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Northampton City Council elects Jesse Adams as first-ever vice president

Councilors Thursday elected At-Large Councilor Jesse M. Adams to serve as their second in command, one of the initial steps in implementing a new charter approved by voters last month.

Adams, who faced no opposition and won a unanimous vote, said he was motivated by a desire to help Council President William H. Dwight through this critical transition period in city government.

“This new change is substantial and I think it’s going to a lead to a better separation of powers,” Adams said. “I want the opportunity to help make it be effective and help assist the council president in that transition.”

As vice president, Adams will fill in for Dwight in the event that he cannot lead the council. Dwight took over as chairman of the council meetings, replacing Mayor David J. Narkewicz last month after voters overwhelmingly approved the new charter.

“My motivation is to make this work and to assist the council president in this new change and this transformation,” Adams said.

In a brief speech before the vote, Adams touted his experience on the council, in particular his role as co-chairman of a charter review committee. Adams also said he’s made it a point to take leadership roles in the numerous other committees he’s served on in the last three years.

Fellow councilors said they supported Adams because of his leadership on that initial charter committee and his recent effort to comb through the council’s many rules and recommend updates and changes, many of which the council will approve in the coming weeks.

In other charter-related news, the council created a five-member committee to review and revise city ordinances to make sure they comply with the charter. That committee will include Adams and fellow councilors David A. Murphy and Maureen T. Carney, as well as David Stevens, the former chairman of the Charter Review Committee. City Clerk Wendy Mazza is required by the charter to be on the committee.

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