Top, Councilors Marie T. Harpin and Jennifer Barbeau pull the new seating assignments for the year. Below left, Lisa Blackmer is sworn in as council president again and, right, Bryan Sapienza takes the oath as the new vice president.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city is the recipient of a $629,000 violence prevention grant through the state's Strong Communities Initiative.
Mayor Jennifer Macksey announced the grant from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services during her update at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
"This provides a great opportunity for us to provide collaborations in things that are very, very important to us," the mayor said. "And also to work on what we have but to build new programs to support intervention and strengthen our protective factors for our community."
She described the initiative as supporting community-based prevention and intervention programs that will help reduce the likelihood of the use of violence. The grant will be disbursed over five years.
"Our next step is to convene representatives from the School Department, the Police Department and work in collaboration with some local organizations to develop what we call an action plan as to how we're going to spend the money," she said.
The mayor said the funding creates an opportunity for cross-sector collaborations to amplify the work of existing programs and introduce new programming to support intervention efforts that strengthen community safety. The working group will be charged with developing the plan for the first two years of the grant.
"I would be remiss if I didn't think Carrie Burnett (grants, special projects & procurement officer), Stacy Parsons (of the North Adams Public Schools) and Stacy Abuisi (of the public safety department). They worked diligently on this grant. And we thought it was a reach for us. But we made the reach and we got it. So thank you to all those involved."
The brief meeting also saw the promotion of firefighter Kevin Alicea to lieutenant, replacing John Paciorek who recently retired after more than 20 years with the department.
Alicea joined the department in 2009 as a permanent reserve firefighter and graduated from the Fire Academy the following year. He became a full-time permanent firefighter in 2011, is licensed as a basic emergency medical technician and is currently a member of the department's hazardous materials team.
Macksey reminded him that his duty is to preserve life, health and property in the city of North Adams.
"I also expect that you will lead your shift with the best of your ability with fairness and professionalism at all times," she said, with Alicea's son, Max, beside her. "I know that you will have the strength to bear whatever burdens might be placed upon you and your role, and that you have the strength, the mind and the body to deliver safety to all the residents of the city."
In addition to Paciorek, Gregory Lancto and Juan Bolte also retired from the Fire Department with 29 and 28 years of service, respectively.
She also updated the council on new faces at City Hall including Cara Farrell, the new human resource director being shared with Adams and Williamstown. Farrell was a community planner with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and will be in City Hall on Thursdays and Fridays.
"This is a grant-funded position over the next few years. So we're going see how this pilot program runs with this grant and working with the other communities," the mayor said.
The city has also hired Lindsay Randall for 20 to 25 hours a week to oversee community events and work with outside groups wishing to do events in the city.
Tuesday's meeting was the first of the new year for the council, which held its annual reorganization.
Lisa Blackmer was re-elected as president for the next year on a vote of 7-2, with Councilors Jennifer Barbeau and Marie T. Harpin voting against. She was nominated by Councilor Ashley Shade.
Councilor Bryan Sapienza was nominated as vice president by Barbeau and voted unanimously. This is Sapienza's first election as an officer.
Shade motioned that the council rules be referred to General Government for review; this was approved. Shade has been trying to institute some rules of conduct and thought the council rules, rather than an ordinance, maybe the best way to achieve this.
The councilors also received their new seats for this year with Harpin calling the names and Barbeau the seating numbers. The seating arrangement, from 1 to 8, is Barbeau, Peter Oleskiewicz, Keith Bona, Sapienza, Michael Obasohan, Wayne Wilkinson, Shade and Harpin
The councilors will take their new seats at the next meeting.
In other business, the council:
• Set annual bonding for the city tax collector/treasurer at $250,000; the assistant city treasurer at $62,500, and the city clerk at $15,000.
• Confirmed the appointments of Heather Williams to the Conservation Commission for a term to expire Aug. 1, 2024, and Andrew Fitch to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a term to expire Jan. 1, 2028.
• Set a public hearing for Jan. 24 on the potential suspension or revocation of OTT Taxi's license at the request of Police Chief Jason Wood.
• Approved a license application of Linda Jarvis of North Adams to drive a taxi for RJ's Taxi.
• Granted a perpetual easement for Alexandra Manno of 44 Green Ave. A portion of her driveway is on a city-owned paper street. Macksey said this was discovered during the title search and that the sale of the house is being "held hostage" until the ownership is clarified.
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North Adams Mayor's Fitness Challenge June 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mayor's Fitness Challenge (MFC) is back for the month of June, calling on the community to make a conscientious effort at healthier habits by participating in this community-wide fitness challenge.
This will be the 7th Annual MFC for North Adams.
Community members of all ages are encouraged to register and participate either as individuals or as part of a team, to wrack up points for the chance to earn prizes at the conclusion of the challenge. Participants will be working to build and track points by eating fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and participating in physical activity. There are also daily challenges for points.
Registration will be held on Thursday, June 1, and Friday June 2, 2023. nbCC will be tabling in front of the office, located at 61 Main Street, North Adams, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
on June 1, registering participants and handing out tracking packets and t-shirts. On June 2, members of the nbCC team will begin the day at 7:30 a.m. at the kick-off of the Eagle Street Coffee Date series, signing participants up while they enjoy free coffee and baked goods hosted by Mayor Macksey and the City of North Adams.
The Coalition team will also be registering participants during June's First Friday festivities which will include the Mayor's Fitness Challenge Kick-off. The theme of June's First Friday is "Proud of Progress" and will include the painting of a new street mural, exhibition openings, live music and business specials.
The MFC kick-off event will include registration, free games, demonstrations from various local MFC partners, information tables, and activities located either on Main Street or Eagle Street. Some examples of activities include a gong bath at the Terra Nova Church space on Main Street, a bike rodeo on Eagle Street, and free smoothies hosted by the First Baptist Church youth group. Mayor Macksey will be out and about and plans to demonstrate some sparring with Gail Grandchamp. Registration for MFC will be available from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Just look for the nbCC tables and MFC shirts! T-shirts are in limited supply and will be first come, first served.
Weekly events in this year's challenge include outdoor yoga classes, lawn games at Windsor Lake, the downtown bike around, and weekly hikes in places like the Cascades, Tannery Falls, Sunset Rock Trail, and Natural Bridge State Park. Additionally, several local fitness studios will be offering deals of membership, free classes, and other incentives to participate.
The challenge runs throughout the month of June. The final day to track points will be Monday, June 26, and all participants must turn in their tracking packets by 6:00 p.m. that afternoon. There will be a Wrap Party at Windsor Lake, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. where the individual and team winners will be announced and receive their prizes. There will be live music from the band Pandemic Relief, lawn games and everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic dinner. Snacks will also be available for purchase from the BFAIR concession stand.
This event has been organized by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, the North Adams Mayor's Fitness Challenge Planning Team, and the City of North Adams. The full calendar of MFC Events can be found below, online at nbccoalition.org calendar page, or on the back of the MFC points tracker that every participant receives. For daily updates or weather announcements, participants can follow the nbCC facebook or instagram accounts.
2023 MFC Schedule
Week 1 | June 1-3 |Registration & Kick-off
6/1 | 8:30a.m. - 6p.m. | nbCC Office, 61 Main Street, North Adams - Register teams/individuals & pick up your MFC packets and t-shirts
6/2 | 7:30 - 9:00a.m. | Eagle St. - Register during the Eagle Street Coffee Date kick-off sponsored by Mayor Macksey and the City.
5:00-8:00 p.m. | Eagle St. - Register during First Friday and enjoy MFC kick-off events and activities!
6/3 | 9a.m.-1p.m. | Shop at the North Adams Farmers Market.
9:30-11a.m. | Help the River St. Community Gardening Group
11:30a.m. | Walk w/ Mayor Macksey at Natural Bridge (Transportation available)
2:00p.m. | ROOTs Teen Center/nbCC Bike Collective Build a Bike Workshop | 206 Ashland St.
Week 2 | June 4 - 10th
6/4 - 10:00a.m. | Basketball games | Noel Field Courts, 310 State St.
7:15p.m. | Relaxation Yoga | North Adams Yoga, 26 Holden St.
6/5 - 3:30-5:30p.m. | Bike Collective Workshop hours | 206 Ashland St.
5:30p.m. | Downtown Bike Around | 206 Ashland St.
6/6 - 12:00-1:00p.m. | BHS: Top 10 Most Powerful Lifestyle Interventions | UNO Center, 157 River St.
5:00p.m. | Tick Talk w/ CHP | UNO Center, 157 River St.
6/7 - 5:30p.m. | Evening at Windsor Lake: Intro to Disk Golf, live music, pack a picnic | Windsor Lake, Kemp Ave & Bradley St.
Gianna Pesce scored five goals and assisted on two more Wednesday to lead the Mount Greylock girls lacrosse team to a 19-2 win over Pope Francis in the title game of the Western Massachusetts Class B tournament. click for more