After reading Mayor Alcombright's campaign literature, I could not believe the things he was taking credit for.
The flyer, "Accomplishments through Action," was filled with untruths in an attempt to mask the failures of the Alcombright administration.
Violent crime is high, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as drug dealing, is running rampant, and there are fewer police. Our middle class is squeezed with higher taxes and fees, as well as a lack of quality jobs. Neighborhoods are unsafe and blight is becoming uncontrollable. The school system is in trouble as test scores are among the lowest in the state. There are 12 high schools in the county and Drury High School is at the bottom for SAT scores.
Below are some of the claims he is making:
Expanded opportunities for higher education: He implies he had something to do with MCLA's Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation. He had nothing to do with this project other than being mayor when they cut the ribbon.
More support for veterans: The mayor provides no information on how he offered more support. Did he show the veterans respect when he failed to insure the cemeteries were mowed for Memorial Day?
Rebuilding bridges with neighbors: His flyer had a picture of the Hadley Overpass reminding us this project is now two years over its original finish date and still going!
Largest state award for education: North Adams was approved for an 80 percent reimbursement for Conte renovation. The mayor calls it an "Education Award." It is the state share of the project.
Transparent and open communication: The mayor claims to be transparent, but he has been anything but. At least five meetings of the School Building Committee held between September, 2010 and February, 2011 were never posted as required by Open Meeting Law. The decision was made to renovate Conte at these meetings. There was no input from citizens.
The mayor has violated city ordinance and not received approval from City Council. Last month, the mayor apologized to the council for spending $150,000 on a study of the transfer station without approval.
Upgraded streets, lights and ADA requirements: The mayor has done little to upgrade the city's infrastructure. He implemented a sewer fee generating over $800,000, which was intended for new water pipes but ended being used to fund raises. ADA requirements were mandated by the federal government and the mayor has no choice but to comply.
Notable increase in industrial and retail/business investments: His first claim is the downtown is the busiest it has been since the late 80s. Take a look at downtown today compared to four years ago: Mohawk Bar building and all the businesses there closed; at the Holiday Inn, a large sign in the former Greylock Insurance space, "Office Space Available;" Sleepy's empty; Staples gone; Sears closed; McClelland's gone; 85 Main St. 50 percent empty, Dowlin Building empty; and no work on the Mohawk Theater renovation since Mayor Alcombright took office, despite promises the project would be completed no later than 2011.
The voters of North Adams have to answer two questions. Can we afford two more years of inaction from this mayor? And are you better off today then you were four years ago?