really need three mops? And are you holding on to those old calendars for any good reason? You probably will feel much better about your surroundings when you de-clutter them – and the same may be true of your investment portfolio. For example, do you own several investments that are virtually identical? If so, you might want to consider ways to help diversify your holdings. While diversification can't guarantee profits or protect against losses in a declining market, it might help reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio.

• Recharge your batteries. When you do your household spring cleaning, you may want to check the batteries on your smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector and other devices. And as part of your financial spring cleaning,you might need to recharge your own investment "batteries," so to speak. In other words, increase the power you are providing to your portfolio. You can do this in a few different ways. First, you can increase your contributions to your 401(k) or similar retirement plan every time your salary goes up. You can also try to "max out" on your IRA contributions each year. (For 2020, you can put in up to $6,000 in an IRA, or $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older). Another way to increase your investment voltage is to make sure you have got adequate growth potential in your portfolio based on your goals and risk tolerance.

• Put your house in order. As part of your spring cleanup, you may want to check for damage on your roof, windows, siding and so on. But you also need to put your financial house in order, especially as it regards to protection. Do you have adequate life insurance? If not, your family could suffer if something were to happen to you. And have you thought about how you could pay for long-term care if you needed it? The average annual cost for a private room in a nursing home is about $100,000, according to the insurance company Genworth. To retain your financial independence – and also to help protect your grown children from possibly having to deal with these costs – you may want to explore some type of long-term care insurance.

By doing some spring cleaning around your home, you will lighten up your living space. And doing some financial spring cleaning may help you brighten your future.

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