Cohen wins at large Pittsfield council spot; Moon, Connell, Kavey, Guiel Lampiasi, Maffuccio earn ward seats

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PITTSFIELD — Yuki Cohen will be a new face among the three familiar at large city councilors next year.

Cohen, a 51-year-old resident of South Church Street and owner of Methuselah Bar and Lounge, received 5,251 votes in Tuesday's election. Before opening up one of the city's most popular nightspots, she worked as a financial adviser in New York City.

With twice as many candidates as available seats, Tuesday's election could have brought a total overhaul of the at large council members. That didn't happen, though, as incumbents Peter Marchetti, Earl Persip III and Pete White held on to their seats.

Five wards also were the battleground for contested races.

In Ward 1, City Councilor Helen Moon, 36, fended off Kenneth Warren Jr. to keep her seat. Moon, who first ran in 2017, is the director of special projects at the Berkshire District Attorney's Office and per diem nurse at Fairview Hospital. Just over 54 percent of the 1,459 Ward 1 votes were in her support.

Ward 4 incumbent Chris Connell, 60, narrowly defeated Michael Merriam, 35, with only 52 percent of the vote.

Connell, of Dawes Avenue, was elected to the City Council in 2011 and is wrapping up his fourth term.

Ward 5 opted to welcome Patrick Kavey, 26, to replace Ward 5 City Councilor Donna Todd Rivers.

Kavey, who took 67.5 percent of the ward's votes, beat out longtime civil servant Jonathan Lothrop, who had hoped to return to the City Council he previously had served on for more than a decade.

Kavey, a Spadina Parkway resident, has said that he wants to help the city do more to attract and retain young professionals.

Kavey, a graduate of Taconic High School and Westfield State University, has said that he had felt like he had grappled with whether to leave his hometown to find work in a city or stick around to play a role in building up the community. As a city councilor, he intends to do the latter.

Dina Guiel Lampiasi, the chief of operations at the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, will represent Ward 6.

Guiel Lampiasi, 35, of Trova Terrace, beat out former city councilor Joseph Nichols for the seat. Guiel Lampiasi, who grew up in West Springfield and moved to Pittsfield in 2007, took 58 percent of the vote.

She has a master's degree in public administration and public policy analysis. She has said she wants to use her skills and perspective to encourage more collaboration on the council.

Ward 7 welcomed Anthony Maffuccio, 49, back to the City Council.

The Robbins Avenue resident took 64.9 percent of the vote, beating out J. David Pope.

Maffuccio had said that he ran in an attempt to combat "stale government." He served the ward on the council from 2004 to 2010. Before his back injury and gastric bypass, he worked in retail management for Big Y supermarkets.

In the uncontested races, Ward 2 councilor Kevin Morandi and Ward 3 councilor Nicholas Caccamo will keep their seats.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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