Northampton councilor Michael Quinlan sets sights on at-large seat

  • MICHAEL QUINLAN

Staff Writer
Published: 3/4/2021 7:49:16 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Ward 1 City Councilor Michael Quinlan announced Wednesday that he’s running for one of two at-large seats becoming vacant on the council.

“I feel the knowledge I have gained — and keep gaining on a daily basis — coupled with my energy and love for Northampton have prepared me for the at-large seat. I am ready to once again roll up my sleeves for the city I love,” Quinlan wrote in a statement.

The current two at-large members, Gina-Louise Sciarra and William Dwight, recently announced they wouldn’t be running for reelection to those council positions. Sciarra announced a campaign for mayor earlier this week.

Quinlan, 50, of Bridge Road, was first elected to the council in 2019. The city native works as the manager of fine wine at Table & Vine in West Springfield.

In his announcement, Quinlan highlighted priorities including recovering from the pandemic, addressing climate change and making city budgeting more transparent.

“As we all have been reminded over the past year, one of the most important things in life is community,” he said in a video announcement on his Facebook page. “Northampton is engaged in community discussions right now around emergency response and climate change mitigation. What’s important to me is the ability to listen and learn, and even adjust your views as new information comes to light.”

In January, the mayor presents a budget forecast to the City Council, and then presents the budget in the spring, Quinlan noted. He said he wants to make that budget process more transparent because “it’s a long gap in there to wonder what’s happening.”

Quinlan also is a council representative on the Policing Review Commission, which is expected to unveil a final report later this month.

“There may be opportunity for us to create some new response to certain things like mental health care,” he said. “That has become really the most obvious thing that this commission will likely recommend,” he said.

He also floated the idea of creating an official dog park in the city. “I do think there’s a need for it — I wouldn’t call it a desperate need by any means,” he said, adding that he’s heard from constituents about it.

So far, Quinlan said he has not heard of anyone who plans to run for the Ward 1 seat. If anyone is interested, he said, “I’d be thrilled to discuss it with them and answer any questions about what it’s like to serve on the council.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.




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