Stan Moulton

Ward 1 City Councilor

Northampton, MA

Home2024-01-31T14:28:11-05:00

Working together for one city

  • Chair, Committee on City Services

  • Vice Chair, Committee on Finance

  • Member, Enrollment Committee

Current News

2305, 2024

Ward 1 Newsletter (05/23/24): Municipal budget

Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra presented to the City Council on May 16 a $136,903,512 budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, an increase of $4,590,520 or about 3.45 percent from this year. The budget includes $39,673,835 for the School Department, up by about $1.9 million from this year's total appropriation, [...]

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 the 2022-23 term took action on critical issues including the housing crisis, climate emergency, public safety, impact of adult-use retail marijuana dispensaries, addressing racialized harms, relief for renters, zoning reforms, improvements to Main Street, traffic controls, noise concerns, historic preservation, and diversifying participation in municipal government.

Among the highlights:

  • Approving an expanded Health and Human Services Department, including the new Division of Community Care that sends civilian responders to nonviolent calls as an alternative to armed policing. Responders assist some of the community’s most vulnerable members by providing support, advocacy and connection to resources.
  • Appropriating $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to help pay the $3.175 million purchase price of the former First Baptist Church at 298 Main St. for use as the Community Resilience Hub. It will be used as a day center with programs and services for vulnerable residents, including those who are homeless; a community space; and an emergency response center during crises.
  • Approving a Climate Action and Project Administration department to guide the city’s efforts in meeting goals set by the Northampton Climate Resilience & Regeneration Plan calling for carbon neutrality for municipal operations by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions citywide by 2050. In addition to ensuring that municipal projects meet those goals, CAPA is a resource for residents, businesses and institutions in the community. It draws on resources provided by the Climate Change Stabilization Fund which was established with $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act money. Carole Collins of Leeds was hired to lead the department.
  • Adopting the Massachusetts Municipal Opt-in Specialized Stretch Code promoting increased energy efficiency and decreased carbon emissions that will help meet the city’s carbon neutrality goals by 2050. It requires new houses using fossil fuels to also have solar installations and wiring that would allow conversion to all-electric in the future.
  • 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.”
  • Sponsoring forums examining the impact of adult-use retail marijuana dispensaries that opened in Northampton since 2018 and approving an ordinance capping them at 12.
  • Endorsing a resolution supporting Main Street reconstruction that states: “The Northampton City Council recognizes and stands by the more than twenty years of planning by our elected and appointed officials that will lead to a safer, greener and more vibrant downtown with their thoughtful planning reflected in Picture Main Street.” The project, expected to begin in 2025 with $19 million paid by the state, would channel motor vehicle traffic to one travel lane in each direction with a center turning lane; add physically separated bicycle lanes on both sides of the road; widen sidewalks; shorten crosswalks; reduce the overall number of parking spaces by 57; increase accessible parking spots by two; and add 36 trees.
  • Approving a resolution calling for a commission “to study racialized harms perpetrated against Black residents, workers, and students in Northampton, historically and currently.” Eleven members, including eight who are Black, were appointed to the commission in July 2023. A preliminary report to the mayor and City Council is requested by May 24, 2024, with a final report by Oct. 5, 2024.
  • 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. Among its recommendations are to streamline and make more transparent the process of applying for vacancies; improve communication with the community about opportunities for service, including multilingual materials; provide clearer information about the job description and expectations for new members and better orientation as they join boards and commissions; continue hybrid meetings that allow for remote participation; and study whether stipends may be made available to community members with a financial need who want to serve.
  • Approving an order seeking special legislation to ban rental brokers from charging fees to prospective tenants.
  • 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.
  • Adopting an option allowed by the state establishing 25 miles per hour as the default speed limit for all roads in thickly settled residential and business districts. That reduction from the state-mandated 30-mph default speed limit is now in effect on all roads in Northampton that are otherwise not posted.
  • Approving two ordinances that I cosponsored tightening regulation of hours when commercial trash haulers may operate. The goal is to remove ambiguity about where trash haulers may operate legally in the downtown area outside the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • 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.
  • 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 plans to convert to 10 market-rate apartments.
  • Approving $100,000 to buy the former Moose Lodge property at 196 Cooke Ave. for four single-family homes to be built by Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, and a parking lot for trail access to the Broad Brook Greenway.
  • Banning the use of wild and exotic animals in performances or exhibitions in Northampton intended as entertainment.
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