Letter: Lynette Bond for Mayor

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To the Editor:

When I look at any election, I try to see it through a business lens. Cities and towns are essentially businesses, with budgets, customers, needs, wants, and challenges. As a voter, you are deciding who the city hires to be the next mayor. Similarly in business, you also look at resumes and look for patterns with your candidates.

Recently, a letter was published claiming that the insurance trust underfunding that occurred during John Barrett III's administration, and under the control and compliance responsibility of Jennifer Macksey as city treasurer, was not her fault. I would beg to differ — it is absolutely the responsibility of the treasurer to catch discrepancies/noncompliance and prevent them from happening.

The central role of a treasurer, in any organization including the city of North Adams, is to be the watchdog to assure sound financial management and fiscal compliance. This is done by clarifying financial implications of proposals, confirming legal requirements, outlining the current financial status, and retrieving relevant documentation. The role of an effective treasurer is to shine light on and expose financial shortfalls.

I like Jennifer Macksey as a person. I hope she succeeds if elected. However, it is troubling to me that someone who wants to be the leader of our city says she had nothing to do with the mismanagement of the insurance trust fund underfunding. There is absolutely no way a city treasurer wouldn't have known this.

During the term of the next mayor the city will likely receive grants and awards for infrastructure improvements and other items. Along with the dollars will come the responsibility for sound fiscal management and reporting. We must do it right going forward.

What our city needs at this critical juncture is someone who has a compelling vision and plan to move us forward during a time of change. There are many who feel Lynette Bond is that person. As a longtime city resident, community volunteer, taxpayer, and senior business leader at General Dynamics, I also believe Lynette Bond is that person

She has the expertise, resume, volunteer work and character needed to lead North Adams forward. She is consistently successful in executing major projects that impact others in positive ways. She is consistently investing in her community through service and advocacy. She is consistently present, not just not as a candidate, but as a neighbor. She is clearly the right choice.

John J Lipa
North Adams, Mass. 




Tags: election 2021,   municipal election,   

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MCLA Holds First In-Person Commencement in Two Years for Class of 2022

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago gives the keynote address in the Amsler Campus Center. See more photos here.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago applauded the new graduates of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for completing their degrees despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"At any other time, your achievement would simply be celebrated, which would be the end of it. But this is no ordinary time . . . You have succeeded in your quest amid the most convulsive circumstances that we can remember," Santiago said.  

Santiago was the keynote speaker at MCLA's 123rd commencement ceremonies on Saturday, receiving an honorary doctorate in public service. The event marked the first time the college has held festivities in-person in three years. Graduates and family members filled the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium, utilizing the provided fans as the spring temperatures topped 85 degrees.

"When you began your college career and MCLA, the term COVID have never been uttered. When you began your college career, you didn't have to mask up unless you were doing open heart surgery or were planning to rob a bank," he said. "When you began your college career, you could engage in online and remote learning if you wanted to, not because you had to ... This is what you have lived over the past two years; this is what you have overcome to reach your academic goals. I salute you."

Santiago drew several parallels between his time as a student in the 1970s and the struggles students face today. He said it is good to see a positive outlook from many students, despite the difficulties they have faced during the last few years.

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