Michael Quinlan in running for Ward 1 seat on Northampton City Council


Staff Writer
Published: 6/21/2019 12:06:34 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Michael Quinlan Jr. is running to be the next City Councilor from Ward 1 to take his service in the city to the next level.

“I have a passion for Northampton,” he said.

In 2003, Quinlan and his wife, Kimm, chose to move from Bel-chertown back to Northampton, where they both went to school.

“We just had this tug for the Northampton schools,” he said.

Quinlan and Kimm’s sons, Patrick, 20, and Tucker, 17, both graduated from Jackson Street School, JFK Middle School and Northampton High School, just as their father did.

Since returning to the city where he grew up, Quinlan has been a volunteer in the community, coaching his children in sports when they were younger and, since 2017, serving on the Whiting Street Fund Committee, which advises the mayor on the distribution of money earned from the trust fund established in the 19th century to help the “worthy poor.”

“This is a logical next step,” Quinlan said.

Quinlan works for Table and Vine as its manager of fine wine. Table and Vine is owned by Big Y, and Quinlan has worked for Big Y since 1996. He started part time when he was teaching preschool and kindergarten before he was offered a full-time position that paid more than his two jobs combined.

“It changed our lives a lot,” he said.

He believes his work experience can be applied to the city: “Municipalities are ultimately a service corporation,” he said.

Residents expect to receive good services, he pointed out, such as schools and police and fire protection, in return for the investment of their tax dollars. He also said that he is a supporter of Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz.

“He’s managing the money as best an executive can,” he said.

Quinlan said he hadn’t run for Ward 1 in the past because he thought Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Carney, who isn’t running for reelection, was doing a good job.

Andrew Smith, who works as the director of conservation and sustainability for the city of Holyoke, is also running for the seat.

In addition to Carney, City Council President Ryan O’Donnell, Ward 2 City Councilor Dennis Bidwell and Ward 7 City Councilor Alisa Klein are not running for reelection. Ward 4 City Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra is running for an at-large City Council seat, while Ward 5 City Councilor David Murphy is facing a challenge from Alex Jarrett, a worker-owner at Pedal People.

Quinlan said he’s knocked on probably 100 doors campaigning already. He said his campaign has been well received, and that he’s proud of the diversity in the signatures he’s collected to get on the ballot, including people who have lived in Northampton for generations, renters and people who moved to the city recently.

In terms of issues, he said that the biggest issue he’s heard about is concern about infrastructure, specifically paving and potholes. Supporting businesses in Northampton is also on voters’ minds, he said.

Ward 1 is home to a number of affordable housing properties, he noted, saying he would like to make sure that they are good places to live for their residents.

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