Response to Spectrum editorial

Monday October 15, 2012

I represent the Pittsfield city solicitor, Kathleen Degnan, and I am compelled to address several misstatements in the editorial, "Divided government cannot function," published on Oct. 11.

It is inefficient to repeat explanations as to the misunderstandings of the underlying legal and factual issues in volved in the Spectrum lawsuit. However, if readers of The Eagle at this point still want to hear anything on the topic of Attorney Degnan’s voicemail (left for plaintiff’s counsel in an attempt to buy the city time to address concerns raised by Councilor Yon, herself), they are encouraged to review the archived recording of the Oct. 9 City Council Meeting on PCTV. Detailed responses to Councilor Yon’s statements were provided at the meeting.

It does bear repeating that the voicemail in question did not identify Councilor Yon by name or ward, that Councilor Yon admits that the specific factual statement referenced in the voicemail was, in fact, made at the meeting (by Coun cilor Yon’s daughter, whom Coun cilor Yon brought to the meeting, presumably to speak to Councilor Yon’s concerns), and that Spectrum’s so-called "am munition" included statements directly attributed to other city officials and residents.

The Eagle’s readers can judge for themselves whether the council voted to table Ms. Yon’s request due to Ms. Yon’s "good-hearted attempt to low er the temperature of the room," as the editorial states, or due to Ms. Yon’s realization that she was going to lose the vote.

Finally, The Eagle questions the motives of the numerous citizens who spoke on attorney Degnan’s behalf at the City Council meeting. The writer queries whether the substantial support shown attorney Deg nan was intended to cast her as a victim. Anyone who heard the statements of support would know this suggestion to be false. Throughout this poli ticized process, attorney Deg nan has been professional, level-headed, and stoic.

She, unlike others who have involved themselves in this process, has not attempted to make her case in the newspapers, on radio or television. She has continued without complaint or comment to do her job, representing the city of Pittsfield. She has now quietly moved on from this unfortunate exercise in politics. Hopefully, the Eagle will also be able to do so.


Great Barrington

The Eagle stands by its editorial.


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