Rule 12 limited the visitors to three minutes to address agenda items at the beginning of the meeting; Rule 13 limited them to two minutes to speak on "matters of municipal interest" in open forum at the end of the meeting. The rules also reiterated the council president's authority to silence or remove those not following the rules.
The rules were voted in because of the increasing unruliness of some who were attending the meetings.
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Tammy, again Journalism 101. Your last paragraph is pure opinion. Majority in this city believe this rule was put in by weak, arrogant council memebers who feel they do not need to answer to the public. Thanks
It would be nice if the councilores would take a page out of Senator Downings book of common sense. I do not agree with most of his views but I respect him because of his willingness to stand and answer questions from anyone. Now everyone agrees with him but he is willing to listen to them and then explain why and how he comes to his decisions. He does feel the need to make up rules and laws to stop people from asking any ,any questions . If the council would act in the same manner they would also be respected . Until then ??
Editor: Why can't you ask councilors questions? Their phone numbers are listed on the city website. Or ask the councilors to host a forum like the senator did. Or attend the committee meetings where issues are discussed in detail. They're more informal and those attending regularly ask questions. Council meetings are formal parliamentary proceedings, not public discussions. You can't walk into the Senate chamber and ask Sen. Downing questions, either, because that has rules and laws. It has to be an appropriate setting.
Editor Please stop with the , Just call then B.S. Just because they answer the phone for you do you really think it works the same for everyone else ?? Not So .
Who said anything about goiing to the Senate ?? As you saw Senator Dwoning comes to the voters and doesn't hied behind rules and he does it in a public forum. I didn't hear him say ,see me after the meeting, Wink Wink. He is man enough to stand up and talk to people with respect. Not like the councilors that try to make up rules and hide behind them so they do not have to answer any4thing. If they are given disrespect it is because they are getting what they have given.
Editor: Wayne, I don't think you'll ever be satisfied. And you keep confusing formal meetings with the senator's constituent gatherings. If you want the councilors to hold a forum like that, stand up during open forum and tell them rather than complaining here. Oh, never mind. That requires taking some reasonable action.
Editor Ms. Daniels, Regarding comments by Real Wayne, You bring out a few good points however you keep thinking like V.P. Blackmer and a few of the rest,this is a City Council For the good of all of the people and not just a few. they try and run it like a legislative body but are not as its a "limited public body, and more like a designated public body and therefore the public has some impute in the meetings.
Editor: They do have public input. But what some, including Wayne, seem to be asking for is a town meeting or Q&A session. That's not how city councils or boards of selectmen or other governmental bodies work. That's why I suggested he ask for a councilors' forum. Adams does it a couple times a month.
Let's face it, the irony is the North Adams council allowed for far more public input until one person hijacked the public comment periods. I'm interested to hear what Councilor Marden has to say about the rules - and the other councilors. Maybe they'll rescind them.
Editor; I can agree on some parts of your statement and disagree on others, however you have a good point.
The irony is that knowone on that council wants to admit things need change, I tryed this for Two months only to be shopped around reagarding my points then over to the city solicitor, then told everything is oK. Even after asking some councilors to sponsor, some said yes, then changed, others didn't even answer and one said Sure I would be more then glad to place the question for you only to state I didn't receive your paper in time, will put on next meeting and then on the weekend before sent a email saying No, I voted for the rules, Not even knowing what I was going to say.So again its still the old boy network trying to silence the public hard at work.
Is this not "Selective Viewpoint".
No rule in place by both State or Federal law regarding a Sign, and no rule in the City of North Adams "Rules of Order" regarding "ACTIONAL
Disruption/Distubing or Impeding a Meeting, one must have a rule in place in order to enforce a rule per the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on this topic.
Editor Someone jumping up and down taking photos is more disruptive than someone just sittimg and saying nothing but that was allowed. If the council wants to uphold rules find but they should apply to EVERYONE .
As far as whatever was on the sign being libelous ? How do you or the council president know that for sure ??? You and the council president are trying to act like a judge and jury.
I did not read the signs, so I can't comment on them, they very well could be inappropriate as rule 12 &13 have personalities, libelous statements and innuendo,and other things.However more incredeble is the belief that in a rush to judgement the actions of the Council with their City Solicitor missed the point of law regarding these facts, the law is based on meterial facts, this one went out the window with the baby and the bathwater.Cut and paste doesn't do it, and one should have known about define 'Disturbance & disruption and included it in its proper place in the rule along with any sign statement, however not all signs are diasallowed, only inappropriate ones, as this is a form of free speech as a exception, and only if you have it in your Rules of Decorum" That is the Key point!.
I think someone brought in a sign during a council meeting that said Devious Dick. and was not asked to leave. Also someone brought in a flag ( 5x8 inch.) U.S. flag that I believe two councilors had objected too. The person was not asked to leave. Also someone brought in a Rock as a gift to the city council and was not asked to leave. So I would think that a precedent has been set ???
Editor: I believe he was asked to put the sign down and complied; the rock appeared at the end of the meeting and prompted councilors to discuss limiting such props. This last time, Mr. Cardimino refused to put the sign down so he could create an "incident" to report to the AG's office.
Dear Editor, Not one man or woman should control or so called hijack a council meeting. It is the failure of the current council President to keep the meetings in an orderly fashion based on opening meeting laws and regulations, and the rules set forth by the city council. At times Council President Bloom is not aware of the rules,and at times simply makes up rules that do not exist. This is called winging it. The council is not a legislative body as referred to by Ms. Blackmer. The house and senate in Boston govern and set rules for the entire state of Massachusetts, and not just city or town. If the current city council used better judgement realizing they are there to represent the citizens of North Adams, and not their own personal agenda's the city would be much better off.
Editor: A city council is a legislative body. And on the flip side, if Mr. Cardimino realized he's there representing his own personal agenda and not the citizens of North Adams, the city would be much better off.
The new rules do not seem to be working. It would be nice if the council would go back to last yrars rules. The council president should control the meeting. In order to keep order and allow people who respect the rules to speak the president should do what is necessary. To just stop everyone from being able to contribute and feel a part of the city for the sake of one person just does not seem the correct way to go.
The new rules are working just fine. The meetings are no longer delayed at every agenda item by a self important person who thinks he is the 10th councilor.
If someone disrupts meetings on a regular basis, he should be banned for a year. Let that person challenge his banishment in court, but keep the stupidity out of chambers. There is enough of that displayed by those who have won election. They don't need any help.
It has become increasingly obvious that all participants of the city council meetings councilors included bring personal agendas to the meetings. Mr. Cardimino is testing the limits of free speech with his civil disobediance and the council agenda has everything to do with helping the businesses downtown with little or no concern for the residents of North Adams. They are getting away with this because 95% of the people have given up on Government. Look at the school issue. probably 1% of the residents showed up at the meetings. Not one resident spoke in favor of moving the kids downtown yet the city is going ahead with it. It's not even the cheapest option. Do they really think that moving the kids downtown will make people buy more antiques? Mr. Bloom was against moving the kids downtown until he moved to Williamstown!
rules Band people from public meetings ?? Really ? Ok but what is a disruption ? OK lets band someone that sells his book at a council meeting. Lets band the person that lets people sell paintings that have hung on the wall. Or how about the person that advertise benifit dinners. Or how about the person that jumps up and down and takes photos. Lets band all of then so the meetings will be no longer than 10 min. Lets not hold up the councilors who feel they spend to much time answering ( Stupid ) questions from the taxpayers. Some people even have the gall to stop our councilors at the supermarket. I can not count the number of times that has been said. How about we band people from the market when a councilor is shopping and anyone who dares go in and disturb them be band from the store for a year. So what do you think rules ,lets show how tough we can be on the disrupeers.
This sounds like HVD50 or even better maybe Mr Ed. the talking hores, again not on point and talking from the rear at best. This is not Washington or Boston, it's little old N.A. Councilor's elected by the people and to work for the people, not a select few,and yes the public should have a local voice in government as very few on the council want to talk for the people, if it takes up to much of your time on the councilor's then resign,
How does the Council Help the businesses and not the residents you ask? Well how about discontinuing parking revenues. How about They intend to move the children downtown with no place to play and against the recomendation of their own hired educational consultant and at a higher cost to the tax payer because they said it will bring more business to them. I can't blame them for using the government to their advantage. The residents have shown that they either don't care or have given up on it all together by not voting and not voicing their opinion. It will soon be called the chamber of commerce, city hall division
Editor: The parking is for motorists and will be free only during the trial period, with projections of making more money for the city in the long run. It may help merchants - but nobody knows yet. Conte was the choice of the "educational consultants," is one of the cheaper options and has not been approved by the City Council. Maybe most people aren't voicing their opinion because they approve of what's happening? You can play it both ways.
Rules, What a joke, nothing but 'Out of Order" a public disruption/Disturbance at best, The rules work just fine, "Only for You', maybe we should keep the stupity out of the chambers, but then we would only have One councilor and the Visitors left.
I never really gave much heed to others claims that you were biased toward North Adams City Hall but this latest reply from you can only lead me to that conclusion. On the school issue you are confusing the educational consultant with the architectural consultant. The educational consultant never attended any meetings. Their findings and opinions were briefly skimmed in the beginning of the public input phase of the feasibility study by the architectural consultant. The Educational Consultant did not choose Conte as an appropriate option for a twenty first century elementary school learning environment due its inability to be set up in the cluster configuration that they claim is conducive to learning. Nothing more was said about this even when asked at subsequent meetings. It has been shown in numerous studies (a simple Google search provides thousands) that there is a direct correlation between physical activity and increased academic performance. There are city councilors on the school building committee and also business owners on the school building committee what wasn�t on the school building committee was adequate representation from the neighborhood that stood to lose their school. As far as the parking issue is concerned, the fact is revenue will be lost and the only ones who stand to gain is the business owners. When is the last time you were on Main Street and couldn�t find a parking spot? I am not against boosting the business community by any means but putting the children at a detriment to do it is just wrong.
Editor: The plans for Conte are to put it into a cluster configuration. All of the options had to meet the educational requirements (or do you think the MSBA won't notice?). I agree there was not enough adequate representation from Sullivan. Are people really quibbling over diagonal parking? Or just the three or four people who keep posting about it on here.
I personally don't care what method they use to slow traffic down on Main Street. I was just giving examples of how the council is catering to the downtown. Too much effort has been expended on such a trivial matter. As far as the city educational consultant saying that Conte was the least desirable in terms of layout for twenty first century elementary school learning, that is almost a direct quote. It was downplayed by the Architect after she said it and continued by saying but we can make Conte work. We can make the North Adams Transfer station work as a school too but that doesn�t mean it is the best for the children (though it would give them more room to play). I requested to be informed of whom the educational consultant was and that they attend these meetings to discuss this statement that was made about clustering and how Conte could never be made into the ideal setting. I was not given this information and the educational consultant never came to a meeting and was never spoken of again. I am sure this is because the powers that wanted the Conte option did not want any more bad press about it. The whole thing stinks to the high heaven and they will probably name it after our Superintendant which is fitting
Editor: I don't believe there is an "educational" consultant. Educational needs are determined by faculty and the Department of Education in conjunction with the MSBA. The architects are chosen based on their knowledge of how to build schools to meet already instituted state guidelines. That's why they have a model school program; you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. If I remember correctly, Margo Jones did say that Conte was not considered suitable - until they completed the feasibility study and found it conformed well.
There is an educational consultant. That is the person who provided that cluster diagrams. The cluster diagrams were not provided by the Architect but were provided to her by the educational consultant. The reason you think there is no educatioanl consultant is because the transparency of city hall hid this consultant who said that Conte was a bad choice after it was picked up on in the first meeting.
I don't know whether or not the Council is trying to help the downtown businesses with the parking change. That being said, I just don't understand why that would be a bad thing. Don't you want your Main Street to flourish? Do you want it to be a street of empty store fronts? Money coming in on Main Street, businesses opening, means employment, taxes being collected, activity. What are you looking for in North Adams, a bedroom community with retired and low income? Good news, you are almost there!
I am reluctant to comment on this forum, but let me try to clear up the educational consultant issue. We do have a nationally acclaimed educational planner (consultant) named Frank Locker. It is my understanding that he views the Conte school building renovation as an exceptional and exciting opportunity to implement the cluster grade configuration (which is his original design). I think he was hestitant until he walked through the space. I did not vote for Conte, but it was my second choice and I fully support the consensus vote of the school building committee. The educational planner, the engineers and the architect all believe that this building can be turned into an exceptional elementary school facility, and I believe them. I share the concerns of some regarding getting the kids to and from school and the limited play space outside the facility, but we'll further address those issues and make them work. (By the way, my two kids both went to Sullivan - a great school, a great neighborhood, but not a viable rebuild or renovation either at the current location or the adjacent Kemp park - I wish it was, but it's not).
Margo Jones said that the Conte option was not the best option for the kids in front of everybody. You or she cannot deny nor take that back. How do you work around no place to play? Have you seen how many scientific studies show that physical activty and acedemic achievment go hand in hand. You are setting the children up to fail and all because you don't know how to deal with the conte building and that it might make people buy more downtown. the future of the kids who can't afford private school or don't go to bart will be on your head. I hope you can live with that
Me and everyone else in this city who cares about the children.
What is going on here is an Architect who wants to put another historic preservation in her portfolio and a city government who wants to solve an issue of a dead building downtown which they will cease to own if they don't put the kids in there.