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Two early candidates emerge in next year's race for Pittsfield mayor: John Krol and Peter Marchetti

Pittsfield City Hall illuminated in yellow for World Day of Remembrance

Two candidates have announced their plans to run for Pittsfield mayor in 2023, the post now held by Linda Tyer. They are two city natives with long political careers: John Krol and Peter Marchetti. Tyer has not yet said whether she plans to seek a third term.

PITTSFIELD — When voters select a mayor next year, at least two long-standing figures in Pittsfield politics will be on the ballot.

Former City Council Vice President John Krol and current City Council President Peter Marchetti announced to The Berkshire Eagle on Thursday that they intend to run for mayor.

Krol said he’ll make his campaign official come the spring, but thought it was important for residents “to know this is my intention.”

“I’ve always wanted to do this and I think the timing is right now for me personally. But also I think the city is looking for leadership that has passion,” Krol said. “I want people to be excited about Pittsfield again. I want people to love Pittsfield. ... I think we deserve a mayor who truly emanates that.”

John Krol speaks in an interview in Pittsfield

John Krol announced his return to Pittsfield politics on Thursday with news that he will be running for mayor in the 2023 election. Krol served a decade on the Pittsfield City Council as the Ward 6 councilor and council vice president.

Marchetti said he decided in August he’d enter the race for mayor and had planned to make an announcement following the holiday season.

“But if the race is on, the race is on — and I'm in,” Marchetti said.

“I have been toying with [running again] since 2011, when I last ran, and this is the right time for me,” Marchetti said. “I've proven my leadership in the last eight years as the City Council president and for the 15 years that I've been on the City Council. It's time to take my leadership and take Pittsfield to the next step.”

First candidates

Krol and Marchetti are the first candidates to announce plans to campaign for mayor, a race that will be decided in the November 2023 election.

There’s still a question mark around whether Krol and Marchetti will face an incumbent.

Mayor Linda Tyer said she decided over the Thanksgiving holiday whether she’ll seek a third term.

“I spent some time with my family talking about my future and I have made a decision,” Tyer said. “I’ll be making a formal announcement sometime in the very near future.”

“I think that candidates make their decision about whether they’re going to run or not run and make decisions about when to announce based on their own preference,” Tyer added. “I think people should do that regardless of what I’m doing.”

An early look at issues

In remarks this week, Krol and Marchetti put the state of Pittsfield’s economy at the forefront of the campaign.

“What I'm gonna be working on is an economic development plan for the city — which I had been working on in 2011 — and I also think that we need a downtown economic development plan,” Marchetti said, citing top issues as the race begins.

peter marchetti talks in office with Mayor Tyer

City Council President Peter Marchetti, left, speaks with Mayor Linda Tyer in her office at City Hall in June 2022. Marchetti announced his intention to run for mayor in the 2023 election Thursday. Tyer said she's made a decision about whether she'll seek reelection but held off on an announcement.

“We know there are many issues such as a new police station, some infrastructure issues — there's a lot of work that will need to be done over the next four years, five years,” he said.

Similarly, Krol said the needs of Pittsfield business owners are core to his plans for the city, should he become the mayor.

“It is hard to do business in Pittsfield, it’s hard to start a business in Pittsfield, it’s hard to expand a business in Pittsfield,” Krol said. “It’s going to take work — it’s not going to be something that happens overnight — but we have to create a system where we are welcoming businesses.”

Krol said he wants to make Pittsfield the greatest small city in the Northeast.

The resumes

The two native sons of Pittsfield have spent much of their adult lives working in city politics.

Krol was a 10-year veteran of the council before he decided not to seek reelection in 2019. Marchetti’s career on the council has spanned a total of 15 years and one prior unsuccessful run for mayor in 2011 against former Mayor Dan Bianchi.

A former reporter, Krol spent the early part of his career as a staffer with the North Adams Transcript, reporting for WAMC Northeast Public Radio and later hosting the "Good Morning, Pittsfield" show on WTBR-89.7 FM.

He later launched a Facebook live program called "The John Krol Show," which he's continued as a podcast since earlier this year.

In 2005, he joined former Mayor James Ruberto’s administration as the public affairs coordinator.

Krol left City Hall in 2007 and took a job as the media relations manager for Berkshire Healthcare. In 2009, he launched and won his bid for the Ward 6 council seat. From 2016 to 2020, Krol served as the council vice president.

In 2019, he announced he wouldn’t seek reelection and secured a job as the director of community relations for a senior living facility in Newton.

Krol returned to the city in October 2020 and took a job as an account executive with Amedisys, a home health care company. He said in the last month he ended his relationship with Amedisys in preparation for his mayoral bid.

He continues to run his Pittsfield-based marketing company OneEighty Media Inc as founder and president.

In 2001, Marchetti entered Pittsfield politics with a successful bid for a councilor at large position. After losing a reelection effort in 2003, Marchetti was back in 2005 and reclaimed a seat on the council.

In 2011, Marchetti launched a close bid for Pittsfield mayor, losing to Bianchi by 106 votes — the closest election in Berkshire County in nearly a century.

The 2015 election brought Marchetti back to the council as an at-large councilor. Since his 2016 inauguration and following successful reelection campaigns, Marchetti’s served as City Council president.

Marchetti’s time on council coincided with a 35-year career with Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, where he is senior vice president of retail banking and operations. Marchetti's been a longstanding figure in the Pittsfield community as  president of the Pittsfield Parade board of directors.

“I think at this stage of the game, I'm looking forward to the challenge and to the campaign,” Marchetti said. “I know that it's a long year ahead of us.”

Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at mbritton@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6149.

Pittsfield Reporter

Meg Britton-Mehlisch is the Pittsfield reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, she previously worked at the Prior Lake American and its sister publications under the Southwest News Media umbrella in Savage, Minnesota.

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