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Bond Highlights Infrastructure, Schools, Business in Campaign Kickoff
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:13AM / Friday, July 23, 2021
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Lynette Ritland Bond speaks to supporters at the Greylock Community Club on Thursday night. She is one of four women running for mayor of North Adams.

City councilors and council candidate Ashley Shade pose with the candidate.

Bond thanks the volunteers and supporters.

Richard Alcombright, left, former mayor, seeking signatures for School Committee.

Lynette Ritland Bond, right, gets ready to address the crowd during a break in the rainy weather. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Lynette Ritland Bond is hoping to be "the first of many women" to secure the corner office. 
Bond kicked off her campaign for mayor on Thursday at the Greylock Community Club with a short speech highlighting the infrastructure challenges North Adams faces but also putting a strong emphasis on the business investment flowing into the state's smallest city.
"We know the city is facing enormous challenges. We know we have very expensive infrastructure projects ahead of us," she said, pointing to the need for a new or renovated public safety building and to address the water system and hydrants. But she added that business was growing in the city. "We know we have investments. But we need to encourage and continue this investment. And we need to support our local businesses. Because when our businesses succeed, we all succeed."
She touted her background in community development and as a grant coordinator for both the town of Adams and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she is now director of development for grants and research. Prior to that, she was director of operations for Columbia University and a volunteer and recruiter for the Peace Corps. 
"I worked on a streetscape project on Park Street, a roofing project at Adams Memorial, and a bridge on Charles Street," Bond said. "At MCLA, I've helped to secure millions in funding through our federal resources, state, and private foundations.
"I know how to work with people, secure those funding opportunities and put those resources to work."
The Planning Board member spearheaded the Friends for North Adams Schools group in the vote for the Colegrove Park Elementary School project in 2013.
"I'm proud of the work that I played on the Colegrove Park Elementary School project. And now we have the opportunity to work with the Massachusetts School Building Authority again, on a critical repairs project for Brayton Elementary," she said. "This year has really shown us just how resilient our teachers are.
"So we need to celebrate our teachers and our educators and really tout all the good things that are happening in North Adams in our public schools. Because we know what things are going on. We need to tell and market this because all of our North Adams families need to know what's available to them."
Bond also went through a lengthy list of new businesses that she has seen come through the Planning Board, including the Break Room and other ventures next door at Greylock Works and down the street at Norad Mill. It was critical to keep that investment growing, she said.
"We can further encourage this investment by forming a team to welcome new businesses to North Adams, create clear online processes, create a network for the digital economy, provide small-business assistance, and clarify the city's incentive opportunities," Bond said, promising more details of her platform in the coming weeks and months. 
Bond is hoping to be the first woman mayor and the city appears guaranteed to have one this election whether she wins or not. In addition to Bond, there are three other women candidates: Jennifer Macksey, Rachel Branch and Aprilyn Carsno. There will be a preliminary election to narrow the field to two later in September; nomination papers are due by Friday at 5 p.m.
"I think these are exciting times for North Adams and I'm so excited for the future," Bond said shortly after taking out nomination papers last month. "We've been in this cone of pandemic, and we're coming out of it and I think there's real energy in the city and there's excitement. And I want to be part of that and help bring people together and serve the community."
One of those efforts to serve is community cleanups, with 30 people picking up 12 bags of trash at Brayton and plans for another at Greylock School on Saturday at 9 a.m. 
Bond addressed a crowd of supporters at the meet and greet that included a number of elected officials, candidates for office and former officials, including Councilors Lisa Blackmer, Keith Bona, Benjamin Lamb, Peter Oleskiewicz, Bryan Sapienza, Jessica Sweeney and Wayne Wilkinson, School Committee members Ian Bergeron and (sister-in-law) Karen Bond, and former mayor and School Committee candidate Richard Alcombright. 
She was introduced by her brother-in-law and campaign manager David Bond, a former city councilor, who said they are looking forward to a positive campaign. 
"There's no better qualified person than her to run for this office," he said. "She has all the qualifications that you would want, the education, the passion, the patience, and I truly believe she will be a great mayor of the city of North Adams."
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