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The Parks Commission is currently reviewing the additional language added to the rules.

Pittsfield Looks to Strengthen Rules on Park Behavior

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Parks Commission is looking to strengthen the rules for both park and conservation areas.
 
The city recently saw large groups of youth causing mayhem in Springside Park by fighting and using air rifles. The city has added language to specifically outlaw those and BB guns to strengthen police authority to enforce the rules. 
 
"The most changed language in here is under the enforcement," said Parks and Open Spaces Manager Jim McGrath. 
 
McGrath said he worked with police chief, the city solicitor, and conservation agent to develop a new set of rules. Regarding weapons, firearms had been banned but language was added to read "air/Co2 rifles or BB guns not limited to; pellet guns, pellet or BB pistols, AirSoft guns, paintball guns."
 
Additional language was also added regarding conduct specifically adding "engaging in fighting, assaultive, threatening, tumultuous or reckless behavior" to the rules. 
 
The new rules also strengthen language to outlaw drones from being flown. The rules had prohibited "model airplane" and that is proposed to be changed to "radio-controlled aircraft or other unmanned aerial vehicles in areas set apart for such types of recreation."
 
The rules are expected to be for both parks and conservation spaces, meaning they would need to be approved by both the Conservation Commission and the Parks Commission.
 
The Parks Commission did question an existing rule that said "no game may be played within a city park or conservation area involving thrown or otherwise propelled objects such as balls, arrows, javelins." The Parks Commission questioned whether or not that would exclude things like tossing a Frisbee or throwing a football. 
 
"I think the intent is objects that are thrown that could be dangerous," McGrath said but agreed the wording could be more specific on that.
 
The new rules won't necessarily be posted inside the parks but will be available online and in City Hall. The intent is more focused on giving the city the authority to stop certain behaviors. 
 
"Posting rules and regulations is sometimes just another sign that folks often don't even look at. The important thing is we have them on file," McGrath said.
 
Violations of the rules could result in fines or being banned from the parks. The fines are outlined in state law and there is a $250 cap on those.
 
The Parks Commission said the new rules overall look fine but would like some time to get those couple of changes in place and to review them for any other discrepancies. 

Tags: parks commission,   rules,   

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Pittsfield at-Large City Councilor Candidates Answer Questions

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for the four a-large City Council seats participated in a forum Monday at Berkshire Community College as they made a push for votes before election day.
 
Seven candidates fielded questions at a forum hosted by BCC, in partnership with the Pittsfield Gazette and Pittsfield Community Television, which recorded the forum. The moderator was Shawn Serre, executive director of PCTV.
 
After some opening statements, the candidates were asked to pick a number that prompted a question. After three candidates answered the question the next candidate in line chose a new number. At the end of the session, candidates were given two minutes to answer questions they did not get or to expand on the answers they gave.
 
One of the first questions brought forward was about Mayor Linda Tyer's proposed home improvement plan that would have allowed qualified residents to apply for money from the Pittsfield Economic Development Fund to make small improvements to their homes.
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