| Ryan Feyre
NORTHAMPTON — A week after solidifying the makeup of the Committee on City Services and Community Resources, the Northampton City Council organized the composition of its other two major committees.
For the next two years, At-Large City Councilor Marissa Elkins, At-Large City Councilor Garrick Perry, City Council Vice President Rachel Maiore and City Council President Alex Jarrett will serve on the council’s Committee on Legislative Matters.
In the past, Legislative Matters has analyzed and discussed several key issues relating to the city including the nuances of a cannabis cap in Northampton and minutiae around a home rule petition that would eliminate brokers’ fees for prospective Northampton renters, among many other topics.
During its Jan. 29 organizational meeting, the committee unanimously voted to elect Elkins as the chair of Legislative Matters for this term.
Jarrett, who nominated Elkins for the position, commended Elkins for her “attention to detail” and passion for legislation.
“I’m very happy and glad to be serving in this capacity,” said Elkins, who is in her second term on council. “I enjoyed very much my first term on the committee and I’m happy to be leading in this way.”
Perry, meanwhile, was elected vice-chair of Legislative Matters.
The Northampton City Council Committee on Finance also conducted its first meeting of the year on Jan. 29. Maiore, Elkins, Ward 1 City Councilor Stan Moulton and Ward 6 City Councilor Marianne LaBarge will serve on the committee for the next two years.
One of the most important duties of the finance committee is dealing with the city’s budget from year-to-year as well as other financial items relating to the city.
During the Jan. 29 meeting, the committee unanimously elected Maiore as the chair of finance and Moulton as the vice chair.
“I think we have an excellent committee here, and I’m very excited to have the experience of everyone on this committee,” said Maiore, who is serving in her third term on council. “We don’t know what the future brings this year and the budget, and I think we’re going to need a collaborative approach, and I hope we all will play a dynamic part in deciding how we move forward on finance committee.”
Both committees, along with the other two standing committees — City Services and Community Resources — are important extensions of the City Council because they typically involve more robust and informal conversations with the public that may ultimately influence the decision-making of the full council.
Usually, the full council will refer an item to one of these committees for further discussion and public comment. The committees will then provide a positive, neutral or negative recommendation on the item before the item returns to the full council for a vote.
Readers can check the Northampton city website to check for committee meeting times and how they will be conducted.