At our monthly meeting held on Tuesday, October 18, Olivia provided her community relations updates, with a focus on the draft entertainment licensing process under review by the Ipswich Select Board. After extensive discussion, the Council voted to recommend that the Chamber take a position in opposition to the proposed policy. Council members also shared news and information from their respective communities during the meeting’s Roundtable discussions, including the following:
- Jim Brown reported that Manchester will have a special town meeting on November 17 The warrant will include a citizen’s petition to establish a recall procedure for the town.
- Ruth Pino shared the news that Gloucester has a new conservation agent and assistant; and the Health Department has a new director.
- Meredith Fine reported that the Gloucester has started a new master planning process.
- Ken and Ruth updated the Council on Gloucester’s annual tax classification process, with the Budget and Finance Committee meeting on November 3 and the City Council’s public hearing and vote on November 9 .
- Greg Bover reported that the Rockport Board of Health is looking into the issue of noise and air pollution from idling trains, and he noted that the T’s commuter rail operations in Rockport are not in compliance with a consent decree.
- The Council reviewed questions on the November 8 ballot, with particular focus on Questions 1 and 4. The Council voted to have Chamber staff share summary information about all four ballot questions with Chamber members, and to poll members regarding Question 1. The Council also recommended that the Chamber share the results of this poll, but not take a position pro or con relative to any of the ballot questions.
Other Government Affairs activities in October included Fall Division meetings in Essex, Ipswich and Manchester, the Greater Cape Ann Caucus, held in Ipswich on Friday, October 21, and staff follow up on accessing funding in the state budget earmarked for the Chamber in support of the Cape Ann Works program.
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 greater 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, Olivia, Peter or me. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, Election Day.
Chair, Government Affairs Council
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