Pittsfield Mayor-Elect Marchetti Announces Administrative Team

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VanBramer and Walsh will join Mayor-Elect Peter Marchetti.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor-Elect Peter Marchetti announced the appointments of two professionals to join him in the mayor's office, Catherine VanBramer will serve as the Director of Administrative Services and Brittany Walsh will serve as the Executive Assistant to the Mayor.
 
"Catherine and Brittany are knowledgeable, dedicated, and hard working. They will be ready to serve from day one and I am thrilled to have them as a part of my team", said Mayor-Elect Marchetti. "I look forward to building the next chapter of Pittsfield, one that allows growth and provides stability for all areas of the city."
 
VanBramer currently serves as the Director of Administrative Services for Mayor Tyer previously holding the role of Executive Assistant. She has worked for the City of Pittsfield since 2010, holding previous positions in the City Clerk's Office and the Conservation Department. Through her work in the Mayor's Office, VanBramer created and directed Pittsfield's first Citizens Academy, a 12-week program designed to teach citizens about how their local government operates.
 
VanBramer graduated from Westfield State College with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. She holds a Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management from Suffolk University's Moakley Center for Public Management and the Massachusetts Municipal Association. VanBramer is an alumna of Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) Program and the Berkshire Leadership Program.
 
VanBramer serves as the Chair of Pittsfield's Ward 6 Democratic Committee and the Secretary for St. Joseph's Church Parish Council. In 2019, VanBramer was named by Berkshire Community College as a 40 Under Forty honoree.
 
Walsh currently serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police for the City of Pittsfield and has held that role since 2022. Previously, she served as Administrative Assistant for the Egremont Police Department and for many years in the customer service industry.
 
Walsh has previously volunteered with the Red Cross, Best Buddies International, Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society.
 
Walsh graduated from College of Our Lady of the Elms with a degree in Criminal Justice.
 
Mayor-Elect Marchetti will be inaugurated on Jan. 2, 2024.
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Pittsfield's Former Polish Club Eyed For $20 Million Condo Project

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With a sizable grant from the state, the former Polish Community Club is eyed for a 40-unit housing development that adds four additional buildings to the property.

On Wednesday, the Affordable Housing Trust heard from developer Robert Shan about the project that could cost as much as $20 million.  Planners are vying for $10 million through the MassHousing CommonWealth Builder Program created to facilitate the construction of single-family homes and condominiums affordable to households with moderate incomes.

"We're looking not just to do a one-off but to have a presence in Pittsfield, a presence in Berkshire County, and look to bring forward attainable and affordable housing to many communities," he said.

"We see this as as as the first step and it's ready to go. We've put a tremendous amount of work into it and we're looking forward to being able to work with you."

While utilizing the former club, the plot at 55 Linden Street would have five buildings of one to three-bedroom condominiums for first-time homebuyers.  The final costs have not yet been determined but it is estimated that a unit for those of the 80 percent area median income will cost between $150,000 and $200,000 and those in between 80 and 100 percent AMI will cost between $190,000 and $250,000.

The proposed condos are single-story units with an entrance from the street with the first-floor units having a private fenced backyard.  The existing building is staged for single-story condos and two-story townhouses.

Planners aim to bring the character of the 1872 structure into the new construction through colors and architectural elements.

"In developing housing for first-time buyers, we wanted a form that all had entries from grade, from outside without common corridors, without elevators to get that feeling of homeownership," Shan explained.

"While we can't afford to build and get these first-time families at the single-family homes, we wanted a hybrid product that really felt and operated like a home where a lot of the units have backyards, is its own community, etc. So in that, we have not maximized the density."

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