Amesbury City Notebook
---- — Twelve Amesbury teachers received the Teaching Excellence Award yesterday afternoon at the annual Excellence in Education Luncheon held at Flatbread Pizza.
This year’s award winners were Kristie Colton, MaryEllen Uhlarik and Cristin Chabot at the Amesbury Elementary School, Victoria Fitzpatrick, Dawn Pelletier and Kelly Flynn at the Cashman School, Karen Brannelly, Ernest Bissaillon, Joe Costello and Cathy Mamakos at the middle school and Mark Casto and April Rivers-Blake at the high school.
The Lakes and Waterways Commission, which works to maintain the city’s lakes, rivers, ponds and waterways, is currently looking for new members, and residents who might be interested in serving on the commission are encouraged to apply.
The commission meets once a month for an hour or two, usually on the fourth Thursday of each month. Commission chairman Bruce Georgian said no technical knowledge is required, only an interest in preserving the well being and best use of the city’s abundant bodies of water.
Residents interested in applying can pick up an application at City Hall, or they can contact Georgian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city budget hearings will continue this week as the councilors discuss the Amesbury Schools and Whittier Regional Technical High School budgets along with the budget for the mayor’s office and for the city’s legal services at their next scheduled meeting on Thursday. The hearings are open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. at the City Hall Auditorium.
The second day of hearings follows yesterday’s opening session, when the councilors met with numerous department heads presenting the budgets for the assessor’s office, Landry Stadium, the employee benefits budget and about a dozen others.
The full hearing schedule is available on the city’s website.
Over the next week the Amesbury Police Department will be participating in a nationwide Click it or Ticket seatbelt enforcement initiative intended to crack down on motorists who aren’t buckled up, particularly over the busy Memorial Day weekend.
“As we kickoff the busy summer driving season it’s important that everyone buckles up every time they go out, both day and night,” said Lt. Kevin Ouellet. “Our officers are also prepared to ticket drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts.”
Ouellet said more than half the people killed in car accidents both nationally and within Massachusetts weren’t wearing their seat belt at the time of the crash. By engaging in a high-visibility enforcement effort, Ouellet hopes that more people will remember to buckle up, potentially saving their life in the event of an accident.
The initiative will be running from May 20 through June 2, though officers will naturally continue to enforce seat belt laws year-round.
Amesbury seniors who are feeling down may want to check out a new program being offered by the Senior Center.
Starting this month, the Senior Center will be implementing the Feel Good Bingo program to help generate conversation about the signs and symptoms of depression in a comfortable, social environment.
Feel Good Bingo was created by the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health Inc. and aims to engage older adults in the prevention and early detection of depression. More than 125 organizations nationwide host Feel Good Bingo events, and Council on Aging director Annmary Connor said she is pleased that the Amesbury Senior Center is able to serve as a mental health advocate in the community.
One quick reminder, all city offices and the schools will be closed next Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Residents who have time-sensitive business to attend to at City Hall or the Department of Public Works offices should stop by later this week.
The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public:
School Committee Personnel Subcommittee, 6 p.m., Amesbury High School.
School Committee, 7 p.m., Amesbury High School Library.
City Council Ordinance Committee, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.
City Council Budget Hearings, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.
Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Costello Transportation Center.
Mac Cerullo covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3238 or by email at email@example.com. Follow Mac on Twitter at @MacCerullo.