Incumbents McCoy, Ziegler and challengers Kwiecinski, Smith elected to Easthampton City Council

Laste modified: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
EASTHAMPTON — Voters returned two incumbents to office and elected a former council member and one newcomer in a seven-way race for four at-large City Council seats Tuesday.

James “JP” Kwiecinski, a former councilor for five years, and newcomer Tamara L. Smith were elected as the top vote-getters. Kwiecinski received 2,703 votes and Smith got 2,448. Re-elected were incumbents Joseph P. McCoy with 2,202 votes and Nathaniel P. Ziegler who received 2,164.

Voted off the council were at-large councilors Donald L. Cykowski and Chester A. Ogulewicz Jr. Cykowski received the least votes, at 1,443, and Ogulewicz got 1,938. Challenger Donald C. Emerson finished sixth with 1,849 votes.

Voter turnout was 38 percent.

After learning the results of the election at White Brook Middle School, one of two polling places in the city, Kwiecinski said he was “thrilled to be back on the council.” He was a District 1 councilor from 2004 to 2009, when left to run unsuccessfully for mayor against Mayor Michael A. Tautznik.

“I’m very appreciative and it’s humbling,” said Kwiecinski, 60, of 47 Hannum Brook Drive, a real estate agent. “It’s the same way I felt the first time I was elected. I’m grateful to the community.”

Smith, 40, of 103 Strong Road, who celebrated with supporters at Popcorn Noir on Cottage Street, could not be reached for comment after the election results were known. She is an assistant professor and chairwoman of the Westfield State University sociology department.

McCoy attended mayor-elect Karen L. Cadieux’s party at the Brass Cat and said he is “thrilled” to be re-elected to a fifth term on the council. He said he is looking forward to working with the new councilors.

“I’m probably more excited abut the new makeup of the council than I am about being elected,” said McCoy, 55, of 11 Clapp St., a veterinarian.

Ogulewicz, 58, of 11 Sandra Road, a regional sales manager for Entenmann’s, is in his first term on the council.

Cykowski, who served 4½ terms on the council, was the subject of an attempted recall that failed in 2012 after he made a racist comment at a meeting and was accused of sexually harassing a librarian while on the library board. Attempts to reach Cykowski at his home Tuesday night were unsuccessful.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.