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Angie Ellison greets the City Council on Tuesday during the meeting held over the Zoom platform.

North Adams Welcomes New Administrative Officer

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A former Uxbridge town manager with a background in education administration has been hired as the city's new administrative officer. 
Angeline Lopes Ellison began her duties on Monday. She replaces Michael Canales, who was appointed town administrator for Stockbridge earlier this fall. 
Mayor Thomas Bernard praised her municipal management experience, her prior leadership and service roles, and her commitment to work with city staff, residents, and community partners in a statement announcing her hiring.
"Angie Ellison is a great addition to the city's leadership team," Bernard said in the statement. "She has the administrative, department, and fiscal management experience to be a strong and effective partner with me, department heads, the City Council, and the community in moving the city of North Adams forward."
Ellison, in the same statement, said she was "thrilled to be working toward success in North Adams."
She was introduced to the City Council at Tuesday's meeting.
"Angie started Monday and since then has had the opportunity to learn lots of names faces, places and projects in the city of North Adams, and has really jumped right in working with working with me and with the department heads," said Bernard. "I know that'll be a one step at a time process, but I really have incredible competence that Angie is going to be a great addition to the city leadership team. She's going to bring some fresh insight and perspective."
Bernard said he wants to evolve the administrative position to reflect its reality as the mayor's chief of staff and she will be working with him on developing the city's long-term budget and capital planning scenarios.
Ellison's role will be to provide administrative support to the mayor's office and coordination with city officials and and private and public sector representatives on city programs; following up on questions, concerns, and requests from the public; and acting as the liaison to local, state and federal agencies. 
She has most recently been working as an independent consultant on staff and leadership development but previously had been town manager of Uxbridge, which she left after a year, and town administrator of Blandford. She also had been a dean of student affairs for the University of Massachusetts at Boston and assistant dean at Framingham University. She holds a master's degree from UMass-Boston and a master's certificate in local government leadership and management from Suffolk University, and is a certified public purchasing official. She served in the National Guard. 
"I'm looking forward to being able to serve the town and work with the mayor to just move North Adams forward into a successful place and, obviously as you guys have all discussed and talked about, I think COVID and some of the funding issues around that will be an interesting and innovative challenge to deal with head on," she said. "So again I hope to work closely with all of you, and move the mayor's agenda forward as well."
She got a little ribbing for calling North Adams a town but promised to eliminate from her vocabularly within three months, noting that she'd been working for towns and indicating that even referring a mayor was something to had to get used to. 
"Welcome aboard," said Councilor Jessica Sweeney. "Thank you for being involved in local government and it's nice to see your face. Hopefully I'll see you in real life someday."
Councilor Keith Bona asked how Canales' expansive portfolio of duties would doled out or if Ellison would take them all on. Canales had become the point person for numerous operations, including the skating rink and campground, and represented the city on the Hoosac Water Quality District. 
The mayor responded that it was too soon tell. "Part of this right now is helping Angie understand all of the components of the city and then make decisions about what stays in her portfolio and what might move elsewhere," he said. "I think there will be some pieces that transition to other [departments]."

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Some Brayton Students Switch to Remote After Positive Case

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams Public Schools informed the school community on Monday that it had learned of a positive case of COVID-19 at Brayton School. Children have not been in the classrooms at Brayton since Tuesday; the half-day Wednesday starting the Thanksgiving holiday was a remote-learning day.
A letter from Superintendent Barbara Malkas said cleaning and disinfecting of exposed locations will be completed according to state and federal guidelines. All students and staff who were in contact with the infected individual have been notified through contact tracing. 
Staff and cohort A (Mondays & Tuesdays) students who were notified will be eligible to return to school on Dec. 7.
Students in cohort B (Thursdays & Fridays) who were notified will be eligible to return to school on Dec. 10.
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