Campaign Notebook: Paul Spector ramps up re-election campaign in Northampton’s Ward 2
Michael A. Janik
NORTHAMPTON — Ward 2 City Councilor Paul D. Spector is making a pitch to residents to send him back to the council chambers for another two-year term this fall, saying he has been a strong advocate for the ward during his decade on the council.
The council’s second-longest serving member, Spector said he has the “vision and institutional memory” to continue his service to both his ward and the city. Spector said he has clear understanding of the scope of the job, the role that he serves on the council and the strengths that he brings to certain issues.
“As the years have gone on, I’ve become a more effective on the council,” Spector said.
The 64-year-old incumbent faces a challenge this year from Jason T. Foster, a businessman who lives on Round Hill Road.
During his time on the council, Spector has helped shape many citywide initiatives. Some of those include playing a key role in the passage of the Community Preservation Act; campaigning to keep class sizes small, build a new police station and maintain city services; supporting energy conservation measures including Solarize Northampton and re-invigorating the energy conservation commission; and developing a long-range plan to fund the required upkeep of the city’s dams and stormwater system.
In his professional life, Spector is a mediator and specialist in organizational development who works with cities, boards of education, colleges and nonprofit groups.
As a councilor, Spector is chairman of both the Economic Development, Housing and Land Use Committee, where he works on development issues facing the city, and of the Committee on Appointments and Evaluations, where he leads the screening of volunteer candidates for the city’s committees. He also serves on the City Council/Board of Public Works Conference Committee that deals with issues involving roads, infrastructure and waste and landfill management.
Spector served as board chairman for the National Priorities Project, a role in which he’s helped provide tools for community groups to shape federal budget priorities promoting social and economic justice. Additionally, he is an advocate for rail trail development, including a trail from New Haven, Conn., to Northampton that he first envisioned 25 years ago.
Spector and his wife, pediatrician Jane Cross, have lived on Massasoit Street for 20 years. Their daughters, Jessie and Abby, attended Northampton public schools.
Adams preps for kickoff party
At-large City Councilor Jesse M. Adams officially launches his re-election bid Friday at a campaign kickoff party with friends, family and supporters. The kickoff will take place at the Elk’s Lodge 997, 17 Spring St., Florence, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The kickoff will serve as the first big event of Adams’ quest for a third straight term on the council and marks the start of what his campaign believes will be a busy electoral season. In addition to Adams, the race for the council’s two at-large seats includes incumbent William H. Dwight and challenger Anthony Patillo, the city’s former building commissioner.
Adams said he has already campaigned in every ward and precinct, dropping off campaign literature and discussing issues with residents. Prior to joining the council, Adams served for four years as a trustee of Forbes Library.
“It has been an honor to serve,” Adams said in a statement. “I have been an independent voice who has not shied away from the tough votes. If re-elected I will continue with careful budget scrutiny and oversight while being an effective advocate for the whole city.”
A Northampton attorney with a private solo practice, Adams said he takes pride in his work as an advocate for legal justice.
LaBarge plans campaign kickoff
City Councilor Marianne L. LaBarge will formally kick off her campaign to represent Ward 6 for a ninth straight term on Sunday, Oct. 13.
LaBarge faces two challengers for her seat this fall in Yvonne Keefe and Michael Janik. The three are slated to square off in a preliminary election next Tuesday, with the top two vote-getters moving on to the municipal election Nov. 5.
LaBarge’s kickoff will take place at the Mineral Hills Winery at Godard’s Red Hen Farm, 592 Sylvester Road. The family-friendly event, to take place at the winery’s new pavilion, will include refreshments.
To RSVP, contact campaign manager Patricia Healey at 413-335-6326 or Jackie Lienert at 413-303-9775.