Letter: Bond Will Be the Mayor We Deserve

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To the Editor:

North Adams, we are about to make history. We are about to usher in the election of our first female mayor of the city of North Adams. We are about to put our faith and hope in the leadership of them to lead this community. We are about to make a statement on what we see as critical to our collective future.

Overall, I would say that this election cycle has been one of the more professional and courteous ones I've seen during my time calling North Adams home. Beyond a few supporters in the wings and on social media injecting spats of personal attacks, intentionally divisive dog whistles, misinformation campaigns, and dredging up issues from the decades past … both candidates have generally shown respect and acumen, and have stayed out of the unavoidable social melee that comes with a heated partisan society.

So today I write with one central intent, to share more of what I know about Lynette Bond, and to further make clear why I am voting for her, and why I think you should, too.

Lynette is an invested community member who has volunteered thousands of hours to this city and the Northern Berkshires since moving here. Whether through her board work with the North Adams Planning Board and Childcare of the Berkshires, fostering children, hosting Steeplecats players, coaching youth sports, or helping spearhead the campaign to get Colegrove Park Elementary built with a massive state capital investment, Lynette is the epitome of a servant leader, an empathetic doer, and a champion for those in need.

She has a vision for an equitable and accessible future for North Adams, and the chops to make that vision real. She values our local heritage and history, brings new ideas and perspectives to the table, and has already laid out on her website, in her interviews, and with everyone she speaks with, what she will do, and how she will make it happen. She has fully committed to our crumbling public safety infrastructure being top priority, both tackling a short-term immediate plan, and launching a long-term permanent plan. This has been an issue discussed in the press since the 1990s, but Lynette won't just keep talking about it or putting on temporary Band-Aids, she'll do what needs to be done.

Similarly, she will help to support our neighborhoods through opportunities for existing housing stock revitalization, and redevelopment focused on mixed use and workforce housing, so that we are prepared for the workforce and economy immediately in front of us. For good measure, toss in the neighboring example of downtown beautification that she facilitated in Adams, and you can see how her vision, hard work, attention to detail, and background with grant funding could raise up the entirety of our own Main Street corridor.

Lynette cares deeply, and commits fully to her work, and for the betterment of the lives of others. Some have claimed that her resume is "shallow" because she hasn't had dozens of different jobs in her career, but the fact is, that's because she commits deeply to the jobs she does and the organizations she works for and persists with. This is not just "another job" for her, it is a commitment to working tirelessly for this city. Her deep sense of duty and care transcends her entire career, and we would be lucky to have that same level of work ethic leading from the corner office.

Lynette understands what it means to collaborate for everyone's benefit. She's a communicator, connector, manager, effective delegator, and community builder who works across lines of division to get it done. She knows that we are only going to thrive if we work together for our future, rather than lament and divide over our pasts. This will be critical to advocating for resources and for facilitating potential shared services to save taxpayer dollars and increase the quality of what we have. She is ready to recruit, value, support, and hold accountable a team around her so that they can do their best work for the residents and community of North Adams. She will be transparent, open, inviting, and above all else, make sure the investment in this community is done for and WITH the community.

To put it simply, Lynette Bond is the mayor we need and the leader we deserve, and I ask you to get out and vote for her on Nov. 2.

Benjamin Lamb
North Adams, Mass.

Benjamin Lamb is a North Adams city councilor. 




Tags: city election,   election 2021,   endorsement,   letters to the editor,   

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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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