image description

Adams Board of Health Ready for Tobacco Cap Hearing

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health finalized its new tobacco regulation draft and will vote on it after a public hearing.
"We have a final draft so on to our next meeting," Chairman David Rhoads said of the monthslong process.
Late last year, the Board of Health agreed to implement a new regulation that would limit the amount of tobacco sales permits allowed in town. The new regulation would not affect those already selling tobacco products.
The board went through several months of edits and member Laura Grandchamp felt it was ready to go to public hearing.
"I think it is quite good the way it is," she said. "I think we can stop editing it." 
The public hearing will be held at the board's next scheduled meeting in August.
The board did have a quick COVID-19 update and Rhoads thanked town staff and Code Enforcement Officer Mark Blaisdell for helping in the reopening process. 
"I think we are all getting sick and tired of this but I do appreciate all of the efforts in our town and in Berkshire County keeping us safe," he said.
He added, in general, he was optimistic about cases in the state that seem to be trending in the right direction
"I was thrilled to see that the state reported no new deaths since the first time in a long time," he said. "I know it has been going up and down and it won't stay that way but it is certainly a really good sign."
The Board of Health also responded to an Open Meeting Law violation complaint and voted to authorize Town Counsel Edmund St. John III to send his response to both the attorney general's office and the complainant, Catherine Foster.
St. John read Foster's complaint, which accused the board of deliberating via email with the code enforcement officer and building inspector.
St. John said this is not an issue because the board members did not email amongst themselves outside of a public meeting. He said it is standard practice for boards to receive information from department heads and town employees. 
"Nothing in the Open Meeting Law prevents board members from receiving emails in preparation of a hearing," he said. "Although Mark Blaisdell's email to the full board could have invited deliberation via email, none took place."   
St. John said her other concern was that during a previous hearing, she was unable to speak on the Zoom platform and was muted. 
He said Foster may have been muted during points of the discussion to allow others to speak but was given ample time to explain her side.
Foster was present at the meeting and was given the opportunity to speak but chose not to.
She originally questioned a "no occupancy order" on her Murray Avenue property at a March meeting.
St. John said the board is required to address the complaint within 14 business days of the complaint being filed. He said there was not sufficient time to place the item on the June meeting agenda so could not be acted on within this time frame.
He said he did ask the attorney general's office for an extension and it was granted.  

Tags: board of health,   tobacco regulations,   

1 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Hoosac Valley School Committee to Phase in Hybrid Model

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School Committee approved a hybrid education model that would begin remotely.
Superintendent Aaron Dean presented months of planning during a remotely held School Committee meeting Monday and recommended the committee approve a plan that would combine both in-person and remote learning.
"I know this is hot on everybody's mind. It is hot on my mind. I don't sleep much these days working through all of the pieces," Dean said. "But we are going to do the best we can with all of this and figure it out."
Dean recommended the School Committee adopt a 2:3 hybrid model that would split the district into two cohorts at each grade level.
View Full Story

More Adams Stories