North Adams Council Declines to Make Airport Commission Retroactive

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday declined to appoint "retroactive" members to the Airport Commission. 
Two months ago, Mayor Thomas Bernard had appointed Daniel Caplinger and Bonnie Howland to a commission that had been down to two members during the summer. 
Bernard's reading of the appointments in ordinance had pointed to his ability to name commissioners without council confirmation but in speaking with the city solicitor, KP Law, found this was incorrect. 
Caplinger had been appointed Aug. 24 and Bonnie Howland on Oct. 13, both with terms to end March 1, 2023. Based on an opinion by KP Law, the mayor asked that both appointments be made retroactive to those dates so that any votes be made legal.
Councilor Benjamin Lamb said he was wary that too many precedents were being set and questioned the need to make them retroactive.
"We would basically repeat all of the votes that we did in the past," said Caplinger, who attended the meeting. "But it would take time and it would take some extra effort."
Lamb thought that would be challenging for the commission "but from our end, it would be more in line with what we've done in standard practice."
Councilor Wayne Wilkinson asked if any monetary issues had been voted on. Caplinger noted that the commission had authorized the interim manager to enter into a lease agreement but that had not been completed. 
Lamb motioned to amend the appointments to begin as of that night, Nov. 23. This was approved and the appointments confirmed. 
The council did confirm the appointments to the Human Services Commission of Heidi Shartrand-Newell to complete the unexpired term of Ashley Shade, who was elected to council, and which ends Feb. 1, 2024.
It also confirmed the first appointments to the Youth Commission, which was amended in later summer to encourage more involvement. The commission will now consist of nine voting members of which six should be aged 13 to 20.
The council confirmed Alexa Macdonald, with a term expiring Dec. 1, 2023, and Piper Jacobs, Hope Motta, and Jessica Sweeney, with terms expiring Dec. 1, 2024.
Bernard said he will bring five more appointments forward at the next meeting.
In other business, the council:
Approved the appropriation of $40,000 from the land sale account for the Safe Routes to School project at Brayton School. The project requires three permanent and seven temporary easements. A total five properties, three of which are under municipal ownership.
• Gave final approval of a new commission to be known as the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Commission.
• Referred an ordinance change on clearing sidewalks of snow to General Government to address the opinion received from legal counsel and postponed a proposed ordinance on short-term rentals.
The mayor also read a proclamation on Transgender Day of Remembrance that was issued for Nov. 20 into the record.

Tags: airport commission,   appointments,   

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MCLA Athletics To Celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Athletics will host adult sports clinics for women on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022 as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. 
Held on the MCLA campus, advanced registration and payment are required. 
For information and registration, visit
Each year, the Trailblazer athletics department invites girls and women to participate in various clinics to promote sport. MCLA will offer a women's clinic and pickleball tournament followed by lunch sponsored by Bousquet Sport; girls' clinics have been put on hold for 2022.   
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