It has become routine now. Nearly every two weeks the City Councilors talk and talk and talk until nearly midnight.
But that wasn't always the case. In fact, it wasn't even the case last year. According to the length of council meeting recordings done by Pittsfield Community Television, the council is meeting on average nearly twice as long as it did last year.
Councilors John Krol and Helen Moon are asking Berkshire Medical Center for $1 million.
The pair has filed a petition with the City Council asking for the sum through the execution of a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement. Krol says the total is a quarter of what the hospital would have paid for all of its tax-exempt properties should those real estate holdings be taxes at the commercial rate.
Council President Peter Marchetti has handed out committee assignments to the City Council.
The president is tasked with appointing the council's six subcommittees with five members each. Marchetti, Vice President John Krol, and Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Simonelli will serve on two committees each. The other councilors will serve on three and of those, all but the two newest councilors will have chairmanships.
How can we?
That's the question Mayor Linda Tyer posed to the new City Council and School Committee on Tuesday. Tyer is midway through her four-year term, the first four-year term in the city's history, and welcomed on Tuesday a City Council and new School Committee.
Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi says with the city approaching the tax levy limit, experience matters.
"Now more than ever we need experienced leadership, one who know budgets," Morandi said, emphasizing that he's gone through six budget cycles and six tax classification hearing.
Councilor At-Large Melissa Mazzeo recently received a call from a resident who had recently become the guardian of their grandchild.
The resident needed help navigating the school enrollment. The grandparent believed the student belongs in one school, school officials said the child needed to go to another school. It was a taxing issue.
Billy Keane is dropping out of the race for Ward 5 City Council.
Keane received enough nomination signatures to have his name on the ballot. However, he said "unforeseen circumstances related to a tough situation my family is currently experiencing" has led him to halt his campaign.
Four Pittsfield City Council candidates have earned endorsement: newcomers Helen Moon, a candidate for Ward 1, and Dina Giuel in Ward 2; and incubments Donna Todd Rivers in Ward 5 and Melissa Mazzeo for an at-large seat.
The City Council made up for the late nights during the budget hearing Tuesday night when it barreled through its business in eight minutes.
The City Council meets just once a month in July and August and Tuesday's agenda ended up with what was ultimately only four items - all of which were approved with minimal to no discussion.
Former radio host Bob Heck plans to seek a seat on the City Council.
Heck announced on Monday that he plans to run for an at-large seat on the council. The Alden Avenue resident is the former host of 'Bob Heck in the Morning' on Live 95.9 and later on WBRK. He now owns and operates an entertainment business for weddings, parties, and bars and taverns throughout the county.
In the 1960s and 1970 the city had close to 60,000 residents. That's now closer to 40,000.
That's led Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell to toss out the idea of shrinking the size of the City Council. Connell filed a petition asking to start the process, whichever process that would be, to reduce two at large seats on the council. Financially, Connell says that could save the city some $50,000 and still provide adequate representation.
Last May Fire Cider Owner Dana St. Pierre said the company needed to find a new commercial kitchen within a year and a half or the company's growth would come to a halt.
The company was searching locally for a spot to build out a commercial kitchen but struggled to find the right match. It seems it has found the right match and this week the company will be asking the City Council for a tax increment financing package to help make the financial work.
Musician and real estate broker Billy Keane is mounting a bid for a seat on the City Council.
Keane took out papers on Monday to challenge incumbent Donna Todd Rivers. Keane is the managing broker for his family's business, Jan Perry Realty & Associates, and a local musician.
Mike Cirullo plans to seek the Ward 1 City Council seat, setting up a race.
Cirullo announced his intentions on Thursday to seek the seat being vacated by Lisa Tully, who opted not to run for re-election. The 35-year-old business agent for the workers union at General Dynamics is the second person to announce intentions to seek that seat and the fourth person to announce intentions to run for election.
Dina Guiel plans to run for City Council.
Guiel announced on Tuesday that she intend to seek the Ward 2 council position. It is currently held by Kevin Morandi, who has been in the seat since 2011. Morandi has not yet said whether or not he intends to seek re-election.
Councilor at Large Kathleen Amuso will not seek re-reelection.
Amuso sent out a statement Tuesday morning saying that she believes "it is the right time for me to step away" after 14 years in public office.
The City Council rejected a request to add funds to the property demolition budget line Tuesday night, which was eyed to start moving toward securing the JB Paper Company building, which burned earlier this year.
Mayor Linda Tyer put in a request to add $25,000 to the property demolition budget, a budget which the City Council had cut during the budget process by that much. Tyer said the increase would go to performing a hazardous materials assessment and creation of specification for the dem