Melissa Mazzeo began her first Pittsfield City Council meeting as its new president with a graceful speech calling for cooperation in the term ahead. Actions speak louder than words, however, and the appointments to the Council's committees indicate that a political approach was taken rather than one that makes the best use of the skills of individual councilors.

John Krol and Barry Clairmont have been pigeon-holed as anti-Bianchi dissidents, which is reflected in the appointments made by Ms. Mazzeo, a staunch Bianchi ally. Mr. Krol has been removed from Ordinance and Rules, a committee that played to his strengths, and placed on the lower profile Public Works and Public Health and Safety committees. Mr. Clairmont, certainly the most knowledgeable councilor on financial matters, is at least on the Finance Committee but is neither its chair or vice-chair.

In fact, neither Councilors Krol, Clairmont or Jonathan Lothrop, another perceived dissenter, are chairs or vice-chairs of any committees, even though they have consistently shown their knowledge of council procedures and city issues. President Mazzeo and Vice President Christopher Connell each have a chair and two vice-chairs, and rookie councilor Kathleen Amuso has a chairmanship as well.

Yes, to the victors go the spoils and other political clichés, but the constituents of the three councilors are snubbed when their representatives are snubbed, and wasting the skills of capable councilors weakens the entire city. Words about unity to the contrary, the committee assignments don't bode well for this session.