Pittsfield's Citizens Academy Is Now Accepting Applications

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Applications are now being accepted for the City of Pittsfield's Citizens Academy, which will begin in late August.
 
The Citizens Academy, now in its third year, is a free, 10-week session program designed to help community members understand the operations of local government. Participants will gain awareness on the various functions of city departments within municipal government, tour designated locations, and engage in breakout activities. Attendees also will learn more about service opportunities available within local government.
 
“I am very excited to welcome a new class of participants for the class of 2021. I hope that anyone who wants to learn more about how government operates or wishes to become more engaged with our community applies for this program,” said Catherine VanBramer, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, who has spearheaded the academy since its inception in 2018.
 
Ten weekly sessions will be held every Wednesday evening between Aug. 25 and Oct. 27. The sessions will be held 6-8 p.m. at various locations throughout the city to be determined.
 
To be eligible for Citizens Academy, applicants must be at least 18, live or work in Pittsfield, and be able to attend each of 
 
Scheduled topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Introduction to Municipal Government and Overview of the City of Pittsfield
  • City Clerk and Human Resources
  • Financial and Budget Overview
  • Police Department
  • Department of Public Services and Utilities
  • Fire Department
  • Community Development/Recreation/Business Development
  • Airport
  • Building Department and Health Department
  • Cultural Development and Library
Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate and be publicly recognized for their participation.
 
Program details are available on the city's website: https://www.cityofpittsfield.org/government/citizens_academy.php
  • To apply online, visit here
  • For applications in Spanish, visit here
  • To apply by mail, please here
  • Paper copies are also available in the Mayor's Office within City Hall, 70 Allen St.
Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6 .For additional information, please contact VanBramer in the Mayor's Office at 413-499-9321 or email cvanbramer@cityofpittsfield.org.
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Pittsfield Man Charged in Second Fire at White Terrace Building

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man is being charged with arson after firefighters responded Thursday to a second blaze at the large apartment building on White Terrace and North Street.
 
Police say Joseph Stone, 43 was taken into custody on Thursday and will be arraigned on Friday in District Court on a single charge of arson.
 
The fire was called in at about 2:17 p.m. on Thursday at 8 White Terrace. Firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the fire, though the building did suffer damage. No injuries were reported and the investigation led to Stone, said police.
 
The vacant building was the site of a major structure fire on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 6 White Terrace, the neighboring building. The multi-apartment structures have been vacant since another major fire in 2017 that was deemed accidental.
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