Returnees, incumbents dominate Pittsfield City Council races
Races | 2015 Pittsfield Election Results
PITTSFIELD — Two returnees and one newcomer winning by 13 votes highlighted the City Council races on Tuesday.
Former Councilors Peter Marchetti and Peter White, along with incumbents Council President Melissa Mazzeo and Kathleen Amuso won the four at large seats on the 11-member council.
Incumbent Churchill Cotton finished fifth, followed by Taylor DiSantis and Joseph Nichols.
Incumbent Barry Clairmont didn't seek re-election.
Meanwhile, Donna Todd Rivers defeated former Councilor Richard Scapin 743 to 730 to capture Ward 5 and succeed Jonathan Lothrop, who decided against running for a seventh term.
Incumbent Ward councilors Lisa Tully, Kevin Morandi and Anthony Simonelli easily won re-election.
Marchetti came storming back to the council as the top vote-getter of the seven at large candidates with 7,229 votes, with Mazzeo a distant second at 5,821, followed by Amuso with 5,671 and White at 5,123.
Marchetti was an at large councilor from 2002-2004 and 2006-2012, before facing off against Bianchi for mayor in 2011, losing one of the closest mayoral elections in city history.
"I think voters wanted a change, and we're going to give it to them," he said.
As for White, a Ward 2 councilor from 2010-12, he too sensed the electorate wanted the city to move forward. "People want positive change, and that's seen here at Linda Tyer's party," he said, referring to the mayor-elect.
White said he does regret he had to defeat Cotton to make his political comeback, noting the fine work Cotton did, especially championing the city's new Affirmative Action Plan, intended to create a more diverse workforce at City Hall, in the schools and throughout the municipal government.
"We had great candidates in this race; to be in the top four, it's bittersweet because we lose Churchill," he said.
Cotton spent several years on the Pittsfield School Committee before winning the first of two at-large elections in 2011.
The Marchetti-White resurgence should bode well for the council and city as a whole, according to Lothrop.
"Peter Marchetti is a tremendous consensus builder and values everyone's opinion's before making a decision," he said.
Lothrop views White as someone who has the pulse of the community and who knows how to get things done for the city.
"It's not about him," he added.
The out-going Ward 5 councilor also welcomed Rivers as his successor come January, seeing her as the kind of progressive councilor Pittsfield needs.
Rivers was thrilled to win a close contest, having lost by 16 votes to Clairmont in 2013 for the fourth and final at large seat.
"My heart can't take this every two years," she said. "Playing this close must be my calling card."
Rivers thanked Scapin for a good campaign, but whether he might ask for a recount is unknown as The Eagle was unable to reach him election night.
It's the second close call in Ward 5 in the last three city elections. In 2011, Lothrop defeated J. Joseph Breault by 7 votes, following a recount.
The other three contested ward races were not as close, with Tully easily outdistancing Tammy Ives, 1,155 to 189. Tully captured her second term and has vowed to be a more vocal councilor as a sophomore.
Four-year Councilor Kevin Morandi won another two years as the Ward 2 representative, beating Michael Merriam 704 to 423.
Morandi's first true re-election campaign proved challenging, according to the victor. "It's tougher winning re-election, especially since I ran unopposed the last time," he said.
Simonelli staved off a challenge from Katherine Lloyd, 859 to 452 to capture another two-year stint as the Ward 7 councilor.
Meanwhile, all six School Committee members will return for another two years. Chairwoman Katherine Yon was the top vote-getter at 7,091, followed by Anthony Riello, Cynthia Taylor, Daniel Elias, Joshua Cutler and Pamela Farron.
The only newcomer, in a sense, will be Linda Tyer as the mayor is an ex officio committee member.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413 496-6233.
Pittsfield City Council Results
|Churchill Cotton *||5,102|
|Melissa Mazzeo *||5,821|
|Kathleen Amuso *||5,671|
|Lisa Tully *||1,155|
|Kevin Morandi *||706|
|Nicholas J. Caccamo *||1,581|
|Chris Connell *||1,632|
|Donna Todd Rivers||743|
|John Krol *||1,018|
|Anthony Simonelli *||859|
* indicates the candidate is an incumbent.
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