Tyer will not serve on Pittsfield Economic Development Authority board
PITTSFIELD — Mayor Linda M. Tyer has kept her campaign promise not to serve on the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority's board of directors.
Tyer helped introduce the board's three new members before Monday's PEDA board meeting, and repeated why she declined to join the panel of the quasi-public agency that is charged with the development of the 52-acre William Stanley Business Park of the Berkshires.
"I feel strongly that the board needs to do its work without a political influence," Tyer said at the meeting, which took place at 1Berkshire.
She added, however, that her administration plans to work closely with PEDA's 11-member board.
"I look forward to being your partner," she said.
Tyer is the first Pittsfield mayor since Sara Hathaway in 2002-03 to not serve on the PEDA board. Both of Tyer's immediate predecessors in the corner office, Daniel L. Bianchi and James M. Ruberto, were active board members. Bianchi, who served two four-year terms, expanded the board from seven members to its current 11 during his first year in office. Ruberto served four terms as mayor.
The board's three new members are Krystle Gallo, Churchill Cotton and Barry Clairmont. They replace Larry Tallman, Patrick Reuss, and Bianchi. Their appointments were put forward by Tyer and recently approved by the City Council.
Gallo and Clairmont received two year terms, and Cotton a one-year term. Term limits for PEDA board members are staggered, meaning the duration of their service varies.
Cotton and Clairmont are former city councilors. Gallo, who holds a masters in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, is a senior systems engineer with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, who spent three years in the company's engineering leadership program. Cotton has also served on the Pittsfield School Committee.
"I think with three new members and all of you there's diverse representation in thought, ideas and experience," Tyer said, addressing the board as a whole.
The PEDA board also re-elected officers on Monday. Maurice Callahan was re-elected board chairman; Christina Barrett, vice chairwoman; Michael Matthews, chief financial officer; and George Whaling, secretary. They were all elected unanimously.
In other business, PEDA Executive Director Cory Thurston said construction of the new $3.6 million CNN Railroad Bridge on Woodlawn Avenue that crosses the Stanley Business Park is "on track" for completion. An opening ceremony may take place at the end of June, he said.
Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413-496-6224.