The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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City Council Meeting: Paint Stewardship and Re-appointments

Photo+courtesy+of+WAMC
Photo courtesy of WAMC

On Tuesday, February 27th, 2024, at 7 pm the North Adams City Council met at the City Council Chambers to discuss various topics related to the general functioning and maintenance of the city. According to the agenda, some of the subjects that were introduced at the meeting include: 1) a communication from Mayor Macksey requesting the re-appointment of Cody Chamberlain to serve on the Youth Commission, as well as the re-appointment of Laini Sporbert to serve on the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Commission. 2) A communication from President Sapienza Requesting time for Thomas Irwin to speak regarding Massachusetts Paint Stewardship.

According to the North Adams Government website, “The North Adams Youth Commission consists of nine members appointed by the mayor and subject to confirmation by the City Council. Membership will include six members between the ages of 13 and 22, two of whom are college students; and three adults.  Members are expected to have an understanding of the needs of young people in North Adams, experience with youth programs or youth organizations, or involvement with school or community activities. Members of the North Adams Youth Commission serve three-year terms and require reappointment by the mayor and confirmation by the City Council. Vacancies occurring on the Commission may be filled in the same manner, but only for the balance of an unexpired term.”

The commission is meant to allow for communications between the youth of North Adams and their local government regarding current and potential future programs (social, economic, educational, and recreational) created for the youth of North Adams. Current members of the Youth Commission include Piper Jacobs, Alexa MacDonald, Jessica Sweeney, Hope Motta all of whom who’s terms are ending in December of 2024, William Shanahan who’s term is ending in February of 2027, Amanda Chilson who’s term is ending in February in 2026, Marie McCarron who’s term is ending in March of 2025, Ferris Miksic who’s term is ending in May of 2026, and Cody Chamberlain who was just re-appointed with a term that now ends in February of 2027. Chamberlain also serves on the North Adams School Committee, which seeks to be a representative body for members of the community in matters involving public education in North Adams.

The North Adams Government websites states that, “The mission of the City of North Adams (I.D.E.A) Commission is to educate, innovate and celebrate the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility by providing workshops and consultations and promoting events in order to uplift and create space for marginalized voices within our city.” Current members include Jennifer ‘JJ’ Choquette, whose term ends in February of 2026, Gail Grandchamp, and Andrew Fitch, both of whose terms end in February of 2025.

At the City Council meeting Laini Sporbert was reappointed to this commission with their new term to end in February of 2027. Sporbert graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 1992 where they earned their Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Social Work and Women’s Studies. She then went on to earn a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Addictions, from Cambridge College. Since 1997, she has been working full-time at Williams College in the Health Education Department, where she is currently serving as the Assistant Director.

Along with these reappointments that were made the City Council had a guest speaker, Thomas Irwin, who came to talk about the Massachusetts Paint Stewardship. This program would make it easier for residents of Massachusetts to recycle oil and latex paint including more rural areas, in an effort to prevent paint from potentially polluting waterways and the environment. City Council member Andrew Finch expressed that he was all for this program because at the moment oil paints, which are considered toxic waste, are either being put in land fills or being left in people’s basements. When asked about the cost Finch said, “The cost is pretty minimal and then the paint can more easily be returned.” The program is paid for through a seventy-five cent per gallon point-of-sale that will be collected by all paint retailers. This fee will establish paint collection sites, transport paint for processing, and distribute public education materials on how to properly manage and handle left over paint. Paint Stewardship laws have passed in numerous states and cities including, but not limited to NY, CT, and VT.

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Em Marlay-Wright, Staff Writer

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