In our most recent meeting on February 11 the Government Affairs Council discussed the Spring Cape Ann Caucus (tentative date March 27). Ken gave progress reports on the proposed noise policy in Essex and on the Phase One study on the North Shore Blue Economy, and announced that there will be a “report out” event at Endicott College on April 1 (invitation only). He also reported that the Cape Ann Innovators Collaborative (CAIC) is planning a follow up forum on the topic of Cape Ann’s “foodscape”, including food security, coordinated by local food writer Heather Attwood.
The Council also discussed the idea of hosting a conference this spring focused on the topic of housing that would bring together local public officials, housing advocates and business leaders.
The Council met with CATA Administrator Felicia Webb, who presented information to the Council on a wide range of topics, including:
- Background on Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) and CATA, which was established in 1974
- Workforce Transportation Project: a grant application was submitted by CATA in October, 2019 – with Chamber support – and was awarded by Mass DOT on February 11
- Other current CATA projects, including
- Dialysis transportation service to Beverly
- Website update
- Improving service to Essex
Council members also updated one another on activities around Cape Ann, including:
- Bill Fonvielle, a member of the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee announced that major park improvements will be discussed at the committee’s next meeting
- Bob Visnick, Rockport Town Moderator, reported that a school budget override question will be on the agenda for Rockport’s annual town meeting
Ruth Pino, tri-chair of Gloucester 400, reported that the winner of the commemorative medal competition will be announced at the February 25 meeting of the City Council.
The Government Affairs Council leads the Chamber’s focus on economic development and public policy, one of our key platforms. This Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9 AM, and participation is open to any Chamber member with an interest in being engaged with our state and local government and helping foster a vibrant Cape Ann economy. Currently, those who are part of our monthly meetings include representatives from Cape Ann’s industrial, tourism, government, real estate, legal, non-profit and services sectors.
To learn more or join in these meetings, please contact Ken or me. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 10 at the Chamber.
Chair, Government Affairs Council, Scott Energy Company