Effort to recall Easthampton mayor dies; nomination papers now available for fall election

By MADDIE FABIAN

Staff Writer

Published: 07-17-2023 12:56 PM

EASTHAMPTON — A group of residents attempting to recall Mayor Nicole LaChapelle for her role in the failed superintendent search this spring did not file their petition by last Thursday’s deadline, according to City Clerk Barbara LaBombard.

On June 22, LaBombard confirmed that a group of residents had submitted an affidavit meeting the requirements to obtain a recall petition: over 400 signatures with at least 60 from each of the city’s five precincts. A petition to recall the mayor was issued that day.

Around the same that the affidavit to recall the mayor was taken out, residents Cathy Wauczinski and Jean Pao Wilson were collecting signatures to recall Cynthia Kwiecinski, chairperson of the School Committee. The effort to recall Kwiecinski failed due to lack of signatures.

Wauczinski declined to comment on the attempt to recall the mayor, but listed several reasons on an affidavit filed with the city, including her role in the superintendent search, sending police to a candidate’s home to make a job offer at midnight, “poor judgment” and “unprofessional” behavior,” and “disregarding” citizen concerns.

The first 10 signers of the affidavit needed to collect a total of 2,517 signatures, equal to 20% of the total number of registered voters as of the last city election, and they had 21 days to file the petition. The petition was never filed to the city clerk’s office.

LaBombard said that residents would have to restart the entire process if they were to attempt another recall.

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LaChapelle’s term is set to expire in 2025.

Nomination papers

Nomination papers for the Nov. 7 election are now available for pickup at the City Clerk’s office for those seeking to run for office. This year’s ballot will include six School Committee seats, four at-large City Council seats, and five precinct councilor seats. The last day to submit nomination papers to Board of Registrars for certification is Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Maddie Fabian can be reached at mfabian@gazettenet.com or on Twitter @MaddieFabian.]]>