We met with Alisa Klein last Thursday. Alisa is Northampton’s Ward 7 city counselor. It was a cold day to meet but hot tea and hot chocolate at Bread Euphoria helped warm us up.
Alisa was very interested in our initiative and we can count on her as a supporter should the issue come up before the City Council. In fact, she provided suggestions for us on how to accomplish our aims. While the mayor can advance a proposal to debate a community network to the City Council, the City Council can also study initiatives like this. She suggested two possible approaches:
- The City Services Committee can look into it
- The City Council itself could appoint a three-month study committee to look into it
We have since reached out to two member of the City Services Committee: Dennis Bidwell (Ward 2) and James Nash (Ward 3). We met both of them last May at a meeting of the Economic Development Committee of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Based on that meeting, we counted them as tentative supporters or our initiative.
Alisa also suggested keeping Mayor Narkewicz informed.
We’re still hoping to reach out to all the city counselors in person, and are taking steps to reach beyond Alisa. We do believe that counselor at large Bill Dwight, and counselors Klein, Bidwell and Nash support our effort too. So we believe we are reaching critical mass where a majority of the city council will at least agree to study a community Internet for Northampton.
On a sad note, we learned that Alisa will not be seeking reelection to her Ward 7 seat. We appreciate her help working the machinery of city government and will be sad to see her go.