Linda Tyer established a gracious and optimistic tone Monday in her inaugural speech as the first Pittsfield mayor elected to a four-year term in City Hall.
The tough decisions and budgetary realities will come soon enough. Inauguration day involves sending a message, which the new mayor did in congratulating other elected officials and expressing gratitude toward the many who contributed to her victory.
As Ms. Tyer observed, "There is a deep and broad grassroots movement coming from every neighborhood in Pittsfield." Her decisive victory last November gave her a strong mandate for change. Voters not only want someone to confront the city's many challenges they want a positive, inclusive approach absent the finger-pointing and needless political battles that have distracted the city from real issues.
We expect that from Mayor Tyer, and the Pittsfield City Council's new leadership team of President Peter Marchetti and Vice President John Krol should contribute to this positive approach. Mr. Marchetti's best-in-the-city vote total, which could be interpreted as an apology from city voters for failing to elect him mayor four years ago, put him in position to win the presidency. We see him as an ally but not a rubber-stamp for the mayor, and a president who will discourage council divisiveness and appoint committee chairmen based on background and expertise, not political loyalty.
The city faces challenges on a variety of fronts, and so do Mayor Tyer, the City Council and the School Committee. To solve them or lessen their impact, city officials must work together, and when they inevitably disagree, they must do so respectfully and constructively in pursuit of a satisfactory compromise. That approach has been missing in Pittsfield for four years, and the city looks forward to its return.