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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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North Adams Piloting Four Street Changes for Safe Streets Grant

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Traffic Commission signed off on a number of options for increasing outdoor dining and creating safer pedestrian ways in the downtown. 
At a meeting in late July, Zachery Feury, project coordinator in the Office of Community Development, gave the commission a presentation on more refined plans for the city's application to the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program.
The state program is designed to give communities resources for converting public ways into shared spaces because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state's reopening plans prioritize outside gathering spaces as a way to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus while aiding local businesses and promoting social distancing. 
Feury had presented the options to local businesses in early July and some spaces, such as the closure of a section of Center Street, have already been implemented. The areas under consideration are Eagle Street, North Church Street, Main Street and Center Street.
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