Letter: Birch for Williamstown Planning Board

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To the Editor:

We were opponents in a Williamstown election in 2016. Today we jointly endorse Dante Birch for the Williamstown Planning Board. There is no question that Dante embodies the qualities and dedication needed to plan for Williamstown into the 21st Century.

Chris has known Dante for many years, first through Dante's work at Mass MoCA in bringing to fruition an important cultural asset in our community, and more recently in Chris' Berkshire-grown business, Kapiloff's Glass, where Dante is a senior manager. Dante excels in the academic work of project management and puts his work boots on whenever the team needs him to work with his hands. His combination of humility and excellence is a valuable asset to the millions of dollars of projects that he oversees each year.

Anne first met Dante through his co-founding of Williamstown Community Voice, a grass-roots group seeking to inform and engage all residents about issues directly affecting our community. When the Planning Board pushed a major rezoning project in 2018 for the two largest residential districts in Williamstown – General Residence and Rural Residence 2 – Dante educated people in all neighborhoods about the proposals and their impacts town-wide. Faced with thoughtful opposition, the Board eventually abandoned these proposals.

Chris lives east of Williamstown's downtown. Dante lives in Central Williamstown. Anne lives in South Williamstown. We understand that everyone's voices need to be heard and efforts need to be devoted to our community. Among the three of us, we've lived here for over 80 years. Chris' family spans four generations, Anne's three, and Dante's two. We all care deeply about Williamstown, for all generations, now and into the future. Our schools need to adapt to our changing economy. We need to attract jobs, to keep our community vibrant, and to stem population decline. We need diverse housing options for people of all ages and income levels.

The Planning Board is where we should all roll up our sleeves and get to work, bringing all our energies to meet our challenges. However, recently our Board has suffered from internal divisions and strained relationships with the public. Fortunately, Dante is a healer and a consensus builder – his participation will bring a more balanced approach to the Board, which is necessary to better serve our town.

We encourage all Williamstown voters to join us in choosing Dante Birch, Tuesday, May 14!

Sincerely,

Chris Kapiloff


Anne Hogeland

Williamstown, Mass. 

 

 

 


Tags: election 2019,   town elections,   

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Habitat, Affordable Housing Trust Break Ground on Williamstown Project

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The two houses to be built on the land will be similar and style and were designed by architect Dana Bixby of Stockbridge.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Meghan Gleason didn't think she had a chance at a house. 
 
She got the application to apply for a Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity house only three days before it was due. But she got some extra time to complete all the necessary paperwork. 
 
"And then all of a sudden, we had a home interview, and then all of a sudden, we had a second interview," an elated Gleason said. "And then I had a break at work and got a phone call and they said, 'Hey, we want to offer you this house in Williamstown,' and it was just unreal. Unreal."
 
That house came closer to reality on Sunday afternoon when Gleason and Neil DeCarolis broke ground on a new home for their family with some two dozen friends and officials in attendance. 
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