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North Adams Council OKs Reappointments
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:20PM / Wednesday, January 10, 2024
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday confirmed a number of reappointments to commissions and boards and reviewed Rules of Order for the new term.
This was the first regular meeting of the newly sworn in council and its President Bryan Sapienza. However, Tuesday night's sleet and snow kept some councilors home but enough for a quorum for the half-hour meeting. Attending were Sapienza and Councilors Lisa Blackmer, Keith Bona, Andrew Fitch and Peter Oleskiewicz.
Mayor Jennifer Macksey put forward the following reappointments:
Reappointment of Edward Marino to the Cemetery Commission for a term to expire Jan. 1, 2027; Julie Hanify, Patricia Flaherty, Stephen C. Smachetti and Grace E. Wiggers to the Council on Aging, for terms to expire Jan. 1, 2029; Sarah Farnsworth, Gisella Hildabrand and Ely Janis to the library board of trustees for terms to expire Jan. 1, 2027; Kevin Hempstead and Mary Ann King to the Traffic Commission for terms to expire Jan. 12, 2027. Also, Gary Phillips was appointed to the Council on Aging to fill the unexpired term of Mary Molleur expiring Jan. 1, 2028.
The council approved bonding of $250,000 for the treasurer/tax collector; $62,500 for assistant treasurer/tax collector; and $15,000 for the city clerk. Annual bonding is basically an insurance on municipal employees who handle finances and minimums are set by the state's Division of Local Services. 
Several changes in the Rules of Order for this term was referred to the General Government Committee to return the first meeting in February. The changes related to rescheduling or canceling meetings, councilors notifying if they will be absent, silencing cell phones and changing "his/her honor the mayor" to the "honorable mayor."
Blackmer felt wording related to a rescheduling a meeting if it falls on Christmas Eve was too specific especially if not done for other religious holidays. (A council meeting will fall on Christmas Eve in 2024 and this has been a concern.)
"Instead substitute if there are no new or returning business of the council, then we don't meet," she said, adding this would cover any date, such as July 3. "I found this somewhat not particularly inclusive language."
During hearing of visitors, Dr. Thomas Irwin of Dalton, a member of that town's Green Committee, spoke on paint stewardship legislation, PaintCare.
He asked the council to consider a resolution supporting a program that allows residents to discard latex and oil-based paints to participating retail stores. A fee would of up to $1 a would be applied at the time of purchase. 
Advocates believe this will aid in reducing household hazardous waste with Irwin noting such results in five other states that have passed the legislation.
"Presently there are 29 representatives and 12 senators co-sponsoring the paint stewardship bill, which is very good," he said. "However, when the bill arrives at Ways & Means in mid-February, it will be very valuable to have as many resolutions as possible from municipalities encouraging the committee chairs to view the page stewardship favorably."
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