Northampton Media today posted a statement from Angela Plassmann, who is challenging incumbent Bob Reckman for the Ward 3 City Council seat. Here is the text of the statement.
Dear Residents of Ward 3:
I would like to take a moment to pause from the busy campaign schedule and share a few of my thoughts with you. Thank you for making the time to learn more about me and my commitment to this community.
I am a life-long resident of Ward 3, residing on Fair Street in the Meadows section of the city. All of my children attended the Northampton Public Schools and I have lived in Ward 3 for over 34 years.
In 2000, I began my employment with the City of Northampton, serving as the Board Coordinator for the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Commission. In 2003, I served as the Board Coordinator for the License Commission and Ordinance Committee, and as the Clerk to the City Council.
It was during this time that I saw firsthand the workings of City Hall, the Mayor’s office and the City Council. I found much to respect in my colleagues’ service, but I was also disappointed to discover the extent to which politics influenced decisions.
At the request of many of my neighbors, friends and acquaintances over several years, I made a decision to seek the Ward 3 City Council seat. I appreciate the support I have received thus far and if elected, it is my wish to earn the trust and respect of those who are currently supporting my opponent.
As your Ward 3 City Councilor, I will represent your interests in these critical areas:
Schools: I am committed to keeping all four elementary schools open, including Bridge Street School.
Infill: I support enacting design standards to ensure that future development is in harmony with the character and density of our neighborhoods, and that our green space is preserved.
Exit 19: I want to protect the Bridge Street neighborhood from the proposed massive I-91 Interchange, the need for which is not clear.
Roads: Our crumbling streets need priority attention.
Crime: Northampton’s rate of property crime exceeds the statewide average by 25%. I will work with citizens and the police department to bring this down. In particular, the two years of suspicious fires in the Hawley/Market Street area need to be resolved.
Drugs: It’s time to address drug use in our schools, meadows and neighborhoods with education, treatment and enforcement.
Accessibility: I will hold regular open office hours throughout the ward to address your concerns as they arise, and use my website and other media to alert you to matters that affect your interests.
Best Practices: I will work to implement Best Practices—term limits, explanation of the City budget, protocol for conducting meetings and making documents related to decision-making public.
Significant differences exist between myself and my opponent, incumbent City Councilor Bob Reckman. At the Ward 3 Association debate on October 19, Councilor Reckman said he did not believe there was a drug problem in Northampton. My conversations with Northampton families, and my own experiences as a parent and Meadows resident, suggest otherwise. Our neighborhood parents need a representative who will not be complacent about crime and drugs.
Protecting our local natural resources is a high priority for me. I object to the alternative wording of the landfill expansion ballot question, drafted by Councilor Reckman and two other councilors, because it was imbalanced in favor of the landfill and inaccurately minimized the potential health risks and the danger of polluting the Barnes Aquifer. We need a councilor who represents the interests of homeowners rather than backing the Mayor’s preferential treatment of a few large developers.
I would also like to restore a healthier balance of power between the Mayor and the City Council, through such policies as mayoral term limits, which Councilor Reckman opposes.
I am personally committed to this Ward and will work diligently to provide you with the representation you deserve. Please vote for me on November 3, 2009.
Angela D. Plassmann
Candidate for Ward 3 City Councilor
We are publishing this information for the purpose of voter education. NSNA does not endorse individual political candidates for office.
Springfield Republican: “Northampton City Council candidate: Angela D. Plassmann” (10/26/09)
Springfield Republican: “Northampton City Council candidate: Bob Reckman” (10/26/09)
Northampton Media Video: Plassmann Debates Reckman for Ward 3 City Council Seat, 10/19/09
Northampton Media: “Plassmann v Reckman” (10/20/09)
Gazette: “Ward 3 hopefuls air override, drugs” (10/20/09)
Northampton Media: “Bob Reckman Consents to Interview, Submits Statement” (10/23/09)
Northampton Media: Interview with Angela Plassmann, Ward 3 City Council Candidate
Website: “Angela Plassmann for Ward 3 City Council”