Late filings for school board seats

    A six-person race for the District 2 (rural area) on the new North Adams School Board became a reality with a wave of filings in the final hours before Friday's noon deadline.
    No less than five people — Mark Bulmahn, Cassie Hammond, David Smith, Daniel Strickler and Jim Vogelwede Jr. — jumped into the field in the final hours. The only previous candidate, prior to Friday, was Deb Bergman, a board incumbent.
    There were two new filings for the South Adams board. Amy Orr, who currently holds a board seat from District 3, filed for the at-large seat, as did Debra Gerber, settimg up a three-way race for the seat. Newcomer Gresham Bearss also is a candidate for the at-large seat.
    Orr's current term isn't due to expire until 2014.The at-large seat is currently held by Steve Dobler, who is not seeking a new term.
    There will be a race for one other South Adams seat, in District 2, as incumbent Arlene Amstutz is being challenged by newcomer Cheryl Caffee.
    Also filing were incumbents Julie Mansfield in District 5 and John Buckingham in District 4.

    With the latest North Adams filings, six people will be seeking two seats from District 2 and four candidates are seeking two seats from District 1 (city).
    Filing earlier for the District 1 seat were incumbent Tim Ehlerding, along with newcomers Robert Thomas, Derek Vrablic and Al Converset.
    The top vote-getter in each North Adams district will receive a four-year term that will start Jan. 1, 2013.
    If an incumbent board member is the top vote-getter, that individual will automatically earn a new term on the board, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Their vacated seats would then be filled by a vote of the school board.
    The second-place vote-getters in each district, if not appointed to fill a board vacancy, would take office on July 1, 2014.    
    School-board balloting was moved this year for the first time to the November general election. Also for the first time ever, candidates will be elected to the North Adams board as that body begins the move from an appointed panel to an elected one. Additionally, the board will expand from its current five-member makeup to a seven-member board beginning January 1, 2013.

    Four candidates filed petitions for election to the Adams Central School board, including incumbents Brian Tonner in District 1, John Sipe in District 6 and Steve Bailey in District 5, and Mike Brown for the at-large seat.