NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 7, 2013

Kezer gives class a primer on local government

Mayor Thatcher Kezer is accustomed to speaking in front of groups of people, whether large or small, supportive or hostile, but Tuesday Kezer addressed one of the most intimidating crowds a person can face — a high school classroom.

Kezer was invited to speak to Kristen Walsh’s class at the high school on the subject of local government. Walsh’s class was learning about how towns and cities work, and Kezer came in to provide his real-world insight to the students and answer some of their questions.

The three main things he talked about with the students were the structures of local government, what’s the difference between towns and cities; the services they provide, in Amesbury’s case public safety, public education, infrastructure (DPW), land use and control (economic development and zoning) and social services (library, senior center, etc.); and taxes and spending, where does the money come from and where does it all go.

Kezer said the students, who were all upperclassmen, were attentive and asked a lot of good questions about ongoing political situations in Amesbury like the Lower Millyard project and the Green Communities Act. He added that none of them gave him a hard time, even though he invited criticism if any of them had some.

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On Monday night Gary Bogoff, owner of the Berkshire Brewing Company, will be hosting a BBC Beer Dinner at the Ale House starting at 6 p.m.

The Ale House will be serving a five-course menu, and each course will be served with a particular Berkshire beer offering. Tickets for the dinner are $55 per person and will not be sold at the door.

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Next Wednesday, local elected officials will join Amesbury Middle School members of the Rotary Interact Club downtown to honor the victims of the Newtown school shootings. Twenty students and six adults will be hanging heart ornaments on the Valentine’s tree at the gazebo, with each ornament inscribed with the name of a victim and a message of love on the back.

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