The Pittsfield election season has kicked off with nomination papers becoming available at City Hall, and a significant opening has already emerged on the City Council to be elected in November.

After six years as a city councilor at large, the last two of which he was also council president, Kevin Sherman has told The Eagle he will "take a break" after his term is up at the end of the year and devote more time to his family and his career at the Berkshire Life Insurance Company. This is understandable, as a councilor's job is time-consuming, and a council president's job is more so. The most recent council meeting, which ended after 11 p.m. and was dominated by a public hearing on a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru that led to a continuation to this month, may have given a number of councilors pause about seeking re-election.

After four impressive years on the council, Mr. Sherman was the logical choice to succeed Gerald Lee as president. That was a tough act to follow, and after a few meetings early on when some debates got away from him, Mr. Sherman proved to be a capable, knowledgeable leader. The assumption is that after his break he will make a welcome return to city affairs.

With Mayor Daniel Bianchi seeking a second term, the question is who, if anyone, will run against him? Mayoral races benefit the city by triggering debate, but there is no indication that a line is forming behind the mayor to make the run.