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North Adams to Elect City Council, Mayor

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday in what has so far been something of a lackluster election season to elect a new City Council, a mayor and three seats on the School Committee. 
The campaign between Mayor Thomas Bernard and McCann School Committee member Rachel Branch has been about as low-key as it can get. There have been no debates — Branch has stated she's not running against Bernard but rather for the office — and only a few forums. 
Bernard has positioned his bid for re-election to a second term on the work he's done so far in finance and laying the groundwork for "big structural changes" ahead. Branch has focused her grassroots campaign on sustainability, health and safety, all issues that consider the well-being of the city's children. 
The City Council election will focus more on who will make the cutoff for votes for the nine at-large seats. 
Incumbents Keith Bona, Benjamin Lamb, Marie T. Harpin, Paul Hopkins and Wayne Wilkinson are running for re-election. Lamb and Bona have consistently been high vote-getters, taking the first and second spots in the last election. All five incumbents garnered more than 1,600 votes each to get on the council. 
There are two former councilors seeking to return to council — Lisa Blackmer and Robert R. Moulton Jr. — who both left in 2017 to run for state representative and mayor, respectively. 
Also in the running are Robert Cardimino, Roger J. Eurbin, Peter J. Oleskiewicz, Bryan K. Sapienza, Ronald K. Sheldon, and Jessica Sweeney. The candidates are placed in alphabetical order on the ballot. 
For School Committee, Karen Bond and Tara Jacobs are running for re-election to four-year terms. There are three seats open on the committee and three challengers — Emily Daunis, Robert R. Moulton Jr. (also running for council), and David Sookey III. Voters will place at least one of the challengers on the committee. 
There will also be a race for the McCann School Committee, the first in some time. Incumbents George Canales and William R. Diamond will face challengers Peter E. Breen and Shannon M. Santelli for the two seats up for election representing North Adams. 
The polls are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All wards now vote at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center. Check back with iBerkshires for election news. 

Tags: city election,   election 2019,   

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McCann Class of 2020 Urged to Highlight the Positive

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Valedictorian Vanessa Harrington urges her classmates not to define their high school experience by the pandemic. See more photos here.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School's class of 2020 did not want to make its graduation about COVID-19.
Valedictorian Vanessa Harrington told the 117 members of the class that she scratched her original speech that had been about the effects of COVID-19 and switched to talk about the some of the more positive things in the world 
"It has taken over our lives and has become the topic of every conversation," she told the hundred or so attendees gathered on the football field on Thursday night. "So rather than dwelling over events that unfortunately will not change I figured I would take this time to highlight the good and remind us of everything positive that is happening."
Instead of talking about the challenges the global pandemic has created for the class, the country, and the world, Harrington talked about some of the class's successes and thanked all those who helped along the way. 
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