NORTH ADAMS — Voters have chosen Jennifer Macksey as the city's next mayor.
Macksey defeated Lynette Bond by just under 200 votes, according to unofficial results from the City Clerk's Office.
For the first time in North Adams history, a woman will be mayor.
“I’m so excited, I’m kind of speechless,” Macksey said Tuesday night at Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill, where a crowd of supporters gathered to celebrate her victory, lining up to give her a hug while a live band played.
Macksey said she is looking forward to working with Mayor Tom Bernard to start the transition to her new administration.
“Work starts for me on Nov. 3,” she said. She will take office Jan. 3, according to the city charter.
Fixing the aging public safety building is a top priority, she added. “It’s long overdue.”
She said she was "honored" she will serve as the first woman as mayor in city history. “I really want to be a role model.”
And Macksey tipped her hat to her opponent.
“Lynette ran a great campaign," she said. "I couldn’t have asked for a better running mate, so to say.”
Bond congratulated Macksey on her win.
"Our team, our supporters will be behind her 100 percent," Bond said on Tuesday evening. "We want the best for our city."
More than 30 percent of the city's roughly 9,000 registered voters cast their ballots on Tuesday.
At the preliminary election in September, turnout was much lower, about 16 percent, and Macksey and Bond easily beat two other mayoral hopefuls, Aprilyn Carsno and Rachel Branch. Bernard announced this year that he would not be seeking a third term.
Macksey is assistant superintendent of operations and finance at the North Berkshire School Union. Earlier in her career, she worked for North Adams as treasurer and tax collector and director of finance and chief procurement officer.
Bond is a member of the city’s Planning Board, and works as director of development for grants and research at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Previously, she worked for the town of Adams, in the community development office.
During the campaign, both candidates cited infrastructure, such as fixing the aging public safety building, and downtown development as some of the city's key issues. Bond emphasized her experience obtaining grants and in city planning, while Macksey highlighted her experience in City Hall and her deep roots in North Adams as a city native.
The candidates differed when it came to issues such as how to address substance use disorder in the city, their interest in regionalizing the schools with other towns, and how they would improve downtown.
Some voters leaving the polls Tuesday cited specific issues as reasons for their mayoral choice, and others cited experiences they had talking to the candidates.
Ryan Senecal, 34, said that before Tuesday, he had not voted in more than a decade. He came out Tuesday to vote for Bond, who he said he worked with at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
“She’s as impressive as they come,” Senecal said. “That’s what it took for me to make it out here.”
Bruce Little, 69, and Debra Little, 68, voted for Macksey.
“She’s a go-getter, and she’ll listen to everybody,” Bruce Little said.
Bill Caprari, 79, was drawn to Macksey's history in the city. He sees Macksey as “the first real local in a long time who is a true native of North Adams.”
Talking to Bond and her campaign headquarters convinced Anthony Montoya, 73, to cast his ballot for her.
“My daughter introduced me, and Lynette just impressed me a lot,” he said.
Reporter Danny Jin contributed to this story.