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Councilor Donna Todd Rivers has opted not to run for re-election.

Pittsfield Councilor Rivers Opts Out of Re-election Bid

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 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 to fill 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 to bow out.
"It is with much thought and soul searching that has led me to make the decision to announce that I will not be seeking re-election as your Ward 5 City Councilor," Rivers wrote announcing her decision on Facebook.
"As I begin to experience an increase in demand for my time and energy addressing family concerns and professional obligations I fear in time these would lead to a decrease in the level of service and responsiveness that you have come to expect and deserve. As I look into the future with these concerns I believe that the Ward 5 residents should have the opportunity to continue to receive the level of service they have come to expect with new representation."
Rivers said that while she is not seeking re-election, she does plan to remain involved in the community. 
"There are still many issues both the ward and the city need to deal with and I will be there for the remainder of the year to continue to engage with the ward constituents and Pittsfield citizens to do my part to fulfill the remainder of my term with vigor and dedication. I will continue the monthly ward meetings and the many neighborhood group meetings that have become a hallmark of my tenure as the ward 5 city councilor," Rivers wrote.
"Although I will not be seeking re-election as an elected official, I plan to remain involved in many arenas of public life as my responsibilities allow."
Rivers is the third sitting councilor to decide against not to run. Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Simonelli is going to "retire" from the council after four terms and Ward 6 Councilor John Krol took a job in the eastern part of the state and won't be seeking re-election after five terms.
The vacancies of Simonelli and Krol has drawn interest from a few potential candidates who drew nomination papers. Jeffrey Ferrin, John Daniels, and Anthony Maffuccio have taken out nomination papers for the Ward 7 seat and Craig Gaetani, Edward Carmel, Joseph Nichols, and Dina Guiel Lampiasi have all taken out nomination papers for Ward 6. As of Friday, only Carmel had returned nomination papers and been certified to be on the ballot.
Rivers currently didn't have any potential challengers but her announcement will likely spur interest in that seat. Update on Monday at 4 p.m.: Two potential candidates took out papers on Monday for the seats - Lothrop and Patrick Kavey,
There are a number of potential races. Mayor Linda Tyer is seeking re-election and has been certified to be on the ballot. Karen Kalinowksy is certified to be on the ballot as a challenger. Gaetani, Scott Graves, and Melissa Mazzeo have drawn nomination papers for a possible run but haven't returned them.
Mazzeo's potential bid for mayor would leave another vacancy on the council, on which serves in one of the four at-large seats. Incumbents Earl Persip, Peter Marchetti, and Peter White are all seeking re-election and have returned nomination papers to be on the ballot. Jay Hamling is also certified to be on the ballot. Gaetani, Alexander Blumin, and Auron Stark have all taken out nomination papers for at-large seats but are not yet certified for the ballot.
Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell could have a challenger, or two. Connell is certified to be on the ballot for re-election but Drew Herzig and Michael Merriam have both taken out papers to potentially challenge him.
Incumbents Helen Moon, Kevin Morandi, and Nicholas Caccamo are the only ones to have taken out papers for their respective wards -- 1,2 and 3 -- but so far only Morandi has been certified to be on the ballot.
Eight people have taken out papers to run for School Committee but none have been certified for the ballot yet. Incumbents Daniel Elias, Joshua Cutler, William Cameron, Katherine Yon, and Dennis Powell have all taken out nomination papers. Only Cynthia Taylor has not taken out papers for re-election. Newcomers Mark Brazeau, Ocean Sutton, and Thomas Perrea have all taken out papers for possible runs for the committee.
City Clerk Michele Benjamin is seeking re-election and has been certified for the ballot. Graves drew nomination papers for that office as well but hasn't returned them.

Tags: city election,   election 2019,   

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Pittsfield COVID-19 Cases Trending Down

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — COVID-19 cases in Pittsfield are trending downward to rates that have not been seen since the middle of March.
Mayor Linda Tyer said during her regular update Friday on Pittsfield Community Television that the city's positivity rate has dropped to 0.44 percent in the past 14 days.
"This is certainly excellent news, and it reflects our effort in keeping each other safe," Tyer said. "Although we think we may have conquered COVID, we know better. We cannot let our guard down and reverse course."
In Tyer's last address earlier this month, she said rates were increasing toward levels seen in early August. 
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