Video: Bay State Village Forum for Mayoral Candidates, 10/21/09; Term Limits; North Street Condo Proposal

Here is a complete video of the 10/21/09 mayoral debate sponsored by Northampton’s Bay State Village Association. Tom McCusker moderated the debate between incumbent Clare Higgins and challenger Michael Bardsley. This video is 47 minutes long and was recorded by Lachlan Ziegler.

Video highlight: Candidates discuss infill, sprawl, and protecting the interests of existing residents (2min 43sec)

Michael Bardsley: “We should try to have standards that will make sure that a new development that goes in maintains the integrity of the neighborhood… For example…there is a project…moving forward to go in on North Street, and from what I know of that project, I’ve looked at the site, I’ve looked at the plans, to me that is not a project that is going to maintain the integrity of that neighborhood. It’s a project that’s very dissimilar to the other homes around there, and I think that’s problematic.”

Video highlight: “Do you support term limits for the position of the mayor?” (2min 8sec)

Clare Higgins: “We have term limits. It’s called the ballot box… I don’t think that term limits necessarily are helpful… I also think my opinion is less important than what the full citizenry’s opinion is, and that’s something that, if we do a charter review, that may be very well what is one of the things that is taken up in a charter review process.”

Michael Bardsley: “For the executive position, yes, I do support term limits, comparable to what we have for the national government… Running for office is very difficult. Running against an incumbent is even more difficult. It’s a lot of time. It’s a lot of money… We need term limits. It’s healthy for the community to force an election periodically and have a change…”

See also:

Latest Kohl Condo Proposal for North Street: 20 Units as Duplexes
The two cul-de-sacs of the development would be awkward, with poor sight lines, and poorly integrated with the surrounding neighborhood. This would likely impair neighborhood cohesion and might lead to security issues. The Sustainable Northampton Plan disfavors cul-de-sacs…

The density would still be too high relative to the amount of land suitable for building. The proposed units look like they are squashed into North Street’s backyard space. This disrupts the character of the neighborhood and intrudes on neighbors’ privacy. The units would not be in harmonious relation to their surroundings…

We presume the condos would still be built on slab foundations. This is also out of character with the neighborhood and raises durability questions

Our Ad in the May 6 Gazette: “How to Avoid Classic Infill Design Mistakes”

Lessons from San Diego: Why We Need Infill Design Guidelines

Portland Infill Design Strategies: Best Practices for Context-Sensitive Infill Design

Good Cul-De-Sacs and Bad Ones

Condo Monotony: The Future of Ward 3?

Our Column in Today’s Gazette: The Hidden Risks of ‘Smart Growth’ (12/4/07)

Metro Portland’s Long Experience with Smart Growth: A Cautionary Tale
It is certainly the case that suburban-type development requires infrastructure development. But so does in-fill development. The important difference is that infrastructure development in the suburban context occurs in a green-field development setting; that is, infrastructure development costs are favored by the relative ease with which right-of-way can be obtained, and the fact that there is not much need to acquire and demolish existing development. For example, Portland is currently laboring to finance a multi-billion dollar consolidated sewer outflow system to accommodate the effects that dense (and impervious) development is having on surface water accumulations in the region.

Best Practices Meeting of November 12: Video; Discussion of Term Limits (11/15/08)
…some suggestions saw disagreement, notably term limits for elected and/or appointed officials, which were touched on during 2:29:50-2:34:57 [Wendy Foxmyn spoke in favor of term limits, Ward 3 City Councilor Bob Reckman opposed them].