Cohen pulls papers for Pittsfield council; Lothrop eyes former Ward 5 seat

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PITTSFIELD — Yuki Cohen, owner of the popular Methuselah Bar and Lounge, pulled nomination papers Friday for a citywide seat on the City Council.

The bar owner and financial adviser is going big for her first council run, setting her sights on an at-large seat to focus on education and small-business development in Pittsfield.

Cohen, who also sits on the board at Jacob's Pillow, said Pittsfield's artistic caliber and breathtaking landscape position it well for growth.

"I am running for council because I would love an opportunity to participate in further unfolding the great potential of this bright city," she said in a release.

Cohen's candidacy and others announced throughout the week came about a month away from the city's nomination deadline. Nominees have until July 19 to collect signatures and submit them at City Hall.

Nominees for the council's at-large seats must collect 150 citywide signatures, while ward candidates must collect 50 signatures from within their neighborhood.

Longtime Councilor Melissa Mazzeo's mayoral bid cleared the way for new blood in the council's at-large race. Cohen joins incumbent councilors Peter Marchetti, Earl Persip and Pete White, as well as Craig Gaetani, Alex Blumin, Jay Hamling and Auron Stark, in the field for four seats.

Also, former City Councilor Jonathan Lothrop announced this week his potential return to council politics. Lothrop, who serves on the city's Conservation Commission, seeks to reclaim the Ward 5 seat, which he held for 12 years through 2015.

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During that time, he said, he worked on everything from potholes and street repairs to the airport, the new Taconic school building project, city parks and downtown revitalization.

"I have a record of delivering results for the residents of Ward 5," he said.

Lothrop was one of three to pull papers this week, after incumbent Ward 5 Councilor Donna Todd Rivers pulled out of her reelection bid. He joins Patrick Kavey and Eugene Maselli.

Contested council races also have developed in Wards 4, 6 and 7.

Incumbent Ward 4 Councilor Chris Connell will face off against Michael Merriam, who sits on the city's Traffic Commission. And the Ward 7 race is now a three-way field among John Daniels Jr., Jeffrey Ferrin and Anthony Maffuccio.

In Ward 6, Homeless Prevention Committee Chairman Edward Carmel will square off against Dina Guiel Lampiasi, operations chief for the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, as well as Gaetani and Joseph C. Nichols.

Incumbent ward councilors Helen Moon, Kevin Morandi and Nick Caccamo remain uncontested in their bids for Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3, respectively.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.


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