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Election 2015

                                 

Ward 6 City Councilor Marianne LaBarge    City Councilor Marianne LaBarge and Celine
City Councilor Marianne LaBarge  (413) 584-7937
698 Westhampton Road Florence, MA 01062
mlabargeward6@aol.com

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June 5, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

City Councilor Marianne LaBarge to Run for Re-election as Ward 6 City Councilor

I am proud to announce my candidacy for Re-Election as City Councilor for Ward 6. I took out my nomination papers on April 27th, 2015 I have walked house to house to collect all the necessary signatures and listen to the concerns that residents feel are important to them.

I have served Ward 6 as the Ward 6 City Councilor since 1997. I will be completing my 9th term this year. I have been asked by many people to run again. I would be honored to serve my residents and Northampton again on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015.

I was born and raised in Northampton and I have a passion for both my City and for City Government. My husband Richard served our Country in the Army. Both sides of our family have also been involved in the military.

In my eighteen years as City Councilor it has been my privilege to serve on nearly every Committee of the Council. I have chaired Northampton’s Committee on Social Services, Veterans, Culture, and Recreation for several years, working together with the Northampton Veterans Council and Steve Connors, Veterans Service Director, City of Northampton. We also work very closely with many other private service agencies throughout the City of Northampton. I have also been on the following committees: Finance, Police, Fire, Ordinance and Economic Development.

I have been involved in designing many Ordinances and Resolutions throughout my years of service. These have given residents a better quality of life. I was a sponsor on the Drinking Water Protection Ordinance so that there would be no expansion over the Barnes Aquifer. I worked hard to help bring this about.

As a City Councilor I am particularly proud of my residents and myself for working tirelessly to preserve many acres of conservation land, maintaining the rural character of the land and reducing urban sprawl. There are now more walking trails in Ward 6 connecting Conservation Lands and we have made great progress protecting wildlife. Residents who own private property abutting conservation land have offered to sell their property to the City with restrictions that nothing is built on it.

Since the closure of the Landfill on Glendale Road many residents have brought to my attention the possibility of a solar array at this site and I have been very vocal in support of this installation. It is still unknown how large of an array and exactly where a solar array could be situated at the landfill. Hopefully this project will prove to be technically and economically feasible at that site.

As a City Councilor I have stressed to Chris Mason, Northampton Energy and Sustainability Officer, that Open Public Hearings, transparency and communication regarding solar arrays be put in place with all abutters in Ward 6 and Northampton residents.

I am proud to be a member of the District Attorney’s Citizen Advisory Board for over 2 years including the Civil Rights Advisory Committee.

I am a member of the Northampton Commission on Disability, and have been for several years. We have worked hard to achieve our goals, such as Braille and Large Print menus that have been introduced in many Northampton restaurants. And we continue to add local restaurants, including Florence. We have introduced roundtable meetings with surrounding Disability Commissions. We have had multiple meetings with PVTA to improve transportation for elderly and disabled residents.

Communication and transparency is essential and all residents want to be heard. I work hard to make myself available to my residents day and night and want to hear all their concerns.

As a City Councilor it is my Fiscal Responsibility to look at the Budget carefully.

Here are my priorities:
  • Budget: It's obvious that the cost of living in Northampton is a top concern. Seniors, disabled people and working families are tapped out. A new Stormwater Utility Fee has been initiated. It's time to explore other sources of revenue and use City resources more efficiently. During my last term in office many residents in Ward 6 encouraged me to have Northampton install an “Open Checkbook” website. This makes our City Government more transparent, accessible and accountable to the people it serves. Working with Mayor Narkewicz, Northampton’s “Open Checkbook” was installed in April 2014. I feel that every citizen has the right to know where and how their hard earned tax-payer dollars are being spent in this City.
  • Roads: Road conditions are deplorable. As a City Councilor I have, for several years, been voicing concerns for Burts Pitt Road and Park Hill Road. They are unsafe. Bikers, walkers, the disabled and vehicles are affected by the potholes and road deterioration. We will continue our efforts to have these roads reconstructed.
  • Intersection of Ryan Road and Florence Road: In spite of all the meetings that were held we are still waiting for approval from the Governor of releasing the money to make this intersection safe for bikers, walkers, the disabled and vehicles.
  • Quality Education: We need to keep all our Elementary schools open. These locally-focused schools anchor neighborhoods and allow teachers and administrators to give students quality attention.
  • Public Safety: Northampton police continue to strive to maintain the quality of public services while preserving public confidence and support. Partnering with Ward 6 and Northampton residents, our police department offers a wide range of proactive and preventative strategies. Our Fire Rescue Department safeguards the lives and property and enhances the quality of life of Northampton residents. They provide a wide range of fire, rescue and emergency medical services, and a high level of life safety education to the City.
  • Economic Development: We need to look at how to keep our businesses here in Northampton, and how to promote business development. The City of Northampton continues to build a strong local economy by promoting local business development and integrating sustainable business practices.
  • PILOT Program: As a City Councilor I am in full support of the Mayor’s proposal of Payment In-lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program. PILOT programs help alleviate a growing reliance on property taxes to fund tight municipal budgets. We must expand both the number and scope of PILOT agreements with our largest tax-exempt institutions to help fund critical city services and ensure our long-term fiscal stability.
  • Human Rights: As a City Councilor, I supported the establishment of The Northampton Human Rights Commission, which was established in 1998 to advocate for the civil rights of all residents and visitors of the City.
  • Best Practices: As a City Councilor I supported a Resolution promoting Best Practices in Northampton Decision-Making. I feel that transparency is extremely important and that there should be public hearings when a proposal that could affect the quality of life or fees is brought forward I feel that we need to continue Best Practices so people feel they are being heard.
  • Ward 6 has had some changes. Over the past two years there has not been significant home development. In 2013 there was an open hearing with many residents concerning the deterioration of Sylvester Road. Our strong voices were heard, and the reconstruction of Sylvester Road was started in 2014. The quality of life for Sylvester Road residents has been greatly improved.
We have had many open public hearings that affected all wards in Northampton:
  • Stormwater Utility Fees: As City Councilors we were asked to select a resident from each ward to serve on the new Stormwater Ad-Hoc Advisory Task Force that was formed on March 7, 2013. I had one resident that I selected from my ward and the Mayor nominated a resident also. The Army Corp of Engineers unfunded mandates resulted in the Stormwater Utility Fee.
  • Vibrant Sidewalks: September 15 and October 14, 2015: The Committee on Social Services, Veterans, Culture, and Recreation held two Open Public Hearings on the “Resolution to Support Vibrant Sidewalks”. Due to these hearings many residents and people with disabilities voiced their concerns about benches being placed in the center of Florence. Benches were installed on May 18, 2015.
  • Pulaski Park: The renovation/rehabilitation/restoration of Pulaski Park. Open Public Workshops were held for all Northampton residents in May, April and June of 2014. After presentations residents broke up into roundtables to voice their vision for the Park as well as its intended uses. I attended all three meetings and joined in the roundtable discussions with some of the residents from Ward 6 and other Wards. I am pleased with the results.
I want to thank the Ward 6 Association for working with me to make Ward 6 a vibrant, diverse and safe place to live.

I am very proud to serve as a City Councilor in Ward 6 and in our City, a Community that embraces tolerance and diversity. I believe I have an obligation to my residents of Ward 6, and I will continue to be a persistent, tireless, and effective worker on your behalf.

Please vote for me Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015.



   
Hampshire County Law Day on May 1, 2015 Old Superior Court Northampton. In commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta, inspiration for the Declaration of Independence and Constitution The 10 Facts about Magna Carta. Magna Carta, means, The Great Charter in Latin. Being on the Citizen Advisory Committee for the District Attorneys office for 4 years now. I really enjoy being involved with Civil Rights, Human Rights.Democracy, the rights we enjoy today, and our opportunity to strengthen Human Rights around the world.



   
May 2, 2015. Congressman Jim McGovern, Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, Hampshire Register of Deeds Mary Olberding, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, Northampton Councilors Jesse Adams, Maureen Carney, Ryan O'Donnell, Gina Louise Sciarra, Marianne LaBarge and Alisa Klein listen as Mayor David Narkewicz reads the proclamation for Pride Day in Northampton


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