Easthampton voters approve all 4 ballot measures

  • Easthampton voters on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Easthampton voters on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Easthampton voters on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Easthampton voters on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2019 11:35:13 PM

EASTHAMPTON — All four ballot questions passed in Easthampton on Tuesday, with voters signing off on ranked-choice voting, a municipal light plant and a four-year term for the city’s mayor.

Ranked-choice voting for mayor passed 2,297 to 1,855 while ranked-choice voting for district city councilors passed 2,306 to 1,840. The municipal light plant got the most support of any of the four ballot questions, passing 3,300 to 790. The ballot question establishing a four-year term for mayor, however, passed with less than 100 votes at 2,123 to 2,028.

“Top four days of my life, frankly,” City Councilor Thomas Peake said of seeing ballot questions on ranked-choice voting and establishing a municipal light plant pass, issues that he’d first brought to the council’s attention.

Peake said that the ballot questions weren’t about him, but the ideas.

“They’re not my ideas. They’re other smarter people’s ideas,” Peake said. “They’re good ideas and this is a community full of smart, engaged people.”

Ranked-choice voting for mayor and district city councilors could come to Easthampton as soon as 2021. And although the mayor could delay this for one election cycle, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said that the goal is to be ready by the next election.

“The goal is to do it for next time,” said LaChapelle, who said she supports ranked-choice voting statewide.

Other elected offices in Easthampton will not use ranked-choice voting. 

The vote authorizing a municipal light plant will help the city to continue to pursue municipal broadband, although establishing a plant will have to be signed off by the mayor, and funded by the city council.

“Clearly the voters want it,” said Peake, who said that a lot of work still needs to be done.

On the four-year mayor term passing, LaChapelle said it was a “great decision for the city.”

“Long term, it’s just going to make more viable a mayoral run for more people,” she said.

LaChapelle said that in two years she’ll have to run for a four-year term.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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