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5-05-2019

Hey there, readers. Amanda here.

Could residents fuel a revival of Mayor Linda Tyer’s housing rehab initiative?

The City Council voted down the zero percent loan program last month, with several councilors arguing vehemently against using $250,000 from the General Electric Co. Economic Development Fund for the initiative.

Tyer maintains the program is an appropriate use of the economic development funds, and that there is no other funding source to draw from. She took to Facebook last week to tell residents she would keep fighting and that they should, too, by urging their councilors to support the proposed funding path.

Another initiative, an impending police hub in the West Side, begins taking its final form this week. The idea for a police outpost grew out of community concerns following a rash of violent crime last fall.

Trained volunteers will gather at the hub, called the West Side Community Outreach Post, on Monday for a soft opening.

A month into election season, key races are still filling out.

Political newcomer Jay Hamling entered the at large race last week, joining Craig Gaetani, Alex Blumin and incumbent councilors Peter Marchetti, Earl Persip and Pete White in a race for four seats.

Several sitting ward councilors — Helen Moon, Kevin Morandi, Nick Caccamo and Donna Todd Rivers — are so far running unopposed. As is Jeffrey Ferrin, who emerged in Ward 7 after Councilor Tony Simonelli announced he wouldn’t seek another term.

The mayoral race holds tight at five potential candidates, with front-runners Melissa Mazzeo and Tyer preparing for battle.

On the School Committee front, there are so far five people running for six seats. They include incumbents Kathy Yon, Josh Cutler, Daniel Elias and William Cameron and newcomer Mark Brazeau.

Comings, goings and PPD

Pothole repair is coming to East Street on Monday, and it’s likely to disrupt traffic flow.

The Christian Center’s Executive Director Ellen Merritt retires Friday after eight years at the helm of the West Side nonprofit. Board member Betsy Sherman will lead the organization on an interim basis following Merritt’s departure.

City Hall staff will begin vetting finalists this week for the city’s building commissioner position, which has been vacant for about a month.

The newly formed Police Advisory and Review Board will hear from Police Chief Michael Wynn on Tuesday about his department’s internal investigation process. Officers with the Pittsfield Police Department will also be available for a social date, Yogurt with the Police, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ayelada.

In business

A new restaurant at the former ITAM, Proprietor’s Lodge, will again bump up against angry neighbors this week as the Community Development Board reviews a fresh batch of parking complaints from nearby residents.

Johnson Ford Lincoln will be raffling off a Ford F-150 in an event that kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday at the dealership. Those donating to Berkshire United Way’s campaign are entered to win, and last-minute pledges will be accepted at the event.

The Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation and the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation will host a business workshop this week, called “Doing Business in Pittsfield: Sage Advice and Savvy Tips from Local Pros.” The panel discussion with city entrepreneurs kicks off 8 a.m. Thursday at Framework.

The spending plan for the coming years’ Community Development Block Grants are up for review by the City Council Committee on Community and Economic Development, which meets 7 p.m. Thursday in council chambers

Fun and festivities

The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market moves outdoors this week for the first time this season. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Common.

The Wild Acres Fishing Derby offers free fishing for kids 14 and under on Saturday, with trophies going to those who catch the biggest fish before noon. The event kicks off at 8 a.m.

And it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, so don’t forget to shower all the moms in your life with the gratitude they deserve.

What’s up in Pittsfield? Tell me via email at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, or by phone at 413-496-6296. Follow me on Twitter @amandadrane.

 
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The Berkshire Eagle
STEPHANIE ZOLLSHAN — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE.Charleigh Pulley, 6, left, and her sister Layla, 7, help clean up the woods with their mother Felisha during the 2019 Springside Park Cleanup in Pittsfield...

 

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