Today, more than ever, we need professional, consensus-building leadership on the Pittsfield City Council. Too often we hear about dysfunction in government. In Washington we have become all too frustrated with politicians who dig in their heels and fight tooth and nail -- not over the merits of the issue -- but instead based upon the author of the proposal.
I believe we all deserve better.
The people of Ward 6 and the people of Pittsfield have been able to count on me for thoughtful, progressive and independent decision-making as a member of the City Council. It’s what our residents should expect and what they deserve.
However, first things first. As a ward councilor you need to get things done for your constituents. In this vein, I am happy to report that Ward 6 has seen more infrastructure improvements in the past four years than had been realized in the previous decade. More than two dozen road reconstruction projects, sidewalk improvements, bridge replacements and safety enhancements have been completed under my watch. This could not have happened without strong advocacy, excellent communication and an ability to work with the administration, city staff and, importantly, my constituents.
Whether it was the complete reconstruction of Meadow Ridge Drive, the new traffic signal near Conte Community School making it safer for our students, or significant road and sidewalk improvements throughout the West Side neighborhood -- I have been able to galvanize support to earn real results for Ward 6.
To truly be an effective councilor you need to do more than voice your opinion and take a vote. I have been able to take it several steps further and earn the support of fellow councilors on key initiatives that have benefited the community. As an example, when the administration attempted to eliminate the mosquito control program, I interceded. Convincing enough of my fellow councilors to save
the program, we secured a majority by the slimmest of margins. Afterward, I worked with fellow councilors, our department of health and the director of mosquito control to develop stronger protocols and better communication. Today, we have an effective and efficient program enhancing the quality of life in our city.
As the founding chairman of the Pittsfield Green Commission, I fought for the city to accept efficiency standards allowing Pittsfield to become one of the commonwealth’s first Green Communities. This was also controversial at the time, but once again, it passed by a vote of 6-5. Since then the city has benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars for efficiency upgrades to city buildings, saving taxpayer dollars each year since.
To enhance our quality of life in Pittsfield, I have been an unwavering advocate of maintaining our core services. This includes our public safety services and public education. In fact, there are very few things that impact our collective investments in the city of Pittsfield more than the quality of public education. That’s why I have volunteered to serve on the School Building Needs Commission, and sat on a subcommittee that developed the vision for what high school education will look like in Pittsfield for years to come. This process has been trudging forward methodically, but now we must move ahead with a greater sense of urgency. Our children and families deserve better.
As this community has evolved, I have as well. Today, my wife, Allison, and I are parents of 13-month-old Arden. I also am a business owner, contributing to our local economy. These things have only made me more determined to work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life in our community.
To continue with progressive and independent leadership for Ward 6 and the city, I ask for your vote on Nov. 5.
John Krol is the incumbent Pittsfield city councilor from Ward 6.