Tom Bernard Elected as Next Mayor of North Adams

Tom Bernard Elected as Next Mayor of North Adams

Tom's election night speech:

Thank you, everyone. This is a great night. We have a lot to celebrate, and I have a lot of people to thank.

Before we begin, I want to let you know that I have spoken with Councilor Moulton. I thanked him for his service to North Adams, and congratulated him for running a campaign that reminded us about the needs we have in this city, and about the need to build bridges of understanding - and of shared responsibility - with people who feel left behind by all the positive developments happening in North Adams.

 

As I have said, I will be a mayor for everyone in North Adams, and want to hear people’s concerns as well as their hopes.

I also want to congratulate the members who will be serving on the City Council beginning in January, returning members Keith Bona, Eric Buddington, Ben Lamb, Joshua Moran, and Wayne Wilkinson

...but most especially the new councilors Rebecca Cohen, Marie Harpin, Paul Hopkins, and Jason LaForest

It was tremendously exciting to see so many people willing to serve our city. I look forward to working with this new council to move our city forward. And to those candidates who will not be serving in an official capacity beginning in January, I encourage you to remain involved.

  • Keep working for our city.
  • Keep making your voices heard.
  • Keep sharing your vision for what it will take to move North Adams forward.

 

As mayor I will pay attention to the people who stepped forward.

I already know you’re ready to volunteer, to roll up your sleeves and be part of making this city stronger.

I’ll be calling on you for help. And I’ll listen to you when we bring forward ideas and suggestions.

And of course, congratulations to our new state representative, John Barrett III. We know that as John steps into this new role, he does so with deep experience, strong opinions, a stated commitments to service for all residents of the first Berkshire district - and Gail Cariddi’s legacy of service to uphold.

The partnership between mayor and representative will need to be even deeper and stronger than anything we have seen before, because it will take all of us working together to keep North Adams and the Northern Berkshires on the radar of the leadership on Beacon Hill.

And so we come back to this campaign. And to celebrating a race well run..

A campaign we all can be proud of. A race based on vision and planning, optimism and pragmatism.

Tonight is the night for thanks.

Growing up in the Saint Anthony parish, our pastor Father O’Hear always said at times like this that he dreaded thanking people by name because you’re inevitably going to forget someone, and everyone in this room deserves a personal shout out.

But with all respect to Father I’m going to acknowledge a few key people.

First off, my amazing campaign team…

  • Campaign manager Glenn Maloney
  • Treasurer Ross Jacobs
  • Designer Dan Wallis
  • Sign Captain MaryBeth Kennedy

Committee members Ally Holmes, David Bond and Brian Miksic, and campaign intern David Hourin.

They ran a smart, disciplined, positive, issue-oriented campaign They are smart, dedicated, focused, and funny in that occasionally irreverent way one must be when living through a political campaign.

I’m grateful to them for their tireless efforts, and I treasure them for the friendships that have developed and deepened over the course of the campaign.

Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign, who put up signs, who attended standouts and spaghetti suppers, who offered advice, shared insights, and helped redirect when I needed guidance.

Thank you to everyone who spoke with me in their homes and on the streets, at the farmer’s market and supermarket, at Steeplecats games and MoCA events, online and in community meetings. Listening to your hopes and concerns was an education like nothing you could ever hope to find in a lecture hall.

I’m especially grateful to the people who challenged me, and who I hope will continue to challenge me, with their concerns. While elections focus on opposition and on highlighting differences the work of moving our city forward is going to involve everyone’s best thinking and hard work. We need to think of ourselves as one city, because that’s what we are. And that’s how we will succeed.

Thank you to Mayor Dick Alcombright for his support, his leadership these past eight years, and his many years of service to this community. North Adams is a stronger city because of his work, That’s a legacy to be proud of.

I started this race in my parents’ living room because my roots in North Adams and my love for our city mean more than I can tell you. I am excited by the great things happening in North Adams, but also realistic about the deep needs and real problems we need to address.

And I decided to run for mayor because the example of service Jane and Tom Bernard set for me as public school teachers - and the quiet lessons in character and commitment I received watching how they live their lives - these examples of my parents inspired me to give back to the community as well.

And welcome also to my aunt and godmother Mary Piwko - who knows more about kindness than any living soul I’ve ever met - and my uncle Bob.

And the first step in that journey of service was saying to my wife, Jen, “Hey, what do you think of this idea? Let’s jump onto a moving freight train!” Jen is stronger and smarter and kinder than I can ever hope to be. She is my rock, my true North. And she is these things because she comes from a great family. I’m grateful that my in-laws Don and Marie Flynn are here tonight.

And Jen’s best qualities - along with my stubbornness and sense of inappropriate humor - are represented in our daughter Alex. She has been my secret weapon and my best social media advisor.

And truly, thank you to everyone who is here tonight. I’m humbled and grateful to celebrate with so many good friends. So let’s have some snacks, let’s have a toast to North Adams, and let’s wake up tomorrow ready to roll up our sleeves, work together, reach across the aisle where we need to and re-commit ourselves to our shared work on behalf of this city that we love. Thank you.

 

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