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Member, Committee on Finance
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Member, ARPA Community Recovery Projects
Advisory Commission & Review Committee
Ward 1 Newsletter (06/07/23): Municipal budget approved
The City Council on Thursday approved with no changes the $132,312,990 budget proposed by Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra for the fiscal year beginning July 1. That is $602,528, or 4.77 percent, higher than the city's current budget for the year ending June 30. At-large Councilor Jamila Gore and Ward 7 Councilor [...]
Northampton City Council
CITY COUNCIL MEETING PLAYLIST
Watch this feed from YouTube for the most recent recordings of the city council proceedings.
The City Council during 2022 took action on critical issues including the housing crisis, climate emergency, diversifying participation in municipal government, relief for renters, zoning reforms, the impact of adult-use retail marijuana dispensaries and hiring new department heads.
Among the highlights:
Approving an order seeking special legislation to ban rental brokers from charging fees to prospective tenants.
Approving an order seeking special legislation to allow an ordinance requiring “new and substantially remodeled or rehabilitated buildings to use electricity for all building energy needs.”
Approving an order seeking special legislation to adopt ranked-choice voting in municipal elections, which is designed to increase participation and encourage more diversity. It is the final piece of legislation resulting from recommendations made by the Charter Review Committee that I chaired in 2019.
Establishing a select committee to study barriers to service on city boards and committees, and opportunities for the city to work with residents to overcome those barriers. The committee is expected to submit its findings and recommendations by April 15.
Adopting a resolution, which I cosponsored, supporting the Fair Share Amendment that was approved by voters in the Nov. 8 state election. It levies an additional 4 percent tax on the portion of a household’s income above $1 million, and dedicates that new revenue to education, as well as repairing and maintaining roads, bridges and public transportation.
Approving $664,068 in Community Preservation Act funds for the redevelopment of the former nursing home at 737 Bridge Road into 60 units of affordable housing by Valley Community Development Corp. of Northampton.
Approving $500,000 in Community Preservation Act funds for exterior repairs to St. John Cantius Church at 10 Hawley St., which the O’Connell Development Group of Holyoke proposes to convert to 10 market-rate apartments.
Approving $100,000 to buy the former Moose Lodge property at 196 Cooke Ave. for between two and four affordable or mixed-income housing units, as well as access to the Fitzgerald Lake-Broad Brook Greenway.
Approving the expanded Health and Human Services Department that includes the new Community Care Department.
Approving the promotions of Patrick McCarthy as director of the Central Services Department, and Carolyn Misch as director of the Department of Planning & Sustainability.
Approving a package of 14 zoning ordinances related to the so-called “form-based” code that affects the central business district in downtown Northampton, as well as Florence village center. The changes merge design standards with expanded uses for properties to encourage more multifamily housing, allow residences on the ground floor of commercial buildings, and create more spaces that are attractive for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Banning the use of wild and exotic animals in performances or exhibitions in Northampton intended as entertainment.
Sponsoring roundtable discussions examining the impact of the 12 adult-use retail marijuana dispensaries that had opened in Northampton since 2018 (one has since closed). A proposed ordinance that would cap those dispensaries at 12 was introduced in December and the City Council voted 6-3 to approve it in January.