My first term
I've accomplished quite a bit in three years!
In my first term, I have managed to do a number of things that directly benefit the town.
I wrote the bylaw that created the Affordable Housing Trust Fund that was passed at last year’s Special Town Meeting. I was elected chair of the newly formed Trust’s board. This year the Trust applied for CPA funding from the Community Preservation Committee and received a positive recommendation for Town Meeting approval. The Trust has established a Down Payment Assistance program, that is currently accepting applications from income qualified households. If the additional CPA funding is approved at this year’s Town Meeting, we will also be offering Home Rehabilitation loans as well.
As the Selectboard representative to the BRTA advisory board, I have initiated a program to place signage for the #21 bus that serves Great Barrington. By placing signs showing where the bus stops and a route map, I hope to increase awareness and bus ridership and then make a case for adding some bus shelters at the most popular stops.
On the transportation front, I am also the Selectboard representative to the Berkshire Metropolitan Planning Organization. I am working with our DPW director to secure significant state funding for roadwork in town.
One of my first appointments was as the Selectboard representative to the Lake Mansfield Improvement Task Force. The Task Force was instrumental in securing grant funding for several improvements to the lake, including the Knob Hill drainage and Boat Launch projects and the design of a new culvert on the north end as well as design and engineering to repair the road itself.
Early in my term, I met with a group of citizens concerned with speeding on Taconic Avenue and was involved in creating some traffic calming measures to addressed the issue.
As a member of the Democratic Town Committee, I served as a representative to the state Democratic Convention, and am serving as an alternate this year.
Of course, I have worked on a number of Special Permit applications and approved many common victualler, alcoholic beverage and entertainment licenses.
I hope to continue my work with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the BRTA, the MPO and the Lake Mansfield Improvement Task Force.
I would also like to devote some time to economic development. As parts of town gain access to high speed internet, I think there is the potential to expand the IT business community here in town, but I would also like to see if we can attract high-end craft businesses and some light industry. Our designation as a Cultural District may also bring more artists and galleries to town. Plus, I see some real potential with recreational cannabis, both for growers and retail stores.