I was born in North Adams, daughter of the late Mary and Lorne Parisien. I am a physical therapist currently working in Bennington, Vt., at Chiro-Med and Rehab. I also own a private physical therapy practice and contract services for MCLA. I have two children and two grandchildren, all residents of North Adams. I am seeking a second term to City Council so that I may continue the work begun during the past two years.
1) What do you consider the city's greatest asset?
I consider the people of North Adams our greatest asset. Many people work hard for our city and put forward many efforts to build this community.
2) What do you consider the city's greatest challenge?
The city's greatest challenge is to continue the economic growth, repair and improve our infrastructure and engaging the community to improve the quality of living in North Adams while being fiscally responsible.
3) How do you perceive the taxation question: Do you think they are too high/too low/just right? If the city has a spending problem, what should it cut? Should the commercial rate ($32.95, second highest after Pittsfield) be raised again?
I believe we must work hard to close the gap between the commercial and residential tax rates. We are all aware of the increased cost of goods and services, so it is difficult to keep pace without increasing revenue. I think encouraging new businesses to join our community can benefit by increasing revenue which also promotes spending in our community.
4) There are a number capital needs on the horizon, not least a new fire station and police station. How should the city address these needs? Should it forge ahead or wait until better economic times? If it waits, how can it manage in the interim?
The city needs to address these significant issues now. The longer the problems are left unattended, the more costly the project. Not only should the city identify the areas of need, the city needs to prioritize the list, develop strategies to cover costs and have a plan with time frames. Working as a team, it is possible to solve some of these needs.
5) The North Adams transfer station has been operating without a permit for years and needs costly upgrades. Should the city fix it or close it?
I do not believe it would be appropriate to close the transfer station.
6) Education: The design for the Conte renovation project is nearly complete. What do you think of the project? Should the city reconsider?
I support the school project. I am confident in the plan as the school building committee has done a great job working with the state to develop a solid plan to renovate this historical building.
7) City Council candidates often talk about improving the school system but the council has no control over the schools other than voting on the budget. Should the council be more involved? How?
The School Committee is the governing body that works with the superintendent and educators to work on improvements for the school system. Certainly should counselors have ideas, I see no problem sharing them, but the School Committee should continue to be the decision making team.
8) Housing: As a councilor, what measures would you support to prevent or remediate blight? Some residents feel there is too much low-income housing that is making the problem worse. If so, how could the council address that?
I think city officials do their best to identify and address the issue of blight. The legal system is a good one,however, this same system slows the process of remedying the problem.
9) Public Safety: The city has suffered through a number of high-profile crimes this summer. What can be done to make the city safer? Would you support spending more to hire more officers? Are there other ways to make it safer without spending?
Engaging community members with public safety may be helpful. Perhaps more face to face communication with residents to learn more about the concerns of residents.
10) City Council: The city has a "Plan A" government with a strong mayor and limited council. How do you see the role of the council in the city's government? Should it be more proactive or more questioning of the mayor? Or should it focus on more of an advisory role as the voice of constituents? Can it be both? Or should the city's government be changed?
I think the committees should work with city administration to develop strategies, plans and discuss the issues and bring that information back to the full council.
11) The council instituted limited speech from citizens as a way to prevent disruptions. Do you agree with the rules or should they be revisited? If the council allows more speech, how can it prevent disruptive behavior?
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