Photo Gallery | PHOTOS: North Adams votes in Tuesday elections
NORTH ADAMS — Seven of the eight incumbents running for two-year City Council terms on Tuesday were re-elected, according to unofficial results.
Wayne Wilkinson was knocked off the council by about 50 votes.
And the three candidates elected to seats on the North Adams School Committee on Tuesday are Karen M. Bond, Nicholas Fahey, and Tara Jacobs. Miles Wheat came up 760 votes short.
In the council races, the top vote-getters, from highest to lowest, are as follows: Kate Merrigan, Keith Bona, Ben Lamb, Nancy Bullett, Lisa Blackmer, Bob Moulton, Ron Boucher, Josh Moran and Eric Buddington.
Kate Merrigan also was the top vote-getter in 2013, when she won her first term as a councilor. After coordinating the UNITY Youth Development Program at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Merrigan is now the college readiness coordinator at BART Charter Public School in Adams.
Keith Bona, a longtime councilor and co-owner of Berkshire Emporium and Antiques on Main Street, was the second biggest vote-getter. This will be his eighth term. In his next term, Bona hopes to create tax incentives for homeowners looking to invest in dilapidated housing. One possible incentive would be to lock in a new homebuyer's property assessment even after he or she invests in improvements and increases its value.
To help combat drugs, Bona also wants to hold landlords accountable for the actions of their tenants and impose fines if there are multiple drug offenses reported on the property.
Benjamin Lamb, an assistant director for Student Organizations and Involvement at Williams College, is heading into his second term on the council. He listed the city's critical infrastructure needs, crime and drug addiction, as well as the changing health and wellness landscape of the Northern Berkshires as major issues facing North Adams.
Nancy Bullett, a North Adams native and physical therapist in Bennington, Vt., won a third council term. She served as the council's Finance Committee chairwoman in her most recent term.
Lisa Blackmer, who has served on the council since 2008, was council president the past two years and sat on the Finance Committee. Her private sector work includes management, human resources, event planning, state and federal compliance, accounting, finance, budgeting, tourism and hospitality.
Robert Moulton Jr. is a challenger this year but previously served four consecutive terms on the council. Despite not being a councilor, Moulton has stayed active by routinely attending meetings and hosting a show on Northern Berkshire Community Television.
Although a challenger this time around, Ronald Boucher has a long history on the council. He served six terms as a councilor through 2011, including stints as its president and vice president, and was appointed as the chairman of the Hoosac Water Quality District board for a total of 12 years.
Joshua Moran, first elected in 2013, grew up in the Northern Berkshires and returned after living for seven years in Rhode Island and Utah. He's worked as an engineer, a carpenter, and been a stay-at-home dad to two sons. He believes he brings a balance of youthfulness and progressive values to the council. Followers of Moran's first two years know that he is heavily focused on utilizing the city's natural resources to spur its development.
Eric Buddington, a resident of North Adams for 18 years, has won his second term on council. Buddington holds a degree in computer science and formerly worked for the U.S. Geological Survey before moving to North Adams. In addition to his work in the field of computer science — he's worked for the Clark Art Institute, Resounding Technologies and Northern Berkshire Community Television, among others. Buddington is a classically trained violinist and spends most weekends playing for contra and vintage dances around the Northeast.
Winners of the School Committee race come from varied backgrounds.
Karen Bond, 37, works as a laboratory services director at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, where she has been employed for 11 years. She is married with two daughters, 2 and 7 years old, the older of whom is a student at Greylock Elementary School. Bond said her main reason in running for School Committee is to help correct what she says is a mistaken perception of the school district.
Nicholas Fahey, 28, has been teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies at Stamford Elementary School in Vermont for five years. He earned two degrees at MCLA: a bachelor of science in education and bachelor of arts in theater and interdisciplinary studies. Fahey said he is running for School Committee because he'd like to help the school system receive better ratings with an eye to attracting new residents.
Tara Jacobs, 44, is a full-time mom with a daughter in the second grade at Sullivan Elementary School. With a background in advertising — she has worked in Dallas, Boston and New York City — she has lived in North Adams for 10 years. She ran for School Committee to help make a better school system and community.
North Adams City Council Results
|Ward 1||Ward 2||Ward 3||Ward 4||Ward 5||Total|
|Lisa Blackmer *||587||447||380||604||521||2539|
|Keith Bona *||600||469||403||642||550||2664|
|Eric Buddington *||492||372||350||512||468||2194|
|Nancy Bullett *||606||457||381||662||555||2661|
|Benjamin Lamb *||601||469||389||512||468||2194|
|Kate Hanley Merrigan *||636||476||414||664||548||2738|
|Joshua Moran *||502||402||319||576||464||2263|
|Wayne Wilkinson *||506||365||316||506||450||2143|
|Robert Moulton Jr.||544||447||334||626||521||2472|
* indicates the candidate is an incumbent.