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Marchetti Lays Out 'Vision for Pittsfield'
Marchetti Campaign On: 11:14PM / Monday October 17, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for mayor Peter Marchetti lays out his "Vision for Pittsfield" in a series of position statements concerning job creation, education, the arts, neighborhoods and communication from the mayor's office.

As the campaign season comes to a close, Marchetti, currently councilor at large, has identified five major areas that he feels need attention and looks forward to working with the public, the City Council, School Committee and boards and commissions in the city of Pittsfield to work out details for a forward-looking vision for our city.

A mayor Marchetti will seek to engage the discussion that will bring the city into the next generation. Together, all parts of Pittsfield can come together to flesh out the details in the most open and above-board way possible. All can have a part, and all are encouraged to join the conversation with a Marchetti administration in City Hall.

Councilor Marchetti has served Pittsfield in so many ways over the last two decades. As a member of the City Council, leading the Fourth of July Parade or serving on boards and commissions, including Traffic and Conservation, the Helen Berube Teen Parent Board, the PCTV Board and the Morningside Initiative, he has grown in all of these activities and they have provided him a wealth of experience that effectively can be applied to being Mayor of Pittsfield. 

This is the first of five statements:

First, Job Creation: I will develop an incentive program, utilizing a portion of the GE economic development funds, to support our existing businesses to grow and provide jobs. I will establish a small-business trust fund that will be used as needed to foster steady growth of our existing companies while pursuing more companies to locate here. With wise use of the GE economic development funds and support from the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corp. (PERC), both can be accomplished.

I will work to streamline our permitting processes for business expansion. My administration will build closer relationships between the city's Economic Development Office, PEDA, and the business community at large to fully tap the potential of the William Stanley Business Park. I will see to it that clearly established procedures are put into practice to enhance communication. In the current national economy, we must all be prepared to move quickly and decisively to capitalize on new opportunities. I see opportunities to strengthen locally owned businesses with a focus on new technology fields and our own plastics industry.

My experience in the private sector, and my community involvement, will serve the city of Pittsfield well. My 23 years at the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank enable me to see from a business perspective. Eight years of government experience as a city councilor, council vice president and chairman of the Finance Committee, have given me the insight into the constructive role that government can play. I want to see private, cultural and public sectors collaborate in a way that will benefit all of us. As your mayor, I will listen carefully and respectfully to everyone who wants to help Pittsfield to prosper.

I ask for your vote and support on Nov. 8 so that I may have the opportunity to serve as the mayor of Pittsfield - "One Pittsfield."

Please join in the conversation about our future. Thank You.    


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3rd Berkshire Candidates Wrap Up Endorsements
By Joe Durwin On: 08:30PM / Monday October 17, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield voters in the 3rd Berkshire District will once again go to the polls on Tuesday to choose their next state representative in what has been a passionately contested 4-way race prompted by the resignation of Christopher Esperanzo from the seat this past summer.

As candidates make their final push to get out the vote, individual and organizational supporters have been vocal in announcing their hopes for the winner.

On Sunday, The Berkshire Eagle announced its endorsement of Democratic nominee Tricia Farley-Bouvier for the seat, in contrast to last November when the publication chose not to endorse a candidate in the race between Speranzo, the re-elected incumbent, and the paper's former editor, Mark Miller.

iBerkshires.com has not publicly endorsed any candidate in this race, but has instead collected a list of endorsements received by each candidate.

Republican Mark Jester recently received the endorsement of New Jobs for Massachusetts, a newly formed political advocacy group based in Boxborough. A self-described avid sportsmen, Jester has also received the endorsements of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Political Action Committee, Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, National Rifle Association, Berkshire County League of Sportsmen Clubs (23 clubs and 3,000-plus members), Pittsfield Sportsmen's Club and Lenox Sportsmen's Club.

Green-Rainbow Party candidate Miller's campaign has garnered a perhaps surprising amount of support among labor unions such as Massachusetts Nurses Association and United Auto Workers,  which have traditionally favored Democratic candidates. Other major organizations include Mass Alliance, a statewide coalition of progressive organizations and action groups, Planned Parenthood, and Clean Water Action. While the growing Occupy Berkshire movement kicked off just over a week ago has not officially endorsed any candidate, vocal support for Miller's candidacy was expressed by many participants at their recent rallies, and Miller was seen in attendance at their Lenox rally at Town Hall.

Independent candidate Pam Malumphy told iBerkshires "of the many endorsement questionnaires that were sent to me, I only filled out NARAL's [National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League]. What I've really focused on is going door-to-door and connecting with voters and great volunteers in this community." Malumphy cited as supporters City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo (who has run radio ads supporting Malumphy's campaign), Adam Hersch of Cavalier Management, Rich Vinette, executive director of Lee Development Corp., former Berkshire Chamber Chairwoman June-Roy Martin, and former City Solicitor Kathleen Degnan.

Farley-Bouvier is a favorite of many local and regional Democrats including Mayor James Ruberto (who hired her as his public affairs aide and then promoted her to acting director of administrative services), Rep. Benjamin B. Downing, Rep. Paul Mark, and Gov. Deval Patrick, who was in attendance at a Friday fundraiser held for her at Itam Lodge. Her campaign also offered the following names of local businesspeople and personalities who've publicly endorsed her run: Council President Gerald Lee, former Mayor Kit Dobelle, Tom Geary, Jeanne Massimiano, Carole Siegel, Shirley Edgerton, Mary O'Brien, Mary Rentz and Miguel Gomez. Farley-Bouvier also received the endorsement of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, who had previously endorsed candidate Peter White in the primary.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday for all precincts voting in the special election. A list of polling locations can be found here and on the Election 2011 blog.  (Note: Precincts B in both Wards 1 and 5 are in the 4th District.)


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Pittsfield Candidates Pledge to Support Tyler Street Growth
By Joe Durwin On: 02:22PM / Monday October 17, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A variety of candidates seeking election or re-election in Pittsfield touted their support for a resurgent Tyler Street last Thursday.

The candidates were invited to present their views at a meet-and-greet for Morningside area voters hosted by the Tyler Street Business Group.

A small but engaged crowd of voters attended the event, working their way around the tables set up where candidates were on hand to introduce themselves, ask questions, and take campaign materials such as fliers and stickers.

Pre-written statements were collected from each of the candidates by Dianna Marcella, president of the business group, and read at the function.

Ward 1 City Councilor Christine Yon, who is running unopposed, called Tyler Street "funky and charming" and "a piece of the puzzle" that is Pittsfield.

Pete White, current Ward 2 councilor who is running for re-election as a write-in candidate this year, called it "an important business district" and that having lived near it most of his life, "Tyler is home."

Kevin Morandi, who is making a second bid for the Ward 2 seat, said that if elected, he will advocate for and support efforts to expand downtownto Tyler. He cited opening the Woodlawn Street bridge as one priority.

Mayoral candidate Daniel Bianchi, who grew up on Tyler Street, said the street's "future can be a bright one,"  and will be one focus of his "Plan for Pittsfield."

Peter Marchetti, a current city councilor also seeking election to the mayor's office, said he, too, sees Tyler Street as an extension of downtown and that, as a resident, he has always seen it as an area of "local business flavor and caring residents."

Council at-large candidate Nicholas Caccamo called it the place where "commerce meets health," and drew chuckles from attendees with a reference to the delicious menu offerings at Café Reva's.

Council hopefuls Jason Clairmont touted the importance of Tyler Street's "essential goods and services" while Churchill Cotton called it "the spine from which the Morningside area gets its strength."

Anthony Maffuccio, who's hoping to return to the council as an at-large candidate, called it a "forgotten North Street," saying we need to "market it as one of our great hubs."

Councilor at-large incumbent Melissa Mazzeo spoke of how much she enjoyed Tyler Street as a place where one could go to a bakery, go to church, get their hair done, and shop for furniture all within walking distance.

Joseph Nichols, a councilor at large who running for re-election as a write-in candidate, called it "a fountain of memories" and a "cornerstone of future growth." He said he was pleased with the growth and attention it has received in the past couple of years.

Kevin Sherman, also running for re-election as an at-large councilor, called it a "gateway and business district" that "needs support to continue to grow."

Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Democratic candidate for 3rd Berkshire District state representative, also attended, telling the organizers that no matter who was elected, "now you can remind them that they promised to pay attention to Tyler Street."


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Bianchi Sets Meeting to Unveil 'Plan For Pittsfied'
Bianchi Campaign On: 12:52PM / Monday October 17, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayoral candidate Dan Bianchi announced Monday that he will hold a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the GEAA on Crane Avenue. The meeting is free and open to the public.

"Throughout this campaign, I have been overwhelmed by the number of suggestions and concerns that voters have about issues in Pittsfield. I have done my best to incorporate their feedback — and my vision for Pittsfield — into a comprehensive plan for Pittsfield. Many voters have heard pieces of my plan throughout the course of this campaign, but it has always been my goal to share the specific action items of this plan with the voters of Pittsfield," Bianchi said.

"Because of the enormous interest in the special election for state rep, municipal candidates have had limited public opportunity to debate the real issues facing Pittsfield. Over the next three weeks, I will share my 'Plan for Pittsfield' as I to continue knock on doors and generate public interest on the differences between myself and my opponent.

"As we celebrate our 250th anniversary of Pittsfield, it is a time to reflect and plan for the future. My plan addresses taxes, city services, education, economic development and job creation, expansion of open government, and public safety."

Bianchi said, "This meeting will give everyone an opportunity to learn about my specific action plan to move Pittsfield forward. And, there will be an opportunity for the public to ask me questions."

Following Wednesday's town hall meeting, Bianchi will put his "Plan for Pittsfield" on his website at votebianchi.com.


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Alcombright Highlights New Economic Projects
Alcombright Campaign On: 09:17AM / Monday October 17, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Richard Alcombright, who is running for a second term as mayor, is highlighting the positive trends in the city's economic growth.

"In my previous communication, I outlined many of the positive economic things that have happened since I took office in January 2010. There are many things that have happened and many great things that are in our immediate and near future," said Alcombright.

"We will have a Super Walmart announcement within the next couple of weeks. Walmart has filed plans with our Building Department and there currently is activity at the site. This multimillion dollar development will provide much needed growth to our tax base and will bring up to 90 new full and part-time jobs. This project could also be the catalyst for further development of the parcel just further to the south as well as a remarketing effort of the existing Walmart. The projected increases in traffic through the Main and Marshall Street intersection could provide additional traffic within our downtown and to businesses along the State Street corridor.

"Scarafoni Associates and the Brien Center will embark on a private/public partnership that will provide approximately $1.5 million in renovations to the Transcript building on American Legion Drive. This effort assures that the Brien Center will remain in North Adams and that the 60-plus jobs they provide will remain, as well as the exceptional services they provide.  And while the Brien Center is a not-for-profit entity, through the efforts of this administration and this partnership, the City is assured that real estate taxes exceeding $250,000 will be paid over the next 10 years.

"I am very excited about the continued progress of our solar initiatives. As we continue to plow through the negotiation and contract process, I, along with several from my administration, have been working diligently to bring a massive four-site solar project to the city. This includes solar arrays at the former landfill, the airport, the former sewer treatment plant in the west end, and the roof at Drury High School. The scope of this project is such that when completed, it has the potential to save the city up to $350,000 annually on electricity costs. This project is overwhelmingly attractive because it comes with no cost to the city.

"Another major project is the renovation of the former Haddad Ford building on Route 2 that will become the new home for Carr Hardware. This renovation will allow Carr to move and grow their operations, product line and will add eight to 12 new jobs. This expansion will also benefit our tax base.

"We are very close to a forward thinking, self-sustaining Mohawk Theater solution. I have been collaborating with MCLA and Mass MoCA for more than 10 months on a project that will provide an academic as well as a community theater solution. Combine this and all of the above with the $50 million MCLA Center for Science and Innovation project that has just broken ground, $3.5 million in improvements that have begun at the Greylock Valley Apartments, and the potential for school renovations and this city could have upwards of $100 million in construction projects beginning or happening in the city over the next 12 months.

"All of these projects will contribute to the growth of jobs, the growth of our tax base, will encourage people to locate here, buy homes here and educate their children here. I am excited to be a part of this growth and I will continue to look forward and not back."


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Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Primary
Tuesday, Sept. 9

Voting is from 7 to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation is Aug. 20; only unenrolled voters may select which primary to vote in. More information on registering can be found here.

Candidates on the ballot in a race for their party nomination; all others on the ballot are unopposed

Republican
  Governor: Charles D. Baker & Mark R. Fisher

Democratic
  Governor: Donald M. Berwick, Martha Coakley & Steven Grossman
  Lieutenant governor: Leland Cheung, Stephen J. Kerrigan & Michael E. Lake
  Attorney general: Maura Healey & Warren E. Tolman
  Treasurer: Thomas P. Conroy, Barry R. Finegold & Deborah B. Goldberg
 

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

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