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Macksey Cruises to Easy Victory; Council Incumbents Return to Office
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
09:06PM / Tuesday, November 07, 2023
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Jennifer Macksey is cheered by supporters at her victory party at Mingos on Tuesday night.

Andrew Fitch and Peter Breen are the newest members of the council but Eric Wilson lost his bid for School Committee.

Deanno Morrow, a recent MCLA graduate, won the ninth seat on the council.

Jennifer Macksey at the polls on Tuesday. Aprilyn Carsno, right, was disappointed that the voters didn't go for change. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jennifer Macksey cruised to an easy victory on Tuesday night, earning a second term as mayor of North Adams. 
All six incumbent city councilors also were re-elected and joining them will be Andrew Fitch, Peter Breen and Deanna Morrow. 
On School Committee, incumbents Tara Jacobs and Alyssa Tomkowicz were the top vote-getters and Cody Chamberlain beat out Eric Wilson for the third open seat on the committee.
Macksey, the favorite going into the race, wiped out her challenger Aprilyn Carsno with 90 percent of the vote, winning 1,728 to 163.
She entered the victory party at Mingo's shortly after the results in the mayoral race were announced to the raucous crowd.
Walking through a sea of red-clad well-wishers to the sound of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck," Macksey hugged many of her supporters before stepping up to the microphone and thanking them for their support.
"I'm so excited to serve the community. I think this is a landslide win," the mayor said. "And it just shows the happiness that the community has in me. And I'm going to continue to work hard every single day in the best interests of the city. I love this community, and I love the job I do. And I'm just going back to work."
Macksey said she had not heard from Carsno, who was at the polls when the results. 
"Sixteen hundred votes, that sends a message of how much I love all of you," Macksey told the crowd. "People are going to say that's a little backwards, but I can't tell you how much I love serving this community. So let the haters hate. Play on, players. We are here to stay, and we are here to move North Adams forward."
For her part, Carsno said she wasn't going to try again. "Hell no," she said after the numbers were crunched at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center. 
"Somewhere there're people that actually care and don't vote in the same people that screw the city," she said. 
The youngest council winner, Morrow, was thrilled with making ninth position with 881 votes, beating out even younger candidate Colin Bain (754) and Robert Cardimino (566). 
"I'm very excited to be able to serve the community and the City Council and I just want to thank everyone for voting for me and giving me the opportunity to serve the community," she said. 
Fitch was the highest vote-getter with 1,419 votes, followed by incumbents Keith Bona (1,399), Bryan Sapienza (1,384) and Lisa Blackmer (1,357). Breen cracked the top five with 1,335, followed by incumbents Bryan Sapienza (1,384), Ashley Shade (1,237) , Wayne Wilkinson (1,166) and Peter Oleskiewicz (1,026), who dropped to eighth from first two years ago. The councilor has struggled with financial issues and had to close his two restaurants. 
Blackmer, current council president who won her eighth nonconsecutive term on the council, said she was ready for the new council to begin.
"I've spoken with them before as we were running, and I'm excited to work with the new council," she said. "I think it will be relatively collaborative, and I'm looking forward to it. And I think the toxicity probably will be gone on Jan. 1."
Breen, who also won re-election to the McCann School Committee, said he wanted to give back to the city during his retirement. 
"A couple of things that I've been involved in is the Hoosic River Revival to fix the infrastructure. And we were successful to get the Army Corps of Engineers working on it. And the City Council, about six months ago, gave a half a million dollars toward this study," he said. "So I'm really proud of the City Council and want to do more with them. 
"The other thing is, I taught school in the area for about 25 years. So the schools are important to me. I'm on the McCann board, and I got re-elected to that. We're building a new building down there for a new technical major, and that's really exciting. And that was done with grant money, not taxpayer money."
Macksey said she focused on connecting with people the last two years and making sure everyone had an inclusive part in government. 
Over the last couple of months, the focus is really about listening to the people. You listen every day, but when you have an opportunity to talk about topics, it's been great," she said. "To me, I don't run against the person. I run for the job. And I consider this the largest search committee I've ever been in front of."
Also winning election were George Canales and William Diamond who, like Breen, were running unopposed at the North Adams representatives on the McCann School Committee. 

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