Bidwell Advisors
December 3, 2018
To neighbors and friends, Ward 2 and elsewhere, 

With the fall elections behind us it's full speed ahead on a variety of important matters in our City government. I hope some of you will choose to participate in the various opportunities available for citizen involvement, described below.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your questions and suggestions. 


Interested in serving on the City's Charter Review Committee?
The City Charter requires that the Mayor and City Council join to appoint a Charter Review Committee every ten years, in years ending in 9. That means that the search is on for individuals who would like to participate in this important review of the City's Charter, which is the document providing the basic framework for the organization and function of City government. Think of it as our "Constitution," spelling out the responsibilities of the executive and legislative branches of City government, as well as the role of the School Committee and other boards and elected officials.

This special committee will consist of nine members - a Council member appointed by the Council president, a City employee appointed by the Mayor, and citizens from each of the seven wards, appointed by the Mayor in consultation with the Ward councilor. All members must be registered voters in Northampton.

The Committee will begin its work sometime after the first of the year, meeting one to two times per month, and filing its report, including recommended revisions to the Charter, by the end of 2019 at the latest. The Committee will work closely with City Solicitor Alan Seewald.

Serving on this Committee provides an outstanding opportunity to become familiar with the machinery of City government, and to have a voice in making changes.

If anyone is interested, please do two things: Complete this form, and contact me to let me know of your interest.
Please come to a Ward 2 discussion of Human Rights issues in Northampton on December 11
Please consider attending a Ward 2 listening session on human rights issues hosted by me, the Northampton Human Rights Commission, and Northampton Connects. This community conversation will take place on Tuesday, December 11, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm, at the Hampshire YMCA, 286 Prospect Street.

International Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is in recognition of Human Rights Day that the City's Human Rights Commission is organizing a series of conversations, between December 10 and 16, about human rights issues in Northampton. These conversations will be facilitated with the assistance of Northampton Connects, and will be hosted by the City's ward councilors.

If you can't attend the Ward 2 session, you are welcome to attend any of the others around the City:
Monday, Dec. 10, Ward 6, Ryan Road School, 6-7:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 10, Ward I, Jackson Street School, 7-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, Ward 2, YMCA, 286 Prospect St., 7:30-9 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, Ward 5 Florence Civic Center, 90 Park St., 7-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 12, Ward 3, Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., 7-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 13, Ward 4, Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., 6-8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 16, Ward 7, location TBD, 7-8:30 p.m.
Openings on various City boards and commissions
There are many opportunities for volunteer service to our City. Currently there are openings on the following councils, boards and commissions:
  • Arts Council
  • Central Business Architecture (alternate member)
  • Conservation Commission
  • Council on Aging
  • Disability Commission
  • Housing Partnership
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Planning Board
  • Transportation & Parking Commission
  • Trust Fund
  • Whiting Street Committee
I sit on the City's City Services Committees, which reviews all of the mayor's appointments to City boards and commissions. I am consistently struck by two things in reviewing these appointments: the outstanding qualifications of Northampton residents looking to serve their city, and the rather advanced age of so many of the applicants. I would be delighted to see the younger residents of Ward 2 step forward to become involved in the important work of City government.

Here is more information on current openings, and the form to use in applying. 

If you'd like to talk about any of these opportunities to serve, please contact me.
Dennis Bidwell City Council Ward 2
19 Forbes Avenue
Northampton, MA 01060