NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There will definitely be at least one new face on the City Council this time next year.
City Councilor Benjamin Lamb announced via Facebook on Monday that he would not be seeking a fifth term this fall.
"This is a decision long in the making and due to a number of factors, but the reason I am announcing now, relatively early by most standards, is specifically because I want to help others who, for their first time, may be seeking to run for City Council," he wrote.
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts graduate was first elected in 2013, part of the wave of younger candidates who began populating the council nearly a decade ago. Lamb has consistently placed among the top vote-getters during his runs for office.
During his tenure, he's become involved in numerous community efforts to boost his adopted hometown, including the NAMAzing Initiative that's sought to enhance Eagle and Ashland streets, helping push the city as a finalist in the Small Business Revolution, and bringing TEDx to North Adams.
He also was co-author of a resolution on declaring the city a safe and inclusive community and of the creation of a working group to ensure those principles were included in legislation, as well as being a found of Men Initiating Change In North County as a way to address domestic violence.
"Our work expands far beyond the boundaries of a job description as the 'legislative branch of city government,'" he said when running for his second term in 2015. "We have the opportunity to be the cheerleaders, conversation starters, community outreach facilitators, and motivators for change."
That's in part why he's stepping back, he wrote, so he can support individuals of underrepresented and minority communities within the city to have a voice at the table.
"I greatly look forward to spending what would normally be re-election and campaign time/energy in 2021 differently: pursuing new paths for me to positively impact this community I adore, and helping new and underrepresented voices in navigating and running for seats as elected representatives in our community," he wrote. "More to come in the future, but for now, for those even dancing around the idea of running for this critical role as a public servant in North Adams, message me."