North Adams City Council candidate Keifer Gammell: Nurture city's surge

NORTH ADAMS — In attending college at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Keifer Gammell moved to the city his grandparents grew up in.

"There's a sense of family history here that made wanting to stay here feel natural," Gammell said.

Gammell, a 28-year-old Charlemont native, is one of 16 candidates seeking a position on the North Adams City Council in the Nov. 7 city election.

"I've seen the entire town of North Adams shift its direction in such a positive [way]," Gammell said. "I'm very fortunate just to be here and be a part of it."

Gammell wants to help market the city's downtown to new businesses and support the businesses that are already there, and has gotten to know some of the area's needs as a member of the board at the North Adams Chamber of Commerce.

A vibrant downtown is important, he said, not only for people who live here and need access to services, but also to attract people to want to live in North Adams.

After the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital in 2014 and subsequent expansion of the Berkshire Health Systems into North Adams, Gammell said, there is still work to do. The city also needs to focus on improving its education system, he said.

Those, Gammell said, should be the city's priorities.

"I'd like to do everything I can to help," he said.

In addition to his work with the North Adams Chamber of Commerce, Gammell serves on the board of the North Adams Farmers Market.

He also has thrown his energy into community efforts including the Small Business Revolution competition, which the city was a finalist for this year.

After graduating from MCLA with a degree in business, Gammell was hired to work in the box office at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. He now works as the museum's visitor services manager, which includes everything from answering guest questions about coming events to organizing campsites during festivals and overseeing sales.

Gammell has launched a candidate Facebook profile that can be found by searching "Keifer4NorthAdams."

Adam Shanks can be reached at, @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter or at 413-496-6376.


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