Eric Buddington for City Council: Issues

Public Documents

The Council, and the public, spend far too much time debating what should be readily available information.

  • I suggested for years that the City post the ordinances online (they were previously available only on paper for $150). Mayor Barrett did so during his last year in office.
  • Our land records are somewhat online at http://www.masslandrecords.com - but in a format that is very hard to use, and impossible for any kind of statistics (such as finding the average home value in the City, or the average sale prices for each month).
  • Property tax records are not yet available online.
  • The City budget is available online as scanned text, thanks to Mayor Alcombright. However, since it is a scanned document, it is not searchable.

Public Space

There are many grassroots initiatives to improve our public spaces, such as the Hoosic River Revival and the Berkshire Bike Path Council. The City should encourage and support these projects.

Planning

North Adams is currently developing long-overdue plans for the mid- and long term, including a master plan for the City (with the BRPC) and a capital improvement plan.

Having clear goals and rules for development serves many purposes: it allows new businesses to plan with confidence, it preserves open space, and it ensures that businesses are located in a way that works for customers, the city, and the businesses themselves.

The south branch of the Hoosac River (along Rt. 8 towards Adams) borders the best potential farmland in the city. Already, the importance of local farms is increasing along with transportation costs. We need to ensure that this land is protected from hazardous materials and permanent buildings, so that it remains usable as farmland.

North Adams has a large stock of old housing. We should favor redevelopment of these lots over sprawl towards the edges of town. Additionally, whenever the City demolishes a condemned building, the lot should be considered for use as a neighborhood park and garden.

Comments?

These are all evolving ideas, and I'm always eager to hear new ones - especially those that are with the City's authority and ability.

I can be reached at eric@buddington.net or at 663-9331.