, Newburyport, MA

November 5, 2013

Sickorez, Sherwood win seats on City Council

Gilday, Neale lose bids for re-election

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — The City Council will have a new look next year after several newcomers won seats in yesterday’s election.

Paul Sickorez, and Jonathan Sherwood each won election in their respective districts, along with incumbents Joseph McMilleon, Jim Kelcourse, Anne Ferguson and Donna McClure. Incumbents Bob Gilday and Allen Neale were defeated in their bids for re-election.

Political newcomer Dave Moavenzadeh, District 3, and District 4 incumbent Bob Lavoie ran unopposed.

In the councilor at-large race, voters re-elected incumbents Kelcourse, Ferguson and McClure, who had previously represented District 3, to the three councilor at-large positions.

Kelcourse was the top overall vote getter with 2,243, followed by Ferguson with 1,867 and McClure with 1,711. Political newcomer Eric Bezanson finished fourth with 1,667 to fall short in his first election bid, and incumbent Allen Neale finished fifth with 1,473.

In the race for District 1, Paul Sickorez ousted three-term incumbent Bob Gilday 380 to 355. Sickorez is president of the Merrimack Landing Homeowner’s Association and will be making his first foray into Amesbury politics.

“I lost by 25 votes; Paul worked harder than I did,” Gilday said. “I had a good six-year run on the council and I wish him well. It’s not the end of the world.”

Joseph McMilleon avoided a similar fate in District 5 by beating Erin Butt 374 to 311, and in District 6, Jonathan Sherwood beat Dave Haraske 329 to 271 to regain his old seat on the council.

“I feel great,” McMilleon said after the results were announced. “I worked hard at it, it was a hard fight, and I’m pleased I was able to get back in and serve another term.”

In the District 2 write-in race, former councilor Mary Chatigny received 125 votes while lifelong resident Mary Louise Bartley received 140 of the total 686 cast. However, Bartley’s total was less than the 30 percent needed to claim the seat. The City Council will now have to declare the seat vacant at the start of next term and appoint a resident to fill it. Once the seat is declared vacant, other residents can come forward and apply.

Chatigny and Bartley were each vying to succeed incumbent Christian Scorzoni, who is moving out of district and will not be eligible to retain his seat. Despite this, Scorzoni remained the only name on the ballot, and as a result, he still collected 278 votes.

Also yesterday, Peter Hoyt and Tom McGee were each re-elected to the School Committee, Karen Solstad and Scott Mandeville were elected to the Planning Board, and Gretchen Marinopolous and Stephen Dunford were elected to the Library Board of Trustees. The write-in results for the remaining seats were not available prior to press time.