Politics in Pittsfield

To the editor: Lately, watching Pittsfield City Council meetings has become a tedious affair.

Despite advice from the city solicitor, Councilor Anthony Maffuccio wants a fellow councilor to resign her seat on the city’s Licensing Board. It seems like a vendetta against this councilor because Maffuccio cannot offer a good reason why she should resign in the face of advice from a paid professional that her seat on that board is not a conflict. He then forwards photos that he says are “anonymous” about COVID-19 violations — which really doesn’t prove much since a photo in a gotcha moment is not necessarily proof of anything. Besides being creepy, taking pictures outside of businesses of other public figures smacks of what happens under totalitarian regimes. Someone had to follow the patrons to this place and wait until they saw something “wrong” then snap a pic and email it to someone all too willing to use their position to embarrass a fellow councilor.

Then there are the endless petitions that ask for information that can be resolved with a phone call, bringing in of vendors in order to berate them, accusations against staffers of a state vendor that when offered an opportunity to provide facts to city police he declined to do and the general lack of respect for his colleagues. It makes me wonder: Who would run or agree to serve this city? And while there might have been some issues, I wonder if berating colleagues and vendors in public serves any necessary purpose? And can any of us including the councilor acting like Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s live up to the standard of perfection expected of others? I think not — I’m certain I couldn’t.

The city has many problems to solve: a failed school system that has driven the most motivated to nearby towns through school choice, a tax base that doesn’t grow at the same rate as needs and an aging infrastructure come to mind as problems needing to be solved. Picking on a couple of fellow councilors for reasons that seem to have nothing to do with their city service seems to be a complete waste of time and I call on all councilors to not indulge this behavior any longer. It’s a disservice to Ward 7 and a disservice to the city as a whole.

Dave Pill, Pittsfield