Daniel Rist: Reelect LaChapelle as Easthampton mayor

Published: 10/21/2021 10:50:03 AM

I have been a city councilor for 25 years, having served three mayors, and I’ve been chair of the Finance Committee for many years as well. I can safely say that I feel qualified to judge who our city should elect as mayor this November.

I certainly do not hesitate to endorse Nicolle LaChapelle for mayor as she has demonstrated a strong understanding of the needs of our city, and she has the gift of experience to help her for the next four years.

As the keeper of the city’s financial future, she has been fiscally prudent with budgeting, capital spending and investment in our future. One metric of this accomplishment is the condition of the city’s financial stability given almost $8 million dollars in our stabilization accounts (savings). This has led to an incredible AA+ bond rating, which has translated to extraordinary interest saving on our school bonding. She has instituted a “Tax rate stabilization” account which serves to keep taxes lower on those bond costs.

Yes, there are those in our City who rail against high property taxes, but they forget that it was the voters who overwhelmingly decided to raise taxes to pay for our much-needed new K-8 school.

She has also spends our cannabis revenue carefully using it recently to help with the main street renovation and the purchase of a new ambulance now before the council.

Nicole has been outspoken as she strives to fight institutional racism with a mayor’s pledge examination of racism in our government and is requiring all city officials to take racism workshops to better their understanding of what institutional racism is and how we can attack it.

Her experience is key to why we must reelect her. The other candidates running for mayor have no municipal experience. One opponent even wants to split the tax rate and raise taxes higher on businesses, which I am certain would drive our new small businesses out of town.

Her ability to get grants along with our planner Jeff Bagg, has been remarkable and is a testament to her forging and maintaining good relationships with our state government and Rep. Richie Neal. Recently, even Gov. Charlie Baker sang her praises at the cheery street grant announcement.

Nicole will use her experience, her government contacts and a keen eye for the future in her next term. She has demonstrated quite well that women can and do have the leadership skills to govern. Please reelect Nicole LaChapelle to keep our city moving forward.

Daniel D. Rist

Vice President,
Easthampton City Council




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