Letter: Don't change meeting time for North Adams City Council
To the editor:
It was recently reported that the North Adams City Council will consider an earlier meeting time after recently voting to limit public input at their meetings.
North Adams is not a job-rich city. Many residents need to commute in order to work, to places such as Pittsfield, Bennington, Greenfield, Brattleboro, Troy, Albany, Northampton, etc. In the modern age many people don't get out of work until 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., unlike the 9-5 days when your lunch hour was built in.
This means that when the council has a hot-button topic before it fewer people will be able to make it to the meeting to be there for one of only two opportunities to speak. So the next time we have something like the gun range issue, for instance, you will have people who arrive late only to find out that they can only speak after a vote or council discussion occurs.
Perhaps even more important, this will limit the diversity of candidates for council in the future. Folks who would never be able to get there in time after a day of work simply could not even think of running for council.
For the individual who is at home and falls asleep watching it live (as one councilor brings up), they can always watch the part they missed on their cell phone on the Northern Berkshire Community Television's website.
For any councilor that thinks being up late on occasion is a hardship, you probably became a councilor for the wrong reasons in the first place.
The writer is a North Adams property taxpayer.
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