Election 2009: City Council Candidate Michael Bloom

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - Michael Bloom, a local businessman, is running for re-election to the City Council for an 11th term.

Bloom, 50, and his wife, Lorrie, have three children in the public schools. Susan, 15, is in 10th grade at Drury high School; Sarah, 13, is in 8th grade, also at Drury, and 12-year-old  Michael is in 6th grade at Sullivan.

Bloom graduated from the former North Adams State College with a degree in communications in 1982. He has been self-employed for more than 25 years in property management. He and his wife own several residential and commercial properties in the city and area. They also own Key West Lounge, which was opened in 1986, and employ 12 people.

Bloom said, "I have been on the City Council for 10 straight terms and have served on every committee.  I am currently the chairman of the Finance Committee.  I have served as council president for four years.  I have served as a board member of many youth sports organizations and coach many youth sports teams."
 
Reason I am running for Council:

I am running for a seat on the North Adams City Council to continue what I started when first elected 20 years.  That is to positively help in the critical decision making that makes North Adams an attractive and affordable community to live in.

Decisions like funding for new schools, improving our streets and downtown, changing zoning laws to accommodate business needs, removing blighted houses and revitalizing neighborhoods. I will continue to objectively evaluate all proposals given to the council and vote in the best interest of the community. 

As a small business owner I can appreciate the sacrifice made by so many people to provide jobs and I will continue to support initiatives like tax incremental financing (TIF) to promote job growth.  As a parent and coach I will continue to support initiatives to improve our recreation facilities and activities for families and children.   As your councilor I will make the hard decisions at budget time and support proposals that strengthen our public services, public safety, and schools.  And I will to continue to support an affordable property tax.

What I will bring to the Council:

I will bring my 20 years of council experience as well as the ability to objectively deal with the many new ideas that will evolve from an ever changing business, political and social climate. I thoroughly understand council procedures, dealing with budgets, working out ordinances and resolutions. 

I will continue to be very accessible to community requests and help people with their city concerns. I understand the importance of a creative economy and support initiatives to better position the community as we move further into this fast moving computer age. I bring family values to the council with three children in North Adams public schools. I understand the challenges of raising children in this era of instant messaging, texting, reality TV and all the other distractions that most of us missed in our childhood.

Most Important issues facing North Adams:

The most important issues North Adams city government faces are directly related to our budget and our ability to keep our taxes and fees affordable while still providing the many services people appreciate. With the national economy stagnant, we need to be vigilant about our revenues and expenses necessary to run the city.  We must keep an eye on our state funding and manage our resourses well in the event of budget cuts. We must continue to move the city forward through good government, stronger business and a strong community spirit.

Submitted by Michael Bloom
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Adams COA, Town Seek Funds for Memorial Building Bathrooms

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — The Council on Aging is still waiting to transition its programming from the Visitor Center to the Memorial Building and is looking to the Community Development Department for help. 

The COA has been waiting for additional bathroom facilities to be completed for the facility, but the council and the town have so far been unable to obtain grant or other funding for the work.

 

COA Director Sarah Fontaine said they are working with Community Development to find funds for the bathrooms and other small improvements, including increased entrance accessibility, renovations to the former music room and fixed windows. 

 

"I had voiced my concern. It's a very extensive list, I don't expect that it will all be done before we transition over. The only need is the bathrooms," Fontaine said. 

 

At last week's Board of Selectmen meeting, Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin said he looked into using Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. He said, however, that the Memorial Building is ineligible.

 

"The guidance we received from [the state Department of Housing and Community Development] has basically told us that the building is ineligible for funding because we already received funding in 2018," he said. "There has to be five years between the application for senior-center type projects. So based on that guidance, I don't believe Memorial School is eligible for funding."  

 

Fontaine also mentioned the auditorium in the building, which the town plans to renovate separately as a future capital project. 

 

"It would be nice as a senior center to have the auditorium available for guest lectures and other things like that," she said. 

 

Moving staff to the Memorial Building now while keeping programming at the Visitor Center, Fontaine said, is not an option. She noted that the Hoosac Valley Regional School District had previously expressed interest in using the second floor of the Visitor Center for its office space. 

 

"I was very firm in saying, logistically, it's hard for us to manage things just being upstairs. It's going to be very difficult if we're off site to try and manage programs downstairs," she said. 

 

In other business: 

 

  • The Council on Aging is looking for volunteers to fill vacancies on its advisory board. It filled one of the vacancies on Wednesday, appointing Barbara Ziemba. Ziemba, an active participant in the COA, had already filled out the paperwork needed for her appointment. 

 

"I have attended many COA activities, volunteer, and am a member of the Friends of the Council on Aging and attend meetings. I have been interested in being a member of the Board of Directors for some time. Please consider my appointment to the board," Ziemba wrote, explaining in her paperwork why she was interested in the position.           

 

The group also discussed two other vacancies on the board and potential candidates to fill them. Two members have been unable to attend recent meetings for health reasons. 

 

  • The board voted to approve updated bylaws. The bylaws were revised and written primarily by Board Member Elizabeth Mach. 

 

"I just wanted to make a comment, or rather an appreciation, for Liz for taking this project on," Fontaine said. 

 

The new bylaws have a provision to allow honorary members. Fontaine said there are currently no honorary members. 

 

The board appointed Bruce Shepley as the board's chair to replace Barbara Lagowski, who filled one of the now vacant member seats. 

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