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Mark Rondeau holds a sign declaring the Al Nelson Friendship Center at a memorial for his co-founder in creating the North Adams food pantry. Rondeau is taking on the challenging role of director of the Berkshire Food Project.

Berkshire Food Project Names New Executive Director

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshire Food Project has named Mark Rondeau of North Adams as its executive director.  
The agency serves a free lunchtime takeout meal Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at First Congregational Church on Main Street.
"I am humbled and honored at this opportunity to lead the Berkshire Food Project. I want to thank the board of directors for hiring me," Rondeau said. "I look forward to working with our staff, volunteers, host church and the entire Northern Berkshire Community in advancing our mission to feed our neighbors in need."  
Rondeau has held leadership positions at the former Advocate weekly and at the Bennington (Vt.) Banner newspapers, and has a long familiarity with food insecurity issues as Board President of the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry, North Adams. 
The BFP has operated since 1986. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency transitioned to takeout meals while the need for food greatly increased.  
At the BFP, Rondeau joins kitchen manager Darlene Ellis, kitchen assistant Caitlyn Johnson, and some 20 volunteers.  
"We're delighted that Mark is joining the Berkshire Food Project," said board President James Mahon. "He inspires confidence as a leader dedicated to caring for people and building community."   

Tags: Berkshire Food Project,   

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North Adams Planning Board Found in Violation of Open Meeting

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The attorney general's office has found that the Planning Board failed to comply with Open Meeting Law during its March meeting when it approved an outdoor cannabis grow facility by voice vote. 
The review stems from a complaint filed by City Councilors Jennifer Barbeau and Marie T. Harpin and residents Diane Gallese-Parsons, Alice Cande and Thomas Cary.
While Assistant Attorney General KerryAnne Kilcoyne confirmed the OML violation she did not address the complainants' request to void the vote and special permit in her decision.
At issue was the board's failure to follow the roll-call vote procedure for remote meetings. All nine of the board members were participating remotely on March 14 when the vote to approve New England Alchemy LLC's plans for an Ashland Street property was taken. 
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