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Northampton City Councilor Pamela Schwartz won’t run for third term; four other incumbents, mayor to seek re-election


JERREY ROBERTS
Pamela Schwartz, Ward 4, waits for results at City Hall Tuesday.

JERREY ROBERTS Pamela Schwartz, Ward 4, waits for results at City Hall Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mayor David J. Narkewicz and four incumbent city councilors all took out nomination papers at the city clerk’s office Monday to run for re-election in November.

Schwartz becomes the second councilor in the last week to announce plans to leave the board. Ward 3 City Councilor Owen Freeman-Daniels, who sits next to Schwartz at council meetings, announced late last week that he will step aside.

Schwartz represented Ward 4 for two consecutive terms. She was elected in 2009 to replace Narkewicz, who won election that year to an at-large seat.

“I am grateful for this experience and this opportunity to serve, and I am ready to serve in other non-elected capacities as a member of my community,” she said in a statement.

Councilors seeking re-election this fall are Jesse M. Adams, the council vice president, for an at-large seat; Paul D. Spector in Ward 2; David A. Murphy in Ward 5; and Marianne L. LaBarge in Ward 6.

Two newcomers have thrown their hats into the ring. In Ward 3, Ryan O’Donnell is seeking to replace Freeman-Daniels, and in Ward 2, Jason T. Foster of 87 Round Hill Road will seek Spector’s seat.

As of Wednesday, three other incumbent councilors had not taken out papers. They include Council President William H. Dwight, Ward 1’s Maureen T. Carney and Ward 7’s Eugene A. Tacy.

Candidates have until July 22 to return papers to the Registrar of Voters and Aug. 5 to the City Clerk’s office. If needed, a preliminary election will be held Sept. 17, with the municipal election Nov. 5. A preliminary election is triggered when three candidates run for mayor or the same ward councilor position, or if five or more candidates seek at-large positions.

No candidates have taken out papers for the six School Committee seats on the ballot this fall. Those seats are held by at-large members Michael Flynn and Blue Duval, Alden Bourne in Ward 1, Howard Moore in Ward 3, Stephanie Pick in Ward 5 and Downey Meyer in Ward 7. Pick and Flynn have announced that they will not run again.

The city’s new charter changed School Committee elections so that all terms run concurrently and last for two years. The even numbered ward seats on the committee are not up for election this year because they are in the middle of four-year terms.

‘Passion for tax fairness’

Schwartz, an attorney and community activist who directs the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, said it has been an honor representing Ward 4 and working on behalf of the city, and she valued providing constituents with guidance and access to local government.

She led the council most recently in the passage of a resolution to urge the Legislature to adopt progressive tax reform to raise more revenue for local communities.

“I appreciate the opportunity to bring my passion for tax fairness and sufficient public support for our city services to my role as city councilor,” Schwartz said.

The Columbus Avenue resident was instrumental in Yes!Northampton, a group that emerged in support of an override in 2009 and has remained active in efforts to lobby for fundraising legislation for state and federal resources.

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