Letter: Senior Center staff gave to whole community

Senior Center staff give to whole community

To the editor:

As Ward 5 Pittsfield city councilor, I have been meeting with our senior citizens as well as other members of the community at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center the first Thursday of every month in the café. My plan for May 5 was the same, but as members of my ward contacted me asking to meet following the recent violence in Pittsfield, the only time I had available quickly was that day. A brief phone call to the Senior Center was all that was needed to have the staff agree to host a larger meeting.

Joining me were Police Chief Wynn and four other highly placed police staff, and other elected and paid officials were available to share information and address concerns. There were also members of the press as well as a large standing camera to tape my PCTV show "From the Council Seat," so that those who could not be present would have multiple ways of learning this same information. Additionally, there were many community leaders who were interested in what the police had to share.

Most importantly, there were concerned, and in some cases, fearful citizens who were able to be heard. We not only filled the café but much of the adjoining lounge. A microphone had to be found so that all could participate in the meeting. At the end of the meeting, several ideas were shared for us to reach out to those in the community who are at-risk of committing violence and give them more appropriate options.

From the first phone call right through the hour-long meeting, the Senior Center staff members were courteous, helpful, and accommodating. They heard the need in the community and were more than willing to provide a space for the citizens of Pittsfield. I want to thank them all for their support and caring.

The staff members are: Vincent Marinaro, Joe Major (our contact), Roberta Lucia, Jeany Alexandre, Fred Drobiak, Connie Silver, Sandra Phelps, Janie Hassinger, Amanda Daury, Manny Slaughter, Betty Phillips, Tom Senger, Ron Alibozek, Jack Lynch, James Pensivy, Noreen Stanton, and John Ryan. How lucky we are to have such caring people in our community!

I also want to thank Kim Kelly who has been a constant support for me as I work to stay in contact with my constituents through the meetings at the Senior Center and my monthly Ward 5 meeting at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Please feel free to contact me by phone or email if you have any questions, and concerns, and do not forget to tune into my "From the Council Seat" program on PCTV to watch the taping of the meeting.

Donna Todd Rivers, Pittsfield The writer is a Ward 5 city councilor.


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