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Young Seeks To Bring 'New Blood' To Adams Selectmen

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Michael Young is looking to be the youngest member of the Board of Selectmen.

ADAMS, Mass. — Michael Young has just spent his last four years studying the ins and outs of politics and, growing up in Adams, he says he also knows the ins and outs of the town.

He is looking to mesh that together to make Adams a place where young families want to live. The 22-year-old is the youngest candidate for the Board of Selectmen and that is why he feels he can move the town forward.

"I bring young blood, new ideas and I'm not afraid to say no to ridiculous ideas," Young said on Thursday, adding that he has the ambition to "get things done."

He says the biggest problem facing Adams is that there is "nothing to do." Residents in neighboring communities have no real reason to spend time and money in town and those who do come from out of state to hike Mount Greylock, have no reason to stay downtown afterward.

"There is nothing to do here. There is nothing to make people want to live in Adams," Young said.

He says he will push to lower the tax rate across the board to give an incentive for companies to open. He says he will go through the budget and find things the town "doesn't need" to lower it.

"You need to lower the property taxes as much as you can to allow more people and businesses to come in," he said, adding that it will take a few years before the tax base broadens.

But, he isn't looking for one big employer. Young says he wants to see many small businesses — from lodging to restaurants to unique shops — that can be a draw. The expected opening of a hibachi grill in the Mausert Block is an example of a the types of businesses he'd like to see because "you can't get that anywhere else."

Further, the town should capitalize on the fact that Mount Greylock is in Adams. Living on the "best side of Mount Greylock" should be marketed and boasted about, he said.

"People don't want a huge warehouse in Adams," Young said. "People around here like nature and they want to be out in it."

The Greylock Glen project will be a big boost to attracting visitors, he said, and supports the efforts of a campground and hiking trails. However, he has reservations about the amphitheater plan because he can't see the market for it.
"If the want comes up, I don't have a problem with it," he said.

The expansion of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail has proven to be a boon by attracting visitors and Young supports the efforts to continue its expansion to North Adams. However, he isn't sold on the scenic rail because "there isn't anything scenic that people would want to see" in that section.

Young also believes education needs to be supported because "as a whole it isn't what it used to be." However, that is mostly controlled by the state, he said.

Young grew up in Adams and returned home after studying political science at Andrews University in Michigan. He hopes to stay in politics and thinks his home is "a great place to start."

"I feel I can do a lot of good," he said.

He is one of four vying for two seats on the Board of Selectmen. The election is on May 6. Also running for the seats are Joseph Nowak, Richard Blanchard and Donald Sommer.

This is the fourth and final in a series about candidates for selectman in Adams.

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