Lynette Bond

North Adams mayoral candidate Lynette Bond believes that her grant management and planning experience make her the best choice to lead the city.

NORTH ADAMS — Lynette Bond, a city Planning Board member, recently joined the field of candidates vying to be the city’s next mayor.

Though Bond is a registered Democrat, “honestly, I see the mayoral race not as a political campaign at all. I really see this race as one of, who is the better candidate and who has the most experience?” she said.

“I do think I have the experience with my grant management background, city planning background and love of the city,” she said. “I hope residents will agree.”

Bond, a city resident since 2010, works as director of development for grants and research at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Previously, she worked for the town of Adams, in the community development office, and served in the Peace Corps in Honduras.

Explaining her motivation to run, Bond said that “as we emerge from this pandemic that’s completely changed all of our lives, I’ve felt this energy and real excitement and momentum in the city. I feel like it’s our time. I want to help lead that momentum for the city.”

She pointed to infrastructure issues as priorities she would tackle. The city needs a new public safety building, she said.

“It is in just horrendous shape,” she said of the current facility, which long has had issues, like the lack of handicap accessibility and, this winter, heating problems.

“We really need to secure that funding to make that possible to get a design for a new public safety building,” Bond said.

Attracting more students to the public schools is another issue she pointed to. During the coronavirus pandemic, the district lost students, she said. In the 2020-21 school year, enrollment was at 1,358 students, and this year, it is at 1,223, according to statistics from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“We have a lot to do to bring students back,” Bond said. “We have some really great things happening in North Adams [schools]. ... We want to really highlight that and tell that story.”

Bond also wants to see investment in the city.

“There’s a lot of people interested in North Adams,” she said, adding that now is a good time to attract investment “so we can bring some economic stability to our region.”

The city never has elected a woman as mayor, the city clerk’s office confirmed.

“I hope to be the first woman mayor of North Adams,” Bond said. “I think it’s a good thing for North Adams to bring more women into city government and to bring those underrepresented into our government process. We know we have a more diverse population, and we want to reflect that diversity.”

Mayor Tom Bernard is not seeking reelection this fall. So far, candidates Joshua Vallieres, Rachel Branch and Aprilyn Carsno have taken out papers to run for the position.

If more than two candidates run for mayor, there will be a preliminary election in September, according to the clerk’s office. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 2. Signatures for nomination papers are due to the registrars of voters by July 23.

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6272.

Reporter

Greta Jochem, a Report for America Corps member, joined the Eagle in 2021. Previously, she was a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is also a member of the investigations team.