Our Opinion: Yon in Ward 1
The race for Ward 1 city councilor in Pittsfield pits a capable city councilor in incumbent Christine Yon against a promising challenger in Lisa Tully. There are differences on the issues, but the most dramatic difference between the two appears to be how they define what constitutes a councilor's role in working with the administration in City Hall.
In the contentious aftermath of her successful fight to keep a methadone clinic out of her ward, which largely involved the role played by the city solicitor, Ms. Yon was portrayed as an obstructionist and faced a potential lawsuit. Ms. Yon was doing her job, and while Ms. Tully describes her opponent as "divisive" for this and other votes and actions, we do not see the incumbent as an intractable political foe of Mayor Daniel Bianchi, but as someone who has worked with the mayor and will to do so while standing firm for her ward.
Examples of the latter are her efforts to help bring the Halloween Parade to Tyler Street and her work with Tyler Street business groups and neighborhood associations to boost the economy and reduce crime. In successfully addressing problems involving blighted houses, flooding and problematic fire hydrants she has performed the core duties expected of a ward councilor, and on citywide issues has consistently advocated education and the strategy to revive downtown.
Ms. Tully has deep roots in the ward and the city, is and has been an active volunteer with various city organizations, and has run an energetic campaign. We like her strong advocacy of finding ways to bring manufacturing to Pittsfield and given her knowledge of the ward she would surely work hard on the traditional ward issues involving sidewalks, streets and other day-to-day matters.
Ms. Tully obviously has a future in city politics and she may indeed make a fine city councilor, but Ward 1 already has a fine city councilor who has proven herself for the ward and the city over the past four years in Christine Yon, and The Eagle endorses her for re-election.