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General Government Committee MeetingOctober 15, 2018
Meetings & Notices
The General Government Committee of the North Adams City Council will meet
on Monday, October 15 at 5:00pm
in the Council Chambers.
1) Approval of Minutes
2) Public Arts Commission ordinance: Powers & Duties
Chair, General Government Commitee
General Government Commitee, North Adams City Council October 15, 2018 5:00 pm, Council chambers
• Eric Buddington, chair
• Rebbecca Cohen
• Paul Hopkins Also present:
• Keith Bona, City Councilor
• Jason LaForest, City Councilor
Eric Buddington chaired the meeting and took minutes. The meeting was called to order at 5:06 pm.
1 Approval of Minutes
Councilor Cohen noted two typographical errors in the minutes from the October 3 meeting: ’proposed’ and ’been’ were misspelled.
MOTION by Councilor Cohen to approve the corrected minutes, SECONDED by Councilor Hopkins, APPROVED unanimously.
2 PAC ordinance changes
2.1 Venue for submission
Councilor Buddington presented his revision of the Powers and Duties section of the Public Arts Commission ordinance, incorporating the changes suggested at the Committee’s October 3 meeting.
One proposal was to have the City Clerk receive all applications, to provide a well-defined first step for the process and ensure there will be a record of receipt. Buddinton reported that the Clerk has expressed concern that this would add complexity to the Clerk’s job, depending on the exact requirements; after receipt, the application would need to get to the Commissioners in a timely manner. Councilor Cohen requested the opinion of the Assistant Clerk as well, as the Clerk is retiring in January.
Councilor Bona stated that the Clerk’s office should only handle applications if they are destined for the City Council, since the Council appoints the clerk. He suggested using the Community Development office instead. Councilor Buddington noted that the Clerk handles many licenses and records that are not specific to the Council.
Councilor Hopkins noted that the Community Development office already handles submissions for the Planning Board.
The committee did not come to a decision on the venue for submission, pending more input from the involved offices.
2.2 Time limit for Commission action.
Councilor LaForest’s proposed language required the Public Arts Commission to act within 30 days of receipt of an application. Councilor Buddington suggested specific consequences if this requirement were not met.
Councilor Hopkins suggested a 90-day window, similar to the Planning Board’s requirement set in state law. In that case, an application is effectively approved if the Planning Board takes no action. If an applicant requests a delay, it extends this 90-day window.
Councilor Bona and Councilor Cohen agreed that 30 days is too short. Councilor Bona added that the PAC may need more time to get input from abutters and decide on maintenance and removal plans. He emphasized that abutters should receive notification of impending art.
MOTION by Councilor Cohen to change the 30-day limit to 90 days. SECONDED by Councilor Hopkins. APPROVED unanimously.
MOTION by Councilor Buddington to treat an application as approved if the Commission does not act within 90 days. Brref discussion raised concerns about the consequences of such automatic approval. Motion RESCINDED.
2.3 Application and Contract Process
Councilor Buddington summarized the process whereby the Commission would judge an application for public art, which would describe the proposed artwork and its installation. The contract with the artist would be a separate document, drafted after the application was approved and specifying ownership and responsibilities regarding the artwork.
MOTION to adjourn by Councilor Hopkins. SECONDED by Councilor Councilor Cohen, APPROVED unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 6:13 pm.