Saturday, July 04, 2020 01:51am
North Adams, MA now: 66 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
LOG IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
Return to election home page
Candidates Clash on Voting Records, Visions for Pittsfield
By Joe Durwin On: 05:24PM / Tuesday October 25, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Heated disagreement and barbed comments characterized the debate between mayoral hopefuls Daniel Bianchi and Peter Marchetti on Monday night at Berkshire Community College.

This final debate of the evening at the college interspersed questions from moderator Brandon Walker of YNN with opportunities for the candidates to pose them to each other. The debates were sponsored by The Pittsfield Gazette and the college, and broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television.

Several of the questions were hauntingly familiar to those sparred over in the 2009 mayoral debates between Bianchi and James Ruberto, among them PEDA, cultural development, and school buildings.


The candidates were seated according to their positions on the ballot, with Daniel Bianchi first and Peter Marchetti second.
The candidates clashed, as they have throughout the campaign, on whether as mayor they would choose to sit on the board of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority, which oversee the redevelopment of the former GE property now known as William Stanley Business Park.

Bianchi, who also expressed impatience with the progress of PEDA during his unsuccessful 2009 campaign, has repeatedly stated that he would appoint himself to its board, as Ruberto had. "We have not operated with a sense of urgency when it comes to new jobs and new job creation," he said.

Marchetti repeated his view that the mayor's role was to link the PEDA board with that of Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp., the state Office of Economic Development, and other relevant agencies "to set clear goals and objectives ... and if that board cannot meet those goals and objectives, then it's the mayor's responsibility to replace them with those that can.”"

In one of Marchetti's open questions to Bianchi, he challenged the former city councilor on his votes against the creation of the Office of Cultural Development, as well as the $1 million allocation to the Colonial Theatre from the GE Economic Development Fund.

Bianchi said he had supported the Colonial, previously voting in favor of $460,000 in funding, but felt that the million-dollar "gift" was not necessary because of the Colonial's other fundraising efforts.

As for the Office of Cultural Development, Bianchi said he had voted for Megan Whilden's appointment twice, acknowledging he had voted against the post initially. "I was frustrated the first time the appointment came around. That frustration was a result of the mayor getting rid of a longtime employee," he said, referring to Daniel O'Connell, who previously developed and coordinated public arts and activities from the Lichtenstein Center from the 1970s to 2005, when he was let go to make way for Whilden to take the helm of the newly created office.]

"I guess we both like to rewrite history in our own ways, because I have the minutes from the City Council meetings where you voted twice against the Office of Cultural Development," Marchetti responded.

In one his questions, Bianchi took issue with his opponent's record on what he depicted as favoritism in Ruberto's hiring practices, including a 40 percent raise for Tricia Farley-Bouvier when she worked at City Hall.

Marchetti suggested Bianchi was being misleading, that in fact the vote had been to create a new position, director of administration, not just increase a salary.

"I never took a vote to give the mayor's ally a raise, I took a vote to create a job position," Marchetti said. He also vowed that in his administration, there would be none of the "acting appointments" that have become controversial during Ruberto's tenure.

On a related subject to those appointments, Bianchi spoke in support of a suggested charter review commission to retool the city's governing rules, "and I believe, Pete, that you've suggested you would not do that."

At this, Marchetti once again accused his opponent of "rewriting history."

"Any chance I've had the ability to vote for the establishment of a charter commission, I voted in favor, so let's just make sure we keep our facts straight in this debate."

It was on the thorny issue of school building needs that the sparring between the two candidates became most heated. Both men said they have always supported major overhauls of both Taconic and Pittsfield high schools as opposed to a "one high school plan."

Marchetti was asked by his opponent why he had opposed a recent petition brought forth by Councilors Melissa Mazzeo and Joseph Nichols to place a question on the ballot asking voters to weigh in on the school building decision process. When Marchetti began to answer that the question as phrased was flawed and did not address any of the issues both candidates had just discussed, Bianchi interrupted him several times to interject that it could have, if it had been referred to the Committee on Ordinances and Rules for retooling.

"You asked me a question, please be respectful enough to let me answer it," Marchetti said, raising his voice.  Moderator Brandon Walker interjected, asking Bianchi to allow Marchetti to answer the question.

"I made comment that night that there is not enough information at this stage of the game to craft a question. It wasn't that I wasn't looking for the people's input ... the question was premature."

The question, as presented to the council at its July 12 meeting, read "Do you support the School Building Needs Commission's decision to build a new high school in Pittsfield?" It was voted down 9-2, with only Mazzeo and Nichols in support. The majority opinion was that the question proposed would be confusing and misleading to voters, as the commission has reached no such decision.

In closing statements, candidates continued to outline differences in their visions for Pittsfield.  Marchetti highlighted his five priorities for moving Pittsfield forward: job creation, continued improvement in education, neighborhood improvements, continued support of the arts community, and improved communication. "I believe that my record supported many of the positive changes that have taken place in Pittsfield over the last eight years."

Bianchi said the election offers "a clear choice" for voters. "I'm the candidate with an ambitious, comprehensive plan to create an atmosphere within City Hall that welcomes public opinion and embraces our differences, and sets a reasonable pace for moving Pittsfield in a new direction."


0 Comments
     
Election Text Ads
Advertise on iBerkshires.com

Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



Categories:
1st Berkshire (42)
2010 (0)
2011 (69)
2012 (59)
2013 (60)
2014 (75)
2nd Berkshire (29)
3rd Berkshire (16)
4th Berkshire (14)
attorney general (6)
auditor (5)
campaign (67)
candidate forums (48)
city council (38)
Congress (25)
election (69)
endorsements (47)
events (29)
fundraising (10)
governor (26)
letters (9)
local (16)
mayor (48)
news (8)
school committee (20)
selectmen (21)
selectmen (16)
sheriff (28)
state (23)
statements (45)
Archives:
Tags:
Letters To The Editor Debates Candidates Independent Lieutenant Governor Selectmen Election 2013 Town Elections City Council Democratic Party Republican Party Cariddi Town Election Debate Preliminary Berkshire Brigades Szczepaniak Bowler Primary Boucher Mark Special Election Bissaillon Election 2014 Democrat Mayor 1st Mass North Adams Macdonald Williamstown Pittsfield Bosley Governor U.s. Senate Campaign
Popular Entries:
Bosley Looks to Wind Up Legislative Career
There's a New Sheriff in Town
Three Make Case for 2nd District Seat
Cariddi Clear Winner in 1st District
Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign
Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast
Baker Wins Governor's Race
Suzanne Bump Seeking Re-election as Auditor
Election Day 2010
Recent Entries:
Independent Falchuk Hits Threshold To Start New Party
Baker Wins Governor's Race
AG Candidate Healey Hears Concerns on Hospital
Candidate Kerrigan Stops in Pittsfield For Get Out The Vote Push
Suzanne Bump Seeking Re-election as Auditor
U.S. Senate Candidate Brian Herr Fighting for Name Recognition
Area Democrats Making Final Push For November Election
Coakley Stresses Commitment to Berkshires
Candidates Showing Differences As Governor's Race Heats Up
Gubernatorial Candidates Spar In Springfield Debate


View All
BCC Drive-by Nursing Pinning...
Throughout the evening Tuesday, graduates of the Practical...
Motor Bikes Practice
Motor bikes practice at COR MX & Mini Golf, 1190 S State...
Black Lives Matter & BIO...
Berkshire Interfaith Organizing hosted a Black Lives Matter...
Lenox Graduation 2020
The Lenox High School class of 2020 graduated Sunday in the...
Lee High School Graduation...
Lee High School graduated 53 students Friday.
Drury High Graduation 2020
Drury High held a 'drive-by' graduation on Thursday that...
Monument Mountain Graduation...
The Monument Mountain Class of 2020 met at the school for a...
Track & Field: Lenox, Mount...
5-8-17 Madison Ross won the 100-meter dash and the high...
Baseball: McCann Tech vs...
06/13/2016 - Lenox Tops McCann for Western Mass Title 7-2...
Softball: Frontier vs...
06/11/2018 - Powered by its battery, the Wahconah softball...
Baseball: Taconic vs Drury...
05/12/2016 Jake McNeice went 3-for-4 with a double and two...
SB: Drury at Pittsfield Throw...
04/29/2015 - Allie Hunt went 2-for-2 with a triple and a...
Baseball: Mount Everett vs...
06/01/2017 - McCann Tech baseball team win over Mount...
Softball: Lee vs Hoosac...
05/20/2016 Kali Puppolo struck out 11 Thursday to lead the...
Softball: Pittsfield vs...
The Generals pounded out seven hits and scored six runs in...
B Basketball: Monument...
Reece Racette scored 18 points and dished out five assists...
BCC Drive-by Nursing Pinning...
Throughout the evening Tuesday, graduates of the Practical...
Motor Bikes Practice
Motor bikes practice at COR MX & Mini Golf, 1190 S State...
Black Lives Matter & BIO...
Berkshire Interfaith Organizing hosted a Black Lives Matter...
Lenox Graduation 2020
The Lenox High School class of 2020 graduated Sunday in the...
Lee High School Graduation...
Lee High School graduated 53 students Friday.
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved