Alcombright Wants Less Bureaucracy For Vendors
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mayor Richard Alcombright does not want bureaucracy to stand in the way of issuing permits to street carts.
When revising an ordinance to include a procedure for street carts, the council requested a committee to be formed to oversee special events and vendors but fearful that it will drive business away from the city, Alcombright insisted the process should be streamlined and handled internally.
"I think we need to get away from committees and handle it internally first," Alcombright said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "I think that if you talk to many of the merchants and people trying to organize events in the city, you’ll find they say the bureaucracy is what gets in the way the most."
The mayor's office has been discussing a way to manage vendors and will report to the council in February. That group is creating a checklist for events to ease the process.
Councilor Lisa M. Blackmer expressed concern that the work put into crafting the ordinance will be lost but Alcombright emphasized that it is only a mention of a subcommittee that he would like to change.
Also regarding events, Councilor Keith Bona said that during last year's Wilco concert a few local restaurants did not apply to extend its liquor license in time and had to stop serving early. Another Wilco concert is planned for this summer and restaurant owners need to be up to date with their permits.
"There is no reason it has to be 11 o'clock," Alcombright said. "We'll make sure everything is as it should be."
The mayor also attempted to halt rumors that the new stoplights on Main and Marshall streets are used for surveillance. Other cities have used the cameras to take photos of license plates of speeders or cars that run red lights. Though these cameras have the ability to do that, the city could not afford to equip them with that programming.
"This is not a Big Brother thing," Alcombright said. "These are strickly sensors."
The Marshall Street lights are using sensors to determine traffic flow and switch the lights but the lights on Main Street are back on a timer system, he said. Use of the sensors was causing traffic jams downtown so the city went back to timers.
However, there have been a lot of rumors that the cameras were surveillance and even Councilor Marie Harpin initially asked where the photos were being sent.
The city also approved an ordinance that requires residents who host tag sales to remove the signs within two days or else be fined.
Councilor Alan L. Marden asked if the timeframe could be cut to only a day but councilors responded by saying that the people the city will be after for violations are those who leave them up for longer than two days.
Bona emphasized that the ordinance will be meaningless unless it is enforced.
"It's something we're putting in the books but who knows if it'll be enforced," he said.
Councilor Gailanne Cariddi requested that the Traffic Commission review places that have received complaints. Those complaints include cars having to turn around when going west on Main Street to reach Route 2, a short crossing signal for seniors crossing Ashland Street to get to the high rise and speeding on North Street.
The commission will be called and the council will rehash the issue in February.