Northampton Media: “Bob Reckman Consents to Interview, Submits Statement”

Northampton Media posted a 26-minute video interview and statement from incumbent Ward 3 City Councilor Bob Reckman yesterday.

Here is the text of Mr. Reckman’s statement:

Dear Ward Three Neighbor:

I’m writing to introduce myself and explain why I am running for re-election as the City Councilor who represents you.

I have owned and lived in a home at 36 Fruit Street for 32 years and was a design/build contractor and an owner of Construct Associates for 25 years. I retired two years ago but continue to own some commercial space on Service Center Road. My wife, Joan Braderman, is a filmmaker and Professor of Film, Video and Media Studies at Hampshire College.

I believe in hands-on, consultative leadership. I listen to all points of view, but just as importantly, I think about them carefully to find ways to advance the best interests of our Ward through real accomplishments.


Much of my work over many years has been to make our neighborhood, Ward 3, more cohesive and safer for all of our residents and to protect and enhance the individual character of the varied parts of our Ward. Examples of my accomplishments include:


The river gives us a gift: a vast, calm and beautiful open space in town with working farms and our Fairgrounds. When we found that our wonderful Meadows were poorly protected and some of the residents were treated unfairly, we worked to create the Meadows Land Use Plan. In the spring and summer of 2004, Councilor Marilyn Richards and I worked with the City’s Planning Office to create a process with maximum public input from you and other citizens. I moderated eight public forums in which 350 citizens participated, advising us on what we needed to consider to create a good land use plan. This was a great example of open space preservation and sustainability achieved by democratic consensus.


Many of us were saddened when the Three County Fair was unable to continue at its previous size and level of activities. New residential development at the Fairgrounds would have been very unfortunate. The Three County Fair Redevelopment Committee, of which I am an active member, has created an excellent master plan for a revitalized Fairgrounds and is now working on permitting and funding for construction. I have also worked successfully to achieve substantial improvement in the relations between the Fair and its neighbors.


I have tried to encourage our City to grow more wisely by playing a key role in creating the Northampton Design Forum and bringing the Notre Dame Graduate Urban Design Studio to Northampton in the fall of 2008. The spaces we live and work in determine the kinds of lives we lead and the jobs we can do. That is why I continue to be active in the Design Forum.



In 2004, four of us began the Ward Three Neighborhood Association. The Association was created to provide direct feedback to our City Council representative and to be an independent, non-partisan voice for our residents, businesses and farmers. We have held countless forums, picnics, discussion groups and social events. We are about to hold our 5th annual clean-up of the Meadows to remove all manner of trash from the flood plain. I believe this is how community is built and how people learn to trust each other – by working side by side together on common goals. The Ward Three Neighborhood Association has become a very successful active and diverse advocacy group for our Ward. It has been helpful to me as a Councilor and I take great pride in it.


  • I designed and coordinated the volunteer construction of the first playground at Bridge St. School. * I worked for three years to expand the school, serving as Vice-chair of Bridge Street School Building Committee. I will work to keep it open. * I am serving as a member of the Project Advisory Committee on Exit 19 of I-91. I believe the plan proposed by Mass Highway is too extensive and hope that it will be significantly modified by our participation.


I believe that commitment to our entire community as a City Councilor means rolling up your sleeves and trying to identify and resolve potential problems before they happen. You can see this by the work I have done over many years to help our City thrive and grow. Unlike my opponent, who has limited experience in City government, prior to my election I served the City in a multitude of ways. These include:

  • Member of the Board of Public Works for 14 years, half of them as chairman. * Co-chair of the JFK Middle School Building Committee. * Member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. * Volunteer coordinator for the initial renovation of the Grove St. Inn Homeless Shelter.


Before I was on the Council, I was one of a group of citizens concerned that our City government be as responsive and welcoming to our citizens as possible. Our efforts led to the creation of the “Best Practices” committee, on which I served. With substantial input from citizens and from City officials, we produced a report that has resulted in changes that will help our City become even more transparent and open to robust citizen participation.

I ask for your support – and your vote – because I have shown my deep commitment to Ward 3 and to Northampton by helping create open and democratic forums to discuss issues we care about, and then to follow through with concrete actions to make sure we accomplish what we set out to do. I look forward to having an opportunity to continue my service to you and to our City.

—Bob Reckman

Bob Reckman for City Council, 36 Fruit St, Northampton, MA
Colette Katsikas, Treasurer

We are publishing this information for the purpose of voter education. NSNA does not endorse individual political candidates for office.

See also:

Northampton Media: Interview with Angela Plassmann, Ward 3 City Council Candidate

Website: “Angela Plassmann for Ward 3 City Council”