NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This year's municipal elections should prove interesting, with a mayoral preliminary and a full slate for council that includes the state's longest-serving mayor.
Should all of the City Council candidates be certified, it will result in one of the largest fields in the past decade. At least three newcomers will be elected.
Mayor Richard Alcombright will face off against Council President Ronald Boucher and newcomer Robert Martelle in September; the two highest votegetters will go on to the general election in November. Alcombright is seeking a second term in the corner office while Boucher is completing his sixth term.
All three mayoral candidates have been certified and will appear on the ballot.
Among the 18 candidates who have turned in papers for City Council, the standout name is John Barrett III.
Barrett served 13 terms as mayor before being ousted by Alcombright in 2009. It's been rumored for months that he might run for office again, possibly taking on Alcombright for a rematch. But Barrett, who's recently showed up at City Council meeting to chastise its members, waited until deadline day to take out and return nomination papers for council.
He's not the only political veteran to delay a decision. Alan Marden, Marie Harpin and Michael Bloom, all with seven or more terms under their belts, hadn't planned on running this year until it became apparent that next year's City Council would be light on experience.
Councilors Lisa Blackmer, David Bond and Keith Bona were the first to pull papers; Blackmer is seeking a third time, Bond his second. Bona is also seeking a second term although he has past experience on the council.
Michael Boland and David Lamarre, who was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi earlier this year, have both declined to run again. Lamarre, however, will seek a seat on the School Committee. Boucher is running for mayor.
Another council veteran who returned papers, Diane Gallese-Parsons, served three terms a decade ago. Past candidates running include Gregory Roach and Eric Buddington, along with newcomers Nancy P. Bullett, Robert Cardimino, Chatherine Chaput, James B. Gyurasz, Michael Hernandez, Jennifer Breen Kirsh, Kellie A. Morrison and Gail Sellers.
The nine highest vote-getters will be elected to the council. One more candidate would have triggered a preliminary election since 18 is the maximum. However, only seven of the 18 candidates have so far had their nomination signatures certifed by the city clerk's office: Buddington, Cardimino, Bond, Gyurasz, Bona, Bullett and Kirsch.
Three people, Shane Gaudreau, Roland Gardner and Brian Flagg, took out papers but did not return them.
Returning papers for School Committee are incumbents Mary Lou Acetta and Lawrence Taft; William B. Schrade Jr. decided not to stand for re-election. Newcomers challenging the incumbents are Lamarre, Tara Jacobs and Leonard Giroux Jr.
George Canales is running for re-election to the McCann School Committee, leaving one North Adams seat empty because Hernandez is running for City Council.
NorthAdams.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Dick do you feel hot breath on the back of your neck ??? [edited] L.O L L.O.L L.O.L L.O.L
And editor I told you about Bloom. As soon as he opened his mouth and said he will not run I knew he would run because he has a hard time with truth. It seems only you were fooled. So to answer your question of a few weeks ago. NO . Because you put something in writing does not count as seeing.
RealWayne, we need to start being vigilant, policing the blogs here for biased and untrue information. Because the Alcombright and big spender council member supporters will be putting it out there! Keep the faith!
That was rude and uncalled for. i didnt vote for Dick the first time but you know what, that isnt the type of comment that would come out of my mouth. Even in criticism, I have respected the way Mayor Alcombright has presented himself. He's had my respect as a person but now as a voter.
John Barrett III quote from farewell speech 2009.
“I encourage the new council coming up, that this community or any community doesn’t want adversity they want cooperation in government so things can get done…”
Definition of an adverse person: preventing success or development; harmful; unfavorable, acting against or in a contrary direction, hostile.
John Barrett III once again: do as I say, not as I do.
Ron Boucher is a fine man,has the knowledge of how city government should work, a people person, one you can ask a question and receive an answer too, He believes in spending only what you have, not like the corner office folling behind Boston, and Washington,A true leader for the people. I'm for you Ron, go for it and change N.A. back to the people's house.
This is nothing but a ploy by Barrett to build his own Gang of Four or Five so that he can stop anything and everything that comes from the Mayor. Remember the old Gang of Five? They made Barrett's life miserable, and now he thinks it's okay to use the same tactic against Alcombright (and yes, Alcombright will still be Mayor - Boucher doesn't stand a chance). I think it's pathetic of a former well-respected Mayor to have spent the past two years being so bitter and vengeful. Want to send him a message he'll never forget? If he doesn't get elected to the council, it will be the biggest humiliation of his career. Vote for anyone but Barrett. Make him the 10th place finisher.
Please remember the ones that tried to push an override that was not needed. To refresh everyones mind I am sure the same people will be trying to push another override . It seems some people did not understand the over 1800 voters who said NO the first time to higher taxes.
Alcombright supporters, if anything, are taking Boucher too lightly. They are not scared in the slightest. Ron has got a serious uphill battle, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a chance, a small chance, but a chance nonetheless.
Ron is not connected to a Democratic Party money faucet like Barrett was. No lobbyists are throwing fundraising lunches for him. No state office holders are giving him their lists. Ron isn't in a position to twist arms. Those were JB3's main techniques for raising serious money. It takes a lot of $20 donations to buy a radio ad.
If it wasn't for the override, Ron's policy differences with Alcombright would be zero. His TV show tends to be two guys agreeing on a lot, but not saying much.
Good luck with that. 60-40 for Alcombright if Boucher runs a good campaign. His only chance is to run a great campaign, and right now I don't see that happening.
Bean and Lackey, you two are very uninformed. Just as I predicted, the Boucher bashers sent out by the mayor are in force.....back to the politics of personal destruction. You forget people are fed up with Alcombright.
Ron Boucher has ZERO chance of being elected Mayor. Write that down "Outraged". You're dreaming. He won't get more than 35% of the vote. You can write that down also. The Mayor's race is over before it starts.
It is time to clean house,everyone goes. They have given the taxpayers nothing but higher taxes and higher fees. Not to mention not one but two override tries. It is time the voters take back the city and stop with the dictator form of city goverment we have now.
Now we are back to the School\'s Doesn\'t anyone
understand what the voters said,this guy is got to go, stay home and take care of your own business, we are just Poor, poor people here in N.A.
Ok for the sake arguement and a little bit of fun lets say Boucher gets elected Mayor and Barrett to the council. Then at the first meeting Barrett gets voted Council president. A short time later Boucher resigns and guess who is Mayor again...Barrett by being council president he fulfills the term of the mayor (I think if it is less than one year, election maybe over one year). Wow now let the conversation begin.
Ok well it did not take long to see the Alcombright campaign strategy. Note to the hacks, you could have been a little less obvious. There pathetic strategy is to shout as loud as they can that Boucher has no chance hoping it will stick. It won't. And it won't because Alcombright has no accomplishments to run on, just tax hikes. I feel sad for them.
Section 26 of the Charter provides that if a vacancy in the office of the Mayor occurs before the last six months of the term- a special election shall be held-- if the vacancy occurs in the last 6 months--the Council President shall assume the office as "Acting Mayor"-----this happened in 1983 when Dick Lamb resigned the office and Council President Chip Taft assumed the Office as "Acting Mayor"
I have friends who voted against the prop 2 1/2 who won't vote for Boucher. They voted for Alcombright and still like him as mayor. They disagreed on the prop 2 1/2. It was voted down and alcombright dealt with it like a gentleman. More than half the voters didn't vote the special election. If they were against it they would have voted. 1600 voted against it. If all of them vote for Boucher that's less than the 40% what Barrett received last election.
Its funny and scary to think but that could very well happen IF and I doubt very much but IF Boucher was elected. If that does happen it would be JB3s idea cause Boucher is not smart enough to think that diobotical.
If you think John Barrett is running for the better of North Adams you are mistaken. I have supported John since his bid for State Rep against the former Frank Costa, I supported him in his re election bid against Mayor Alcombright but its time not to support him. I believe he will browbeet every other councilor that does'nt agree with him, he's like a mad kid after his defeat. The Mayors office and city council need to work together and unite this city no matter who is in the corner office or council chambers. I dont believe John will unite with anyone just create problems for the current mayor because he was diffeeted in his last bid
Let me repeat . Remember the current mayor and council not only gave us higher taxes and higher fees and a new water fee. And also tried to push an override on the tax payers and also may soon be pushing for Another Override !!! Doing this after over 1800 taxpayers said NO !!! Just something to think about.
Mayor Alcombright would like this too, but the residents of the City have become used to a certain level of services and the cost of those have risen! Look around! The place is falling apart! We have been lucky to get the grants that we have from the Feds. But eventually we will have to pay our own way!
NO, they are NOT and there is allot that has not been accomplished in this City in years... It is going to take a while and you need to give Dick a chance !!! alot on his plate and at least we can walk the streets smiling and unafraid and others will feel this and be comfortable coming here for business and TALKING with the current Mayor...GUARD DOWN AND FUN TO LIVE HERE AGAIN... THANKS DICK !!!
Where have you been the last year and a half? Alcombright and the City Council have divided this city in a way that it will take years to come together. He is one of the weakest Mayor's in the history of North Adams and his leadership skills are terrible. Besides putting benches on Main St and wasting money on his "pocket parks" he has done NOTHING but raise taxes and fees. Look at the Farmer's Market where he raised the fee and there are fewer vendors now. Alcombright and the present city council should be embarrassed with their performance. What Barrett did for 26 years was to be a leader. His hard work is going right down the drain in less than two years under this Mayor and disfunctual Council. Oh yes Alcombright has created new jobs in North Adams, too bad there all in city government.
You are SO wrong. You can try to ignore what JB did for this city in his years in the corner office, but seeing is believing. I think the only reason JB wants to join the council is to TRY to get this city back on track. The only things that Alcombright has done are: (1) Finish projects from grant money that JB applied for and (2) raise fees and taxes on everything. JB wants tp be on the council to ask the right questions. The questions that no one is asking. Of course, even if someone asks the questions, Alcombright won\'t have the answer.
Alcombright has put this entire city in the hands of the artist community. This city belongs to ALL OF US, and I\'d like it back.
MEW - The only person who divided this city was John. Why do you think he lost by almost 20 points once a non-loon ran against him?
Dick has not given the city to the artist community. THAT comment is divisive. Allowing those who don't promise to put a lawn sign up to participate in the civic life of the city is something John never did. If you crossed him politically, you were out, personna non grata, excluded from any role other than speaking during council's community concerns. Dick does not, and never will, work that way.
You imply that something was taken away from you by Dick. Could that something just be your sense of control now that people other than people on John's whitelist have a voice?
Mayor Alcombright has been very good for our City, unfortunately he is leading during difficult financial times. The benches on Main Street are a blessing and used regularly and cost the City nothing - they are supported by individuals and families. The Pocket Parks have added much needed green space to the area without use of City funds. Donations and grants and many volunteers have supported their implementation. The administration needs a pat on the back as well as the many volunteers who give freely of their time to make North Adams a better place to live. Keep up the good work.
Wow, lots of very angry, negative, narrow-minded people. Sour grapes still over the election, really. Elated when things fail, almost giddy; instead of hoping for success. Wallowing in self-pity. I think the city will get what they deserve in the end, unfortunately. I feel very fortunate to live in Adams, where at least they are trying, not bickering like children.
He Mew, Alcombright put the city in the hands of the artist community?? John Barrett brought them here. He even wanted staples to be more artist lofts. I bet you believe life was good under George W. and we started going downhill when Obama go into office too. Short term memory loss??
:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
:: General Election: Deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 18
Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.
Absentee ballots are now available at the city clerk's office for the Sept. 27 preliminary city election. Voters may come in between the hours of 8 and 4:30 weekdays. Written reguests for mailed ballots can be sent to City Clerk's Office, 10 Main St., North Adams, MA 01247. Deadline for absentee ballots is Monday, Sept. 26, at noon.
The preliminary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, to narrow the field of three mayoral candidates to two. The general election to select nine city councilors and a mayor will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.