PITTSFIELD — A reception at the Berkshire Athenaeum next week will honor former Mayor Ed Reilly and serve as the launch for a new civics booklet about Pittsfield.
The “This is Your City” booklet is set to be unveiled during the event at 11 a.m. Sept. 17 at the atheneum. About 100 people have been invited to the celebration of Reilly’s life where family, friends and former city co-workers will speak about his impact on the community.
Reilly wore many hats in city government, serving first as the city solicitor during the 1980s, then as a three-term mayor of Pittsfield in the ‘90s.
He was a vice president and treasurer of the athenaeum’s board of trustees from 1983 to 1998 and, at the time of his passing in March 2019, he was chairman of the Pittsfield Retirement Board.
The new booklet includes a dedication in Reilly’s honor and uses his love of his city as the basis to create a more informed citizenry. The booklet features information about city governance, city officials, local landmarks and city history.
The informational guide to the city is a shared project of the library and Reilly’s family. Library staff spent the summer writing and designing the publication, and the Reilly family is covering the costs of printing. A digital version will be made available.
Library Director Alex Reczkowski told members of the athenaeum’s board of trustees during a meeting Tuesday night that the booklet will be added to Pittsfield Public Schools’ fifth and eighth grade civics curriculum. He added that the library plans to update “This is Your City” after city elections in November.
Reczkowski said during a meeting last month that the Reilly family had contributed $11,000 in an unrestricted gift to the library in Reilly’s honor, in the hopes that it will be used to support local youths and civics education.