Pittsfield's Ward 3 offers the only City Council race this fall without an incumbent, and candidates Nicholas Caccamo and Richard Latura offer a clear-cut choice for ward voters.
Neither has a track record on ward issues, but it is clear that both are familiar with the streets and neighborhoods comprising the ward and would take on those mundane but important problems and duties ward councilors must confront. It is on the larger, city-wide issues that differences begin to emerge.
Mr. Caccamo should be a progressive councilor who will initiate and support ways of pushing Pittsfield forward. At 27 years of age, he represents the younger demographic that Pittsfield is struggling to keep in the city and offers a positive, optimistic approach.
Mr. Latura has emphasized public safety and there is no denying that Pittsfield must pursue new ways of preventing and reducing crime. However, in focusing on safety and job issues he has advocated placing a "hold" on Pittsfield's focus on arts and entertainment and tourism. There is no staying in place, only moving forward or backward, and we agree with Mr. Caccamo that Pittsfield must build on the area's cultural richness to attract businesses and their employees. Mr. Latura has brought forth a promising concept of using solar or wind technology to provide LED street lighting and perhaps trigger a new local manufacturer.
Mr. Latura has argued that because Mr. Caccamo is employed as a support staff member at Pittsfield High School he will not be able to fully represent the city on educational issues, while Mr. Caccamo says the final school budget vote is the only potential conflict. We believe that Mr. Caccamo's knowledge of the high school in particular and education in general may enable him to help bridge differences that emerge between city government and the schools.
Nicholas Caccamo has the potential to be an excellent city councilor. The Eagle endorses him for election on Tuesday.