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Pittsfield Sees Races for City Council, School Committee

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The potential is high for some new leadership in city government this November.

The last day to submit nomination papers to the registrar of voters for certification was Friday, July 16.  The updated candidate list includes a new name for Ward 2 and an expanded slate of School Committee prospects.

Up for election in November will be seats for all seven wards and four at-large seats for two-year terms. All six School Committee seats will also be on the ballot and the city clerk, all of which have two-year terms.

Wards 1, 2, 3, and 4 will see new representation as the incumbents have announced that they will not be seeking re-election. There are races in Wards 1, 2 and 4 and the incumbent is being challenged in Ward 6, but there are no races in Wards 3, 5 and 7. The four incumbent at-large councilors have two challengers and four School Committee incumbents will face off against five newcomers. 

Pittsfield lawyer Kenneth Warren Jr. and Andrea Wilson are seeking a seat as Ward 1 city councilor.

Ward 1 Councilor Helen Moon announced in a Facebook video post on May 4 that she would not be seeking re-election, citing physical and mental strains over the past two years related to the pandemic and her personal and professional life that led to her decision not to run for a third term.

Former Pittsfield firefighter and small business owner Matthew Ryan Kudlate is a new addition to the Ward 2 race. He will be running against Charles Kronick.

Nicholas Russo, William Phillips, and Daniel Besse had taken out nomination papers for Ward 2 but will not be continuing in the race.

Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi stated in January — along with Ward 4 Councilor Chris Connell — that he would not be seeking a sixth consecutive term. The two stated that occurrences during 2020 and the past few years led to their decision.

Former council president Kevin Sherman will be running unopposed in Ward 3 as will incumbent Patrick Kavey in Ward 5 for his second term.

Brian Whitman had taken out papers for a Ward 3 bid but is not on the final candidate list and the incumbent, Nicholas Caccamo, announced in February that he would not be seeking re-election to focus on the next steps in his career.

James Conant, chairman of the Conservation Commission, and Andrew M. Wrinn are seeking the Ward 4 seat.

Courtney Gilardi had taken out papers for Ward 4 but will not be continuing her bid, saying she had to move because of sickness related to a Verizon cell tower at the end of Alma Street. Gilardi, who resides on Alma Street, has been an advocate for residents against the tower since it was erected last summer.

"It is with great disappointment that I announce my decision to not hand in my nomination papers for Ward 4 City Council, and withdraw from the race," she wrote in an email on Monday. "Until the Verizon cell tower at 877 South Street, Pittsfield can be removed, I will be residing temporarily elsewhere. I don't wish for issues of my domicile to be in question, or to be required to stay in a home which my physicians have advised me to move from in order to honor residency requirements."

Ward 6 Councilor Dina Guiel Lampiasi will be running for her second term against Homelessness Advisory Committee member Edward Carmel.

Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio will also be running unchallenged in his ward. Maffuccio was elected in 2019 but had previously served on the council from 2006 to 2010.

Nolan Fernandez had taken out papers for a Ward 7 bid but cited difficulties getting signatures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Because of some difficulties and safety parameters around Covid, I was unable to get all my signatures in time and will not be able to continue, unfortunately," he wrote to iBerkshires in an email last week. "I do plan on re-running for the following election, now that I have gone through the process once it will be easier."

The four incumbent at-large councilors — Peter Marchetti, Earl Persip III, Peter White, and Yuki Cohen — are seeking re-election. Also in the at-Large race is Hot Dog Ranch owner Craig Benoit and former mayoral candidate and school resource officer and Karen Kalinowsky.

School Committee members Mark Brazeau, William Cameron, Alison Mcgee, Nyanna Slaughter and Daniel Elias have taken out papers for re-election; Katherine Yon will not be seeking re-election.

Newcomers running for School Committee include Karen Reis Kaveney-Murray, Katie Lauzon, Sara Hathaway, Vicky Smith and William Tyer.

Candidates have until Aug. 3 to object or withdraw after filing with the city clerk.

Tags: election 2021,   municipal election,   

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Berkshire Art Center Opens Second Location in Pittsfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Berkshire Arts Center Executive Director Lucie Castaldo and board Chair Michael Zippel cut the ribbon to the new location on Friday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Art Center — formerly IS183 Art School — cut the ribbon on its Pittsfield location on Friday, increasing accessibility for Central Berkshire residents and beyond.

"For us, being able to be in the heart of Berkshire County is incredible for our programming," Executive Director Lucie Castaldo said.

The new space in the Brothership Building at 141 North St. was bustling with art makers and appreciators during its grand opening reception. 

The satellite studio will offer new classes and workshops for artists of all ages and establish programming from the main location in Stockbridge.

"This is a huge opportunity to have our own space right here in Pittsfield," Program Director Brielle Rizzotti said.

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