Mark Miller Wins UAW Endorsement
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mark Miller, a candidate for the Green-Rainbow Party, has won the endorsement of the United Auto Workers, a major industrial labor union, in his bid to become the new state representative of the 3rd Berkshire District.
Willie Desnoyers, president of the UAW Massachusetts State CAP Council, said: "I'm proud to report that the UAW MA State CAP Council has endorsed Mark Miller for state representative for the 3rd Berkshire District. We are looking forward to working with Mark in the state Legislature. It is important to us that Labor endorses candidates that will respect collective bargaining rights and job creation in Massachusetts. We feel Mark is the best choice for Labor."
The decision comes even before the Democrats have had a chance to pick their nominee, who will face off against Miller and others in the Oct. 18 special election caused by the resignation of the incumbent, Christopher Speranzo. Miller welcomed the early endorsement.
"Pittsfield needs new jobs and I'm going to do all I can to bring them here. It's crazy that with so much work to do — like insulating every home in the city to bring down heating bills — our unemployment figures are higher than in the rest of the state. I'm thrilled that the members of the UAW are ready to help give Pittsfield a strong independent voice in the State House."
Usually the UAW backs Democrats. Miller says the endorsement shows a new willingness on the part of Massachusetts Democrats to break with the party, which controls 90 percent of the seats in the Legislature.
"I was a lifelong Democrat, but as with many Democrats there was a point when I had to say enough is enough. For me, that point came when the party caved in on health care," said Miller. "So although I'm not running as a Democrat I'm the candidate who is fighting for core Democratic policies like Medicare for All."
Marchetti Campaign Sets Pasta Dinner Fundraiser
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The public is invited to attend a pasta dinner fundraiser to benefit the Committee to Elect Peter Marchetti Mayor on Friday, Aug. 26, from 5 to 8 at the Polish Falcon Club, 32 Belair Ave.
Cost is a $15 donation. Tickets may be purchased at the door, or reserved by calling 413-443-1411.
Peter Marchetti is a candidate for mayor. He is currently in his eighth year as on the Pittsfield City Council and as its vice president. He is chairman the council's Finance Subcommittee, serves on Public Health and Safety Subcommittee and is vice chairman of the Community and Economic Development Subcommittee. In addition he serves as the council representative on the Conservation Commission.
Marchetti is very active in the community, serving with the Morningside Initiative, on the board of directors of Pittsfield TV, state Youth and Adult Bowling leagues, the Helen Berube Teen Parent Program, Pittsfield Parade Committee, and many others.
Just this month, the Marchetti Campaign headquarters was opened at 766 Tyler St. Office hours have been expanded to Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 1 and Tuesday through Thursday evenings from 6 to 8. The office can be reached at 413-443-1411 and 413-443-1220.
For more information, visit www.petemarchetti.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or Marchetti at 413-212-2163.
Five After Pittsfield's Corner Office
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Five are vying for the corner office and 19 are for 11 seats on the City Council.
Daniel L. Bianchi is making another run after being edged out by James Ruberto last election; he will be up against Peter Marchetti, Joseph Nichols, Steve Fillio and Donna Walto in a preliminary election on Sept. 27. Ruberto has declined to run after serving three terms.
Bianchi was a five-term councilor in Ward 6 before the 2009 election. Marchetti is considered to be an extension of the Ruberto tenure and is a four-term councilor at large. Nichols is a newcomer to the City Council, after being elected to Ward 7 in 2009, but has proved to be outspoken on city matters — and often voting in the minority. Walto, a local entrepreneur, took a run for the corner office in 2007 but was defeated by Ruberto, and Fillio has ran in the last two elections but failed to move past the preliminary.
Eight are vying for the four council at-large seats. Incumbents Melissa Mazzeo and Kevin Sherman will face Nicholas Caccamo, Barry Clairmont, Churchill Cotton, Anthony Maffuccio, Thomas Sakshaug and Richard Scapin.
Caccamo threw his hat in for mayor in the last election and Maffuccio was soundly defeated in the preliminary for the Ward 7 seat. Sakshaug is a member of the city's Animal Control and Conservation commissions. Clairmont is a member of the School Building Needs Commission. Richard Scapin is a former city council president and Cotton is a longtime member of the School Committee
In Ward 3, Jeffrey Ferrin is taking on incumbent Paul Capitanio. Ferrin has worked in the city's highway department and is involved with multiple public safety organizations.
Ward 4 will need a preliminary election to trim the pool down to two. James Bronson, Christopher Connell and Ozias "Chuck" Vincelette are all pursuing the seat that is currently filled by Michael L. Ward, who is not running for re-election. Bronson is the current president of the Berkshire County Republican Association. Vincelette sat in the Ward 4 seat until 2005 when he was beaten by Ward.
Incumbent Jonathan Lothrop will face a challenge in Joe Breault for Ward 5. Incumbent Christine Yon is uncontested in Ward 1, incumbent John Krol is uncontested in Ward 6 and newcomer Anthony Simonelli will be uncontested for Ward 7, which is being vacated by Nichols for a run for mayor.
Seven people have entered the race for School committee. Kathy Amuso, Alf Barbalunga, Daniel Elias, Jonathan King, Terry Kinnas, Kathy Yon and James Conant will all be after six seats. Linda Tyler is uncontested for city clerk.
As of Tuesday, all of the nomination signatures have been certified accept for Walto. The election schedule is available below.
Pittsfield Municipal Election Schedule 2011
Ruberto Bows Out of Mayoral Run
Mayor James Ruberto celebrating the Beacon Cinema's first birthday last fall.
The field is wide open in Pittsfield with Mayor James Ruberto's announcement this morning that he will not run for a fifth term.
Ruberto had said earlier that he'd make a decision this month. Oddly enough, we were able to pick up WBRK this morning out in North Adams' West End to hear host Bill Sturgeon predict that Ruberto would make his decision known through "his favorite mouthpiece" The Berkshire Eagle.
Sure enough, a couple hours later The Eagle posted the news that the mayor was retiring on his laurels after eight years in office. It doesn't match John Barrett III's 26 years, but eight is considered pretty good for Pittsfield.
Ruberto, first elected in 2003, told The Eagle that he wanted time "to heal" from the death of his wife, Ellen, and that he felt that citizens could see government working for them.
During his tenure, Ruberto has touted the revitalization of North Street and put his political wieght behind such controversial projects as the $23 million Beacon Cinema. He's strongly supported the city's creative economy, hoping to rejuvenate the former mill city into a destination.
He established an Office of Cultural Development and hired Megan Whilden to lead it. Since then, the city has spearheaded and coordinated music and street festivals, attracted the buzz-making Barrington Stage Company and, in 2009, won a Commonwealth Award as a Creative Community. It also straightened out the vexing North/South street intersection and streamlined permitting to encourage investment.
It hasn't been all hearts and roses: Pittsfield's been struggling with drug crimes, the landmark Colonial Theatre could be foundering and PEDA's main tenant is a solar array.
Two years ago, Ruberto announced his run for a fourth term on "Good Morning Pittsfield." Some thought he'd step aside then because of his wife's illness. But Ellen, who died on July 22, 2009, encouraged Ruberto to run.
It would be Ruberto's toughest race since his loss to Sara Hathaway in his first try for the office in 2001.
Ten candidates for the city's top spot were winnowed down to Ruberto and Daniel E. Bianchi after a preliminary election. The Ruberto-Bianchi duel would be bitter and heated and end in a recount, with Ruberto squeaking out a 207-vote victory.
Bianchi has indicated he might be interested in another try at mayor; Ward Councilor 7 Joseph Nichols has already announced he is running.
Pittsfield Neighborhoods Host Sheriff Debate
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The West Side Neighborhood Initiative and Morningside Neighborhood Initiative, in collaboration with The Berkshire Eagle, are sponsoring a debate between the two Berkshire County sheriff candidates on Monday, Aug. 16, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Conte Community School.
Daniel E. Bosley, outgoing state representative for the 1st Berkshire District, and Thomas N. Bowler, a 20-year Pittsfield Police detective, will discuss issues that are particularly relevant to the city's two urban neighborhoods, but will also debate questions that are important to the entire Berkshire region. The debate will be moderated by The Berkshire Eagle's Chief Editor Timothy Farkas.
"Our goal is to encourage more specific answers to important questions to help voters in our neighborhoods, the city of Pittsfield, and Berkshire County understand the differences between these two candidates," said Dominick Villane, chairman of the Neighborhood Initiatives Debate subcommittee. "We encourage the community to attend this important event and offer their input during the public portion of the debate."
The event will covered by local news and radio and broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television. iBerkshires.com will also be covering and plans to post audio from the debate.
Debate questions are being provided by members of the neighborhood initiatives. The final portion of the debate will be comprised of seleced questions from the audience. Those attending the debate will have the opportunity to provide questions to be considered. Each candidate will be offered time for opening and closing remarks.
Bosley and Bowler are running to replace Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, who is retiring after 32 years in the post. Both candidates are Democrats so the race will essentially be decided in the Sept. 14 primary.