Top aide to Pittsfield mayor stepping down


PITTSFIELD -- After a busy year as director of administrative services for the city, Mary McGinnis soon will return to Berkshire Health Systems, where she has 35 years of service in nursing-related positions.

McGinnis, who became Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi's top administrative aide in April 2013, has worked under a 12-month leave of absence from her job with BHS.

Often in a whirlwind of municipal activity in the mayor's office, McGinnis said she enjoyed the experience and is proud of the initiatives and programs she has helped direct.

"From the homeless group, and Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, the Civil Service Task Force and the Shannon Grant Program, we've had some very, very intense programs and projects," she said Thursday.

"In my wildest dreams, I didn't think it could be as challenging, and as rewarding," she said.

McGinnis stressed that she had "many, many people helping me get the job done," including a succession of youthful interns and numerous members of community organizations and municipal departments.

While she will miss the job, McGinnis said the learning curve was often steep on one new subject after another. "We could be dealing with 12 different categories in an hour," she said, adding that her experience dealing with stress as a nurse "was very helpful."

"Mary has done a great job and certainly got involved in a lot of hot issues," Bianchi said Thursday. "She did a terrific job working with the homeless group, with the Civil Service Task Force and others. She's been a wonderful representative for this office, and we will miss her."

When McGinnis began her leave, she had been a licensed practical nurse with a specialty in respiratory care for 34 years at the hospital. By returning to BHS, she said her service record relative to benefits and her pension will remain in place.

In the City Hall job, she replaced Donna Mattoon, who had left the Pittsfield area for a private sector position.

The position has been posted by the city Personnel Department with an April 1 deadline for submission of applications. The salary is listed as from $49,498 to $52,030.

Duties include performing "varied, responsible and confidential functions," requiring knowledge of municipal operations and the "exercise of judgment in response to inquiries" from the public or other employees.

The director also plans and implements programs as put forth by the mayor.

McGinnis, a Pittsfield native, also is a local businesswoman, the owner of Mary's Carrot Cake and a gallery, and she has a long history of work with community and civic organizations. Those include the Pittsfield YMCA, Catholic Youth Center, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., Women's Club of Pittsfield and Berkshire United Way and the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.

She was a founder of the First Fridays Artswalk event.

While living in Lee for many years, McGinnis owned a bed-and-breakfast and was active in the Lee Chamber of Commerce and as the Founders Weekend chairwoman.

To reach Jim Therrien:,

or (413) 496-6247

On Twitter: @BE_therrien


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