Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The sun broke through gray clouds just after noontime Friday. It was perfect synchronicity for Gailanne Cariddi.
To kick off her campaign to become state representative of First Berkshire District, Cariddi shed light on her top priorities in front of the North Adams Public Library. Joined by a modest gathering of family, friends and supporters, including fellow Councilors Ronald Boucher and Marie Harpin, the North Adams native drew upon her more than 20 years of experience as an elected official and her imbedded roots in the business field as the outlining criteria for her candidacy.
"I am committed to using my skills as a listener and facilitator to bring our collective wisdom to Boston," said Cariddi, who is in her 21st year as a city councilor. "I know that working together we can make our district and our commonwealth better, safer and more prosperous."
Cariddi is hoping to fill the position currently held by fellow North Adams resident Daniel E. Bosley, who is ending his 24-year tenure as state rep in an attempt to become Berkshire County sheriff. Cariddi, 56, is running against David Bissaillon and Edward McDonald, both Adams Democrats, with the primary election date set for Sept. 14.
She said the First Berkshire District, which encompasses 11 communities, has an "economic engine" in the arts, culture and creative sector. If elected, Cariddi plans on creating a capital fund to foster the development of new space for artists. She also hit on topics ranging from small-business growth, small-town farming, health-care costs and budget control, which can be found in more detail here.
Cariddi also discussed the state's PILOT ("payment in lieu of taxes") fund, which provides annual payments to communities that host state property. According to Cariddi, the First Berkshire District is home to 47,000 acres of of state-owned land, and in rural towns such as Hawley, Monroe and Savoy, the PILOT fund is a vital source of aid.
"Despite reports from the state auditor that the program be fully funded, this has hardly ever occurred," she said. "This year, the program is slated to be level funded at $27.2 million, well short of where the appropriation needs to be. If elected, I will join the Legislative Rural Caucus to push for full funding of the PILOT budget."
Standing beside Cariddi during her speech, which was taped for Northern Berkshire Community Television, was her 94-year-old father, Jimmy Cariddi. He has been an operating partner with Cariddi Sales Co. for over 70 years, and said his daughter was a hard worker from a very young age.
"She started working with me when she was 10 or 11 years old," he said.
While she's a seasoned vet in city government, Cariddi is looking forward to the new challenges of a broader role. She admitted that the biggest challenge, if elected, will be her status as a freshman rep.
"You don't have all the clout you probably deserve going down to Beacon Hill [as a new rep]," she said. "I think I'll earn their respect with my work ethic and my ability to network and communicate with my co-legislators."
Patrick, Cahill Speaking in Berkshire County
Two of the state's top elected officials — who also happen to be in contention for governor — will be speaking at the Massachusetts Mayors Association annual spring conference on Friday at Cranwell Resort in Lenox.
Gov. Deval Patrick and state Treasurer Timothy Cahill's separate talks will be closed to the press but we're guessing the Great Recession that's created historic deficits for towns and cities across the commonwealth will be the No. 1 topic. Patrick, a Democrat, and Cahill, who was a Democrat and is now running as an independent, will likely both be speaking to their strategies for increasing jobs and revenues as well as commenting on issues relative to their current positions.
Cahill is speaking at 10 and the governor at 11, both with press availabilities afterward.
Cahill, however, will be on the air earlier with "Charlie in the Morning" on WJJW 91.1-FM at 8:30 a.m. The station is operated by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and morning radio host and graduating senior Charles Schnitzlein over the past year has tapped into both local and state politics by interviewing officials such as Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley and local selectmen, along with musical guests. Cahill will be the first major political guest who's traveled to the college for a sitdown interview.
iBerkshires will be joining Schnitzlein for the morning program; we'll also be at Cranwell for press roundtable with the governor at noon. If you have any questions you think we should ask either Cahill or Patrick, related to current or campaign issues, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet to @iberkshires or @CharlieMorning or comment here or on our Facebook posting.
The mayors conference opened Wednesday at Cranwell and continues through Friday at 5. Both Berkshire County Mayors James M. Ruberto, who represents the association's District 1, and Richard Alcombright are expected to attend the event.
|Tags: Patrick, Cahill|
Gubernatorial Candidate Cahill Stops in Berkshires
State Treasurer Tim Cahill stopped to speak with our media partner Berkshire News Network on Monday, March 29.
Cahill is stumping for governor under the independent label rather than under the Democratic Party banner. He visited Pittsfield on Monday and took a tour of Soldier On, which constructing housing for veterans.
Cahill said he decided to run as an independent because he wanted to escape the labels of both the Democratic and Republican parties. He will stand a better chance of getting things done as an independent than either party can do on its own.
He's going after the 51 percent of voters who are independent; the same ones Republican Scott Brown went after in his stunning win for U.S. Senate in January. Cahill said he is in favor of a tax cut but that the state would also have to cut its spending, especially in health care. He's also in favor of casino gambling in Massachusetts, something that Gov. Deval Patrick has also supported. His campaign site is www.timforgovernor.com.
|Tags: Cahill, governor|