Easthampton Mayor LaChapelle tapped for governor’s Reopening Advisory Board

  • Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle speaks during her 2019 State of the City address at the Municipal Building.

  • Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

Staff Writer
Published: 4/29/2020 2:34:16 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Mayor Nicole LaChapelle is among the members of Gov. Charlie Baker’s Reopening Advisory Board, announced on Tuesday, which has been tasked with advising the Baker administration on how to reopen the state’s economy in phases after much of it was shuttered in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

 “I’m looking forward to serve,” LaChapelle said. “It’s a huge responsibility.”

LaChapelle, who began her work with the board on Tuesday, is one of three municipal officials on the board and the only such official from western Massachusetts. She was appointed to the board by Baker.

The board also consists of three public health officials, including Baystate Health President and CEO Mark Keroack, 10 representatives from the business community, and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. It is co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy and “will meet with key stakeholders and solicit input from a variety of constituencies over the next three weeks to develop a report by May 18,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

LaChapelle said that the phased reopening of the economy is not tied to a particular date, and that the board is looking at “what people need” to feel safe.

The administration has stated that public health data and guidance from health care experts  will determine the timeline of the reopening process.

LaChapelle also said that it would be ludicrous to apply what works for Boston to western Massachusetts.

LaChapelle, a Democrat was a visible supporter of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential run. She is also a prominent backer of Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield.

Asked about serving on an advisory board for the state’s most prominent Republican, the mayor said, “COVID-19 is nonpartisan.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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