PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday night split on appointing a member of the Ambulance Review Commission.
The council voted 7-4 to uphold Mayor Daniel Bianchi's appointment of Jeffrey Ferrin to the commission. Ferrin's appointment was first challenged at the Feb. 14 City Council meeting
, when several councilors expressed reservations about his appointment based on past disciplinary judgements while Ferrin was a city employee.
During the public input period at the beginning of Tuesday's meeting, Ferrin expressed dismay that "the mayor was put in an awkward position as a result of my civil service record, which was discussed on two separate campaign occasions."
Ferrin, who had run for a ward council seat, said he had reached out to all of the members of the City Council, and was able to speak to most to discuss the background of those documents. He specifically thanked Councilor Barry Clairmont for "really taking the time to sit down and ask a lot of good questions."
The motion to approve his appointment passed with Councilors Christopher Connell, Churchill Cotton, John Krol, Melissa Mazzeo, Kevin Morandi, Kevin Sherman, and Anthony Simonelli in favor and Councilors Paul Capitanio, Clairmont, Jonathan Lothrop and Christine Yon opposed.
City Accepts 35K in Cultural Funds
The City Council voted unanimously to accept a grant of $35,000 to the city from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This marks the seventh year that the MCC has awarded funding to the city in the form of this allocation to the Cultural Pittsfield initiative.
This money is intended "to support and incubate new cultural initiatives that bring visitors and attract new businesses and residents to Pittsfield; and to contribute to the city's ongoing rebranding as a vibrant cultural center by providing co-marketing efforts to broaden the market and increase economic activity for the city's arts sector and for others."
While this allocation requires matching funds, these come from a combination of sponsorship, in-kind and other donations from within the community and not from the city budget.
This cultural funding goes to support a diverse array of initiatives and happenings throughout the year, and has helped lead to the profusion of new activities, festivals and other collaborative arts efforts, from Third Thursdays to the recent 10x10 contemporary arts festival
or the Hoopla, Pittsfield's annual all-day Hula hoop extravaganza held at Springside Park in July.