I feel a sense of obligation and duty to bring a unique voice to the City Council chambers. I represent a younger demographic, which my work throughout North Adams and the surrounding towns has led me to connect and work with closely.
City Councilor Wayne Wilkinson had raised the idea of meeting earlier as the council's meetings crept longer into the evening. With meetings regularly running past 9 and sometimes closer to 10, Wilkinson thought a 6 p.m. start rather than 7:30 would get the councilors and audience out earlier.
The new Rules of Order are a return to past practice in only allowing the public to speak to agenda items at the beginning of the meeting during "hearing of visitors" and keeps the open forum portion at the end of the meeting.
Councilors have been grumbling for some time over having to go through the mayor's office to reach the city solicitor. The changes were implemented earlier this year when the city engaged KP Law of Boston, a firm specializing in municipal law.