headShot_sm.jpgFrom textiles to electronics to the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the information age, North Adams has been at the forefront of economic and industrial movements that have shaped the world. I am tremendously excited by the opportunity to hear your ideas and to share my vision as I work to earn your vote for mayor of our remarkable city. Together we can realize our potential by cultivating the creative energy of our citizens, by encouraging outside investment, and by advocating for education, infrastructure and public health as the foundations of sustainable economic and community development. 

My Platform

A commitment to education begins by building on the strengths of our schools while supporting a process of continuous improvement across the system. A competitive advantage of the North Adams district is the range of arts and cultural offerings in our schools, especially at the high school level, programs that promote deep learning and skill development. These programs provide a competitive advantage that can help change the school choice equation and establish North Adams as a district that receives more students than it sends to other systems. Equally important is McCann’s role not only in our region but as the leading vocational education program in the Commonwealth. While building on strengths at every level, we have opportunities to consider collaborative opportunities with other districts in the region to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative services. Additional collaborative opportunities exist to partner with human services agencies to address barriers to learning readiness; as well as with local higher education institutions including MCLA, BCC, and Williams College.

A focus on infrastructure starts by affirming a commitment to balance economic growth with continued fiscal responsibility. It continues with forceful advocacy with our state and federal delegations to securing funding for maintenance and renovation projects (e.g., road repair; water and sewer system upgrades; renewable energy projects; and information technology initiatives that enhance data security and transparency). It involves addressing the staffing, training and retention needs of our public safety departments. It combines a respect for the past and the unique historical resources of the city with a need to target blighted areas for improvement and to get publically owned properties onto the tax rolls where appropriate.

First and foremost, dedication to public health encourages civic engagement and community building. For North Adams, that means promoting arts and cultural programs, open space and outdoor recreation programs, local food projects, and renewable energy initiatives. Building healthy communities requires ensuring and improving access to healthcare services, from routine care to services that address the specialized needs of particular segments of the community, including elder care and services for our veterans. In the face of an addiction epidemic we must be committed to both treatment and enforcement. Ensuring a safe, healthy livable community also involves sensible affordable housing policies that balance access and equity, market demand and responsible ownership and maintenance of rental housing.

Taken together, focusing on education, infrastructure and public health provides the foundation for economic development. The combination of strong schools, public investment opportunities, and an engaged community create the conditions that support growth. We have the opportunity to capitalize on unique resources in the community - including the momentum of the MASS MoCA expansion and the developing cultural corridor, access to outstanding higher education institutions, and an exciting mix of engaged residents working with a common purpose - to promote job creation (and to ensure workforce training and support programs continue to close skills gaps and create robust competition for existing jobs) and grow the tax base through a combination of local entrepreneurship and outside investment.

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  • Thomas Marshall
    commented 2017-06-05 17:38:05 -0400
    Love this! You GO, Tom!
  • Brian Miksic
    published this page 2017-06-03 10:41:07 -0400