Northampton City Council race takes shape with 14 potential candidates for nine seats
NORTHAMPTON — With four months to go, it already looks to be a spicy election season this fall. Multiple City Council races featuring many familiar faces are taking shape in anticipation of November’s municipal election.
Competition is assured in three of the council’s nine wards, with a new challenger about to put his hat in the ring for an at-large post.
Anthony Patillo of 14 Autumn Drive took out nomination papers in recent days for one of two at-large positions. Patillo, the city’s former building commissioner and opponent of last month’s $2.5 million general override, would square off against incumbents William H. Dwight of 39 Myrtle St. and Jesse M. Adams of 187 Main St. The latter two have already turned in their nomination papers.
Monday is the deadline for candidates to submit to the registrar of voters the required nomination papers containing the signatures of 50 registered voters. Those signatures must then be certified by the registrar, and candidates then have until Aug. 5 by 5 p.m. to file those papers with the city clerk. Both steps are necessary in order for a candidate’s name to appear on the ballot.
Other contested races are set for Wards 2, 6 and 7, and possibly Ward 3.
For the first time since she won election in 1997, Ward 6 incumbent Marianne L. LaBarge of 698 Westhampton Road will face a challenge in her quest for another term on the council. The council’s elder stateswoman is seeking a ninth term against residents Michael Janik of 44 Pencasal Drive and Yvonne Keefe of 40 Hickory Drive.
The three will face off in a primary on Sept. 17, with the two largest vote-getters moving on to the municipal election on Nov. 5. A special drawing to determine the order of names on the preliminary ballot will take place Aug. 8.
This will be Janik’s second attempt to win a seat on the council. He lost a bid for an at-large position in 2011.
In Ward 7, two-term incumbent Eugene A. Tacy will square off against Alisa Klein, a 14-year Leeds resident who lives at 18 Chestnut Ave. Tacy, of 158 North Maple St., is seeking a third term on the council.
In Ward 2, incumbent Paul D. Spector of 74 Massasoit St. is facing a challenge from Jason T. Foster of 87 Round Hill Road.
In Ward 3, one of two residents who took out nomination papers, Ryan O’Donnell of 36 Day Ave., has returned them. The other candidate considering a run for the seat being vacated after one term by Owen Freeman-Daniels is Samuel Taylor. He has yet to return papers.
In Ward 4, Gina-Louise Sciarra, of 145 State St., may be running unopposed to fill a position being vacated by Pamela C. Schwartz, who has announced she won’t run for another term.
Others seeking office this fall who currently face no challengers include Mayor David J. Narkewicz, council incumbents Maureen T. Carney in Ward 1 and David A. Murphy in Ward 5, and City Clerk Wendy Mazza. Carney had yet to return papers as of Friday afternoon.
Meantime, there are no contested races for four ward seats and two at-large positions up for re-election on the School Committee in November.
The committee could potentially have three new faces after the election, in Wards 1, 5 and at-large.
In Ward 1, Pam Hannah of 11 Church St., is the only person to take out papers, though she has not returned them. The position is currently held by Alden Bourne, who has not taken out papers.
In Ward 5, Ann Hennessey, of 186 Federal St., is the lone resident to return papers to fill a position currently held by Stephanie Pick, who will not seek another term.
Newcomer Kari Nykorchuk, of 130 Woods Road, has returned her papers for one of two at-large seats on the committee. Incumbent Blue Duval, of 38 Sandy Hill Road, will likely run for the other seat, though she has yet to return nomination papers.
Another incumbent, Michael Flynn, has said he won’t seek re-election. Janik also took out papers for an at-large position, but opted instead to run for the council.
Ward 3 incumbent Howard Moore has returned papers to run again, while Ward 7 incumbent Downey Meyer has taken out papers but not returned them.
Three even-numbered seats on the School Committee are not up for re-election this fall because they are in the middle of four-year terms. The city is moving to comply with a new charter that calls for all terms to run concurrently and last for two years.