(Northampton, MA) - David Narkewicz has been sworn in to his second term as Mayor of Northampton. Speaking to a large crowd at the Senior Center Monday night Narkewicz thanked the residents of Northampton, outlined his accomplishments and spoke of the challenges that lie ahead.
Narkewicz said since he took office two years ago, the city is more financially stable, greener, and more technologically advanced. He said financial issues will continue to dog the city as long as state aid formulas remain outdated and localities are limited in their ability to raise revenues locally.
He said he’s tightened internal controls over spending, merged departmental functions, and crafted multi-year contracts with the city’s 14 unions. He said transferring municipal health insurance to the state’s GIC program resulted in historic cost savings. He pointed to the advent of passenger rail to the region, to the upcoming redevelopment of the Three-County Fairgrounds, and to a number of green initiatives including the preservation of 500 acres of open space. Narkewicz said new construction in the pipeline will bring 1.26-million in new tax revenues when completed.
He thanked voters for passing a proposition two-and-a-half override last year which helped replenish the city’s reserve funds and maintain its strong credit rating. Narkewicz said the biggest issue now facing Northampton is paying for storm water management and flood control. A proposal currently before the City Council would fund those big-ticket infrastructure items by charging property owners based upon the amount of impervious surface on their land. Storm water and flood control are on the agenda because of new mandates from the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers. Narkewicz called upon the Council to vote yes on the proposed stormwater utility and send it to his desk as soon as possible.
Narkewicz will be the first mayor to serve a four-year-term as outlined in the city’s new charter adopted in 2012.
In addition the School Committee, City Council and other officials were sworn in last night. Judge Michael Goggins served as the Master of Ceremonies, the invocation was delivered by Rabbi Justin David, and the National Anthem was performed by the Northamptones, an a-capella choral group from Northampton High School.