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Easthampton Campaign Notebook: Sykes gets name on ballot, announces platform

  • Karen L. Cadieux<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Karen L. Cadieux
    JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nancy L. Sykes. CAROL LOLLIS.

    Nancy L. Sykes. CAROL LOLLIS.

  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

    Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor.


    CAROL LOLLIS

  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

    Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor.


    CAROL LOLLIS

  • Karen L. Cadieux<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Nancy L. Sykes. CAROL LOLLIS.
  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS
  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

The ballot for the Nov. 5 election will definitely feature a race for mayor between at least two candidates.

School Committee Chairwoman Nancy L. Sykes has returned enough signatures to get her name on the ballot, alongside the only other official candidate, Karen L. Cadieux, 59, longtime assistant to Mayor Michael A. Tautznik, who returned the required signatures July 8.

Another mayoral hopeful, Treehouse Circle resident David G. Ewing, 64, is still collecting the 100 signatures necessary to get his name on the ballot.

Tautznik said he won’t run for re-election to a ninth term.

“I’m official,” said Sykes, 72, who has over the years worked as a teacher, lawyer and minister. And even though she has collected the signatures, she said she plans to keep meeting and talking to Easthampton residents as much as possible.

“I am learning a lot talking to people,” she said. “I’ve learned people are very open to talking about what’s going on in there area or agency. Easthampton is feeling pretty good about itself and the coming election. I think they’re excited.”

Sykes also announced her platform on her new website earlier this week.

At www.sykes4mayor.com, Sykes lists her priorities should she be elected mayor in November. They include: creating an environment of collaboration and transparency in the mayor’s office; improving city schools through developing educational partnerships and working to find a solution to the city’s problem of what to do with numerous elementary schools; helping support seniors by creating a Senior Advisory Council to the mayor and investigating ways to refurbish the Council on Aging site; fostering the growth of business, arts and agriculture through collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and other groups; and supporting public safety departments and the city’s infrastructure, including creating a plan for paving city roads. She also said she would work to increase public access to government by investigating ways to expand Municipal Building hours from four to five days a week.

“My tagline is, ‘a fresh perspective for Easthampton,’” she said.

In the coming months, she said she will continue to talk with more city groups, department heads and others. She and her campaign committee are also planning a fundraiser and neighborhood events to meet more residents.

Sykes said she is especially looking forward to public debates later in the campaign season. “I think people want to see the candidates together like that,” she said. “I’m excited for it.”

•••

Council candidates

Two have returned enough signatures to secure spots on the ballot to run for re-election to the City Council. All nine City Council seats and six School Committee seats are up for election.

At-Large Councilor Joseph P. McCoy has returned his papers, as has District 1 Councilor Daniel C. Hagan. District 2 Councilor Justin P. Cobb has said he will not run for re-election, and Pleasant Street resident Jennifer A. Hayes has taken out papers to run for the seat. The respective councilors for districts 3 through 5, Joy E. Winnie, Salem Derby and Daniel D. Rist, have taken out papers to run for re-election.

At-large councilors Nathaniel P. Ziegler and Chester A. Ogulewicz Jr. have also taken out papers to run again. Tamara L. Smith of Strong Street has pulled nomination papers to run for one of the four at-large seats.

At-large Councilor Donald L. Cykowski is the only councilor other than Cobb who did not take out papers to run for re-election. He has not returned calls inquiring about whether he plans to run.

Last year, a group of residents unsuccessfully attempted to have Cykowski recalled after they said he made a racist comment at a council meeting and he was accused of sexually harassing a former library director. He apologized for the comment and denied any wrongdoing while on the library board.

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