At a ward meeting, Helen Moon was elated to see a young woman in her 20s take a seat in the audience.
At ward meetings and at the polls, it is often the same group of people making their voices heard. But this woman wasn't someone Moon had heard much from in the past so it made her happy to see more and more people involved.
Linda Tyer feels her administration has begun building a strong city and is looking for it to be stronger.
The incumbent mayor is seeking re-election to the post as she wraps up her, and the city's, first four-year term. The mayor previous served as a ward councilor and city clerk prior to being elected.
Earl Persip knows that he doesn't have all of the answers.
And that's why he listens to others. He said in Pittsfield 100 people will have 100 different views on an issue and he feels his job as a councilor is to listen to them all and find the best solution.
The five candidates for the Board of Selectmen made their final pitches to dozens of residents at the Community Center Friday night.
The forum, hosted by Gene Gebarowski, gave the candidates five minutes each to address the crowd before breaking into informal question and answer sessions. The election is on Tuesday.
First up were the three candidates vying for one seat for a two-year term.
Richard Latura wants his hometown back the way he remembers it and he doesn't care how that happens - legal or not.
Latura is running for an at large seat on the city council. He doesn't like what is happening in the city and he wants to make it safe, cut out political nonsense, and reel in the taxes.
Former Ward 7 City Councilor Anthony Maffuccio felt that when he left office, there was a lot of positive momentum in the city and things were trending well. But, a decade later, he feels that momentum has come to a halt. He feels a lack of collaboration between the City Council and the mayor's office has led to a "stale government."
Christopher Connell knows the phone calls and conversations in the yard will be had when the tax bill comes in.
His neighbors are retired and living on a pension but the property taxes continue to climb whereas their income hasn't. They'll tell him again that if things keep going this way they're going to have to make some serious decisions about living there.
A key word for Auron Stark is "sustainable."
Stark believes there are plenty of ways for the city to become financially sustainable and not be so dependent on property taxes and outside businesses. He sees a lot of problems in the city, he has seen the struggles of many in the community, and he believes the city can easily address a lot of those challenges. But he doesn't see the current City Council doing so.
It wasn't long ago when Yuki Cohen was going through a devastating time in her life and it was the community in Pittsfield that got her through it.
It was far different than she had known in the past, as she used to hustle in corporate America. The Berkshires are more relaxed, welcoming, and compassionate, she said, than her days in New York City. She was hooked. She started a business to add to that and is now taking another step by looking to join the City Council to help build that communi
They said he couldn't do.
There is no way a 21-year-old, turning 22, could defeat an incumbent mayor with years of political experience. And there was no way the city of Holyoke was ever going to be as good as it had been.
When Patrick Kavey returned to his hometown he had trouble finding work.
"I started applying to professional jobs. I had an interesting time finding either a job that would compensate me based on what you would see for an area of this size in the region or just finding specific jobs in general," Kavey said.
This past winter Melissa Mazzeo was being asked about piles of salt being left on the side of the roads.
The small trucks weren't working properly. She said she talked to the commissioner about it but didn't really have any authority to do anything about it. And now, the city's budget is some $2.1 million over in that line and will have to transfer money from other places to cover it.
Gordon Hubbard will join the Board of Selectmen after defeating Robert Ericson on Tuesday.
Hubbard reeled in 269 votes to Ericson's 114. Hubbard is the owner of the Mount Greylock Campsite Park and campaigned on his wide-ranging experience in teaching, school administration, volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical technician, and now as a business owner running a "mini-village" that is the campgrounds.
A small town like Lanesborough shouldn't have the highest tax rate in the county, according to Robert Ericson.
Ericson is seeking his third term on the Board of Selectmen and has grown into taking a more fiscally conservative view on the town's finances - a viewpoint he said he didn't he'd ultimately take. But as he's spoken with many residents in town, he's realized the demographics are aging and there are a significant number of retirees on the verge of being "forced out of their houses."
Gordon Hubbard is hoping to bring a wide range of experience to the Board of Selectmen.
Hubbard is the owner of Mount Greylock Campsite Park but prior to that boasts of a career in teaching, school administration, volunteer firefighting and as an emergency medical technician.
Former City Councilor Jonathan Lothrop is looking to reclaim his seat at the dais.
Less than a week after Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers announced she would not be seeking re-election, Lothrop announced a campaign for the seat he sat in for more than a decade.
Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers will not seek re-election.
Rivers served two terms on the council after barely squeaking by Rick Scapin in 2015, filling the seat vacated by Jonathan Lothrop. She was unopposed in 2017 and had taken out nomination papers to run again in 2019 but this weekend opted not bow out of the position.