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Sue Bush
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Pittsfield Park Long-term Restructuring Plans Moving Forward

01:15PM / Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pittsfield – Mayor James M. Ruberto today announced that the City of Pittsfield will move forward with department restructuring that will establish a new focus on long-term planning for the city’s parks, open space and natural resources.

Streamlining Means Increased Efficiency

The move will streamline the Department of Community Services into the Departments of Maintenance and Community Development.

Recommended by several groups and organizations, including the Parks Commission, the City’s Master Plan Advisory Committee, and the Master Plan’s Open Space and Recreation subcommittee, this restructuring will also make city services more efficient and improve the quality of Parks maintenance.

The reorganization will be accomplished without additional personnel.

The Department of Community Services and its management and clerk position will be eliminated, while two new positions will be created under the Department of Community Development: Parks, Open Space & Natural Resources Program Manager and Recreation Activities Coordinator. The addition of the Recreation Coordinator position will address the need of creating and developing recreational programs in the parks system, enhancing the Parks and open space as a resource for the entire community.

Director of Community Services, James McGrath, will serve in the new role as Open Space & Natural Resources Program Manager. In this position, McGrath will focus solely on shaping the long-term goals of the City’s open space and natural resources and identify and pursue grant and other funding opportunities to help meet those goals.

Day-to-day maintenance of the parks will be overseen by the Grounds Maintenance Superintendent Anthony Stracuzzi. Stracuzzi will now report to Ernie Fortini, Director of Building Maintenance. This change will result in the combining of resources under the Department of Building Maintenance to make services more efficient and more flexible to address maintenance needs in the parks and beyond.

“We continue to identify and move forward with ways to make taxpayer dollars go farther,” said Mayor Ruberto. “Open space and recreation are important economic drivers for us in the heart of the Berkshires, and we need to do everything possible to increase recreational opportunities now and into the future. Our Parks Commission, our residents, and our children are asking us to increase our focus on the quality and number of recreational activities. This organization change will improve our ability to meet the current and future needs of the Pittsfield community.”

The plan was approved by the Personnel Review Board on March 13th and will be considered by the City Council at its next meeting on April 24th.

Chairman of the Parks Commission Charles Garivaltis voiced his support for the restructuring plan.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction and the young people of Pittsfield will be the direct beneficiaries of this,” said Garivaltis. “There will be a greater focus on Park maintenance, which clearly needs to be a high priority.”

The plan will be fully implemented in the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007.



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