NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Anyone interested in serving on a governmental committee or board can find out about vacancies and make out an application to serve through the city's website.
City Councilor Marie T. Harpin has been advocating for some time to encourage new board members.
"I believe it was almost two years ago I had asked the mayor if there was a way that we could communicate to the public to let them know what was available on our boards and our commissions," she said Tuesday's meeting. "So people that are interested know exactly what boards are available and when they're available."
The conversation came up with the confirmation of reappointments to boards and commissions: Dean Bullett to the Airport Commission, for a term to expire March 1, 2024; Rebecca Choquette to the Human Services Commission, for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2024; Jason Moran to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Cultural Development Commission, for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2024; and Kyle Hanlon and Brian Miksic to the Planning Board, with terms to expire Feb. 1, 2026.
"There's some appointments in here that are fairly new people that haven't been on boards for quite some time, but there are a few on here that have had people on for decades and it's a concern that I have voiced," Harpin said, adding she's faced criticism for speaking on the issue.
Mayor Thomas Bernard said it took time to get the page done and that it was a method that he took seriously and knew the councilors did as well.
Resident Bryan Sapienza, speaking during open forum, noted that anyone could send a communication to the mayor's office expressing interest in serving.
"That's how I got onto the public Arts Commission," he said. "I just let the people involved know that I was interested in willing to serve and I think anybody in the city that's willing to serve could do the same thing."
The listing of boards and openings shows that there are vacancies on the Conservation Commission, Council on Aging, Human Services Commission, Mass MoCA Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Board, Public Arts Commission, Redevelopment Authority, Traffic Commission, the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Both the Tree Commission and the Youth Commission have no members.
"We want you to put your name forward, we want you to look at the boards and commissions that are available," he said. "And blend the experience of people who have done this work for a long while with new voices, new perspectives that reflect our community and give people a chance to participate."
In other business during the brief meeting, the council approved an order to install a "slow, children at play" signs at the intersections of Autumn Drive and Route 2 and Autumn and Birchwood Terrace and a 25 mph speed limit sign at Autumn and Birchwood.
Council President Paul Hopkins also presented the committee assignments for the year.
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Do you only report about Democrat candidates or am I missing your reporting on Republican candidates some how? The Berkshire Eagle is a left-favoring periodical that I've learned to simply ignore because of their bias. Please clarify my dilemma sooner than later.
I appreciate your efforts & overall coverage but it appears a political bias is showing itself.
Chuck D. Wright North Adams, Mass.
Editor's note: iBerkshires covers all local candidates and state candidates who visit Berkshire County (and let us know they're coming!) We have been focusing on the upcoming primary, which has no local Republican races. We wrote about gubernatorial candidate Geoffry Diehl and two candidates who recently came to Pittsfield.
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