Thursday, July 24, 2014 05:42pm
North Adams, MA now: 73 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
Return to election home page
Nowak Seeking Seat on Adams Board of Selectmen
By Andy McKeever On: 03:25AM / Thursday April 25, 2013

Joseph Nowak is a lifelong Adams resident who is embarking on his first campaign for the Board of Selectmen.

ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Nowak remembers when he returned to Adams with a master's degree and struggled to find a job.

"I had a master's degree and I was mopping up locker rooms," he said. "It took me a while to just get a job with the state."

He stayed and worked his way up with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation because he loved the Adams community.

But, things haven't gotten much better in the last 40 years with the major manufacturers moving out of town. There aren't many incentives for a young family to stay.

Now there are run-down apartment buildings, vacant storefronts, farms are going out of business, and there's a transient population and aging infrastructure.

Nowak, with his degree in land use and a history working with the Democratic Party, is running for one of two vacant selectman seats to help Adams return to the quaint New England town that it once was.

"We need a community with a vision. It's a balancing act, we need to promote the town's history as well as look to the future," Nowak said on Wednesday.

It will take a long time for Adams to solve all of its issues but Nowak wants to be part of starting that process by helping to create an "identity."

The biggest problem, he says, is that a simple Google search shows that Adams is cutting its school budget while still having one of the highest tax rates in the county, which is not very attractive to families looking to relocate to the Berkshires.

"We're not able to get people to come to town," he said.

The 61-year-old says the town needs to help get Topia Arts Center up and running. The center has the ability to be an anchor of the downtown, spurring new development, he said, but leaders of the nonprofit are "discouraged." They have not been able to complete the project to renovate the center after investing $1 million of their own money into it. They want the town's help in reeling in state grant money.

"We'd be foolish if we don't try to work with the people who own Topia," Nowak said.

The Greylock Glen has long been seen as the keystone to the town's futures and Nowak wants to support that, too. Hiking trails, an educational center and campgrounds will help draw people to the Berkshires, he said and cited 22 years of working in state parks to show that he has seen the type of draw natural resources have.

However, he is concerned with the plan to build an amphitheater because that would increase traffic on the side streets and cause light pollution. Additionally, he said that if the Glen is developed, there will need to be some type of officer there to keep it from being vandalized.

"I worry mostly about the traffic," he said.

While those two projects should be priorities to start turning Adams around, Nowak said there are "a lot of little things" that he'd like to see to build on what the town already has — such as placing signage promoting that Adams is the birthplace of Susan B. Anthony.

While focusing on the projects already begun, the town needs to continue to look for other businesses to bring in, he said. He said there is a need for a slaughterhouse, a medical marijuana facility and train depot that could work in Adams and town officials should look toward finding those businesses.

"I will promise the people of Adams that I would be creative and innovative," Nowak said. "We have a long path ahead and there is no one big thing that will happen. But we need to get people on the street."

As a member of the Conservation Commission and one of the founders of the Agricultural Fair, Nowak is also very concerned about the future of farmers. There are only two remaining dairy farms in Adams and he would like to set policies to help farmers stay in business.

Those efforts will help broaden the tax base and set the town up for future growth, but he isn't sure if there are immediate ways to lower the tax rate. Town buildings are needed to be repaired and the school needs more funding, he said.

"You are between a rock and a hard place," Nowak said. "If you own property and it is in disrepair, you have to fix it."

Nowak says the town should look to move relatively quickly with tearing down a portion of the Memorial Middle School to alleviate the maintenance costs and build a park area for children at the Youth Center.

The reuse of portions of the building by Ooma Tesoro's and the Youth Center are good fits for those portions of the building, he said, but the rest of the building is too costly to repair.

"It's beyond its life cycle," Nowak said. "It'll be an albatross around the town."

With the Youth Center now leaving the Community Center vacant, Nowak wants the town to move quickly on that, too. If a buyer doesn't appear soon, Nowak wants a salvage company to come help tear the building apart and save what they can.

If the town doesn't start moving in this direction, Nowak fears things will only get worse — particularly with the new Walmart SuperCenter opening in North Adams.

"They don't mind putting people out of business," Nowak said.

Nowak is one of four vying for the two seats on the board. Also running for the position are Donald Sommer, Richard Blanchard and Michael Young. The election is on May 6.



0Comments
     
Election Text Ads
Advertise on iBerkshires.com

Where to vote in Berkshire County

Town Elections
& Meetings

Adams:

Cheshire: Election, May 5;

Clarksburg: Election, May 27, noon to 7; town meeting, June 18

Williamstown: Election, May 13, 7-8; town meeting, May 20, 7 p.m.

 
Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



Categories:
1st Berkshire (42)
2010 (0)
2011 (69)
2012 (59)
2013 (60)
2014 (50)
2nd Berkshire (29)
3rd Berkshire (16)
4th Berkshire (14)
attorney general (3)
auditor (4)
campaign (55)
candidate forums (47)
city council (38)
Congress (24)
election (66)
endorsements (45)
events (27)
fundraising (9)
governor (21)
letters (9)
local (16)
mayor (47)
news (8)
school committee (20)
selectmen (21)
selectmen (16)
sheriff (28)
state (22)
statements (45)
Archives:
July 2014 (3)
July 2013 (1)
June 2014 (6)
May 2014 (18)
April 2014 (7)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (1)
January 2014 (4)
November 2013 (10)
October 2013 (21)
September 2013 (7)
August 2013 (5)
Tags:
Election 2013 Campaign Preliminary Cariddi Bowler Governor Bissaillon Democrat U.s. Senate North Adams Town Election Gubernatorial Macdonald Patrick Town Elections Letters To The Editor 1st Mass Republican Party Mayor Bosley Candidates Szczepaniak Special Election Debates Boucher Independent Pittsfield Williamstown Debate Selectmen Mark Primary Election 2014 Berkshire Brigades Democratic Party
Popular Entries:
Election Day 2010
Bosley Looks to Wind Up Legislative Career
Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign
North Adams Mayoral Debate Video
Three Make Case for 2nd District Seat
Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
Cariddi Clear Winner in 1st District
There's a New Sheriff in Town
Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast
Bump Would Audit Publicly Funded Criminal Defense System
Recent Entries:
Independent Lt. Gov. Candidate Jennings Calls For Strong Local Partnerships
Republican Herr To Challenge Markey for Senate
Lake Focused on Collaboration in Lieutenant Governor Campaign
Kerrigan Boasting Experience In Bid For Lt. Gov.
Lanesborough Re-elects Incumbents
Attorney General Candidate Miller Calls For Professionalism, Not Politics
Pignatelli and Mark Supporting Grossman for Governor
Downing to Serve as Chief Surrogate for Coordinated Campaign Effort
Gubernatorial Candidate Berwick Says He'll Be On Ballot
Independent Candidate For U.S. Senate Walks Into Pittsfield


View All
Lanesborough Fire Drill
The Lanesborough Fire Department trains on basement fires...
Pittsfield Polish Picnic
Crowds lined up for golabki and kapusta at the annual...
North Adams Kids Emergency...
The North Adams 21st Century Community Learning Center...
Gather-in Festival 2014
The 42nd annual Gather-In festival was held at Pitt Park in...
BFAIR Mini-Golf Fundraiser
Berkshire Family and Individual Resources held its annual...
Lanesborough Seeds of Harmony...
Bradly Farm in...
Hinsdale Block Party
The Hinsdale Fire Department hosted its annual block party...
Arrowhead Country Craft Fair
Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home in Pittsfield, is hosting...
Pittsfield 3rd Thursday July...
Shakespeare was the theme for this month's 3rd Thursday...
State Little League:...
Pittsfield South defeats Holden, 3-2, in the state...
Live On The Lake Concert
Greylock Band played at Burbank Park on Onota Lake in...
Summer Softball: Force vs....
Berkshire Force beat the Adams Thunder 27-7 at Russell...
Little League: Pittsfield N...
Saturday semi-final between Pittsfield North and Pittsfield...
The Pittsfield Suns
The Pittsfield Suns defeated the Seascoast Mavericks...
Babe Ruth Tourney: Pittsfield...
Pittsield scored nine runs in the first inning and beat...
BYP Networking at Ramblewild
The Berkshire Young Professionals were up in the air on...
Lanesborough Fire Drill
The Lanesborough Fire Department trains on basement fires...
Pittsfield Polish Picnic
Crowds lined up for golabki and kapusta at the annual...
North Adams Kids Emergency...
The North Adams 21st Century Community Learning Center...
Gather-in Festival 2014
The 42nd annual Gather-In festival was held at Pitt Park in...
BFAIR Mini-Golf Fundraiser
Berkshire Family and Individual Resources held its annual...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved