|Marie T. Harpin Resigns From North Adams City Council|
|12:04PM / Tuesday, August 31, 2021|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A second city councilor has resigned this month, making four resignations total from the council elected in 2019.
Two-term Councilor Marie T. Harpin submitted a letter of resignation to the city clerk on Tuesday morning.
In a Facebook post, Harpin said, "This morning I submitted my resignation as a North Adams City Councilor. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the citizens' best interests, and I thank you for putting your trust in me. This term has been difficult, and with an increasingly toxic Council environment, I feel at this time it's best for me to resign."
Harpin's frustration with the council has been evident over the past term. She's often found herself on the losing end votes along with LaForest.
Last Tuesday, she argued forcefully for the council to seat a replacement for LaForest but the majority voted to wait until the November election, citing past precedent and the proximity of the election. Only Councilor Bryan Sapienza, himself recently appointed to replace Paul Hopkins, sided with her.
Following the meeting, after also being the lone vote to delay the passage of a Smart Growth zoning overlay, Harpin expressed her disappointment in saying she felt the council would always vote against her.
Harpin was first elected in 2017 as one of the top vote-getters. She is currently on the November election ballot for a try at a third term.
In a statement, Council President Lisa Blackmer said she is not a "confidant" of Harpin so did not know the reasons for her resignation.
"The council still has work to do, which we will continue to do. We don't have time for the drama and speculation. I am disappointed that folks couldn't meet their two-year commitment," she wrote. "But the rest of us will stay focused on the work to be done on behalf of the residents of the City of North Adams."
Of the nine councilors elected in 2019, there have been four resignations: Robert Moulton Jr. left in the first year of the term after making comments about COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter on his public television show; Hopkins, then president of the council, left because he was moving out of the area; and LaForest departed Aug. 16, for "personal and professional obligations" but also cited "back-door politics."
Moulton was replaced by Peter Oleskiewiecz and Hopkins by Sapienza. It is not clear if the council will continue through November with only seven members, two of whom do not plan to run for re-election.