To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I am writing this letter to suggest the Pittsfield City Council elect Ward 7 Councilor Tony Simonelli to be the next council president.

That is not to discredit the hard work and dedicated advocacy of Councilor at large Melissa Mazzeo. She has been a tireless advocate for the city of Pittsfield and one can only hope that she will continue that advocacy well into the future.

With that said, the role of the council president is to call the balls and strikes of the council meeting and who better to fill that role than Councilor Simonelli? Although a more junior member of the council, Mr. Simonelli's career as a vice principal provides him all the experience he needs to weigh the issues and be even-handed, allowing both sides of any issue to make their points. He has a track record of being fair and impartial to all parties that come before him. As a school administrator he has certainly had to remain levelheaded regarding issues with which he might not necessarily have agreed with, a key attribute in a council president.

In his previous career one can only guess how many times he has dealt with criticism not only of himself but of his colleagues, yet managed to remain cordial and unbiased. He is also well adapted at finding common ground and trying to be all-inclusive in solving problems that have arisen before him. These skills as well as the ability to be organized and hold progressive, substantive conversations that are above all productive, are all qualities that one looks for in a council president.

All of these attributes, combined with Mr. Simonelli's positive attitude and humble demeanor, would serve him well as the next council president.

RYAN SCAGO

Pittsfield