North Adams swears in its first woman mayor
Amanda Burke is reporting for The Berkshire Eagle Jennifer Macksey made history January 1, when she was sworn in as the first woman mayor of North Adams, Mass. After taking the oath of office as the city's 33rd mayor during a ceremony held at Drury High School, Macksey pledged a commitment to securing both generational change and basic services. "My administration's biggest challenge will be to regain the confidence in our residents to believe in government, so they believe we will and can work in their best interest." The Democrat addressed approximately 175 onlookers at the event, which also saw the swearing-in of a new city council. Following a difficult, divisive year in North Adams politics, a theme of the proceeding was collaboration. Macksey said, “My administration’s biggest challenge will be to regain the confidence in our residents to believe in government, so they believe we will and can work in their best interest.” She pledged to be a “hands-on mayor,” describing her vision as being an accessible leader who is present in schools, businesses and neighborhoods while representing her constituents in “the most respectful and honorable manner.” Macksey is the city’s former director of finance. She promised to break ground on a new public safety complex “within the next two years,” while financing the undertaking “without placing an unfair tax burden on our taxpayers.” She also vowed to address deteriorating streets, homes, sidewalks, and flood control systems, while giving immediate attention to the historic library, and restoring Western Gateway Heritage State Park. Macksey said she will eliminate blight, get tough on absentee landlords and reinstate the position of municipal code enforcement officer. She noted that improving the quality of life in North Adams begins with safety first. This year is a year of firsts for North Adams: Macksey became the city’s first woman mayor, Ashley Shade is the first transgender person and Michael Obasohan is the first person of color to serve on the city council. Read the full story in The Berkshire Eagle.