Look Ahead, Pittsfield: A date with hopeful leaders, DA announcement and parking resolution on Summer Street

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PITTSFIELD — The city has a date with its candidates on Monday, when Working Cities Pittsfield will host a candidate mixer at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

The public event eschews speeches, debates and formal attire in favor of more intimate conversations between residents and candidates, who will each have a table of their own at the event. It runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

The mixer will be among the last opportunities for candidates to get their messages out before a preliminary election on Sept. 17. Fields headed for the chopping block include the race for mayor, for Ward 5 and Ward 6. The top two vote-getters in each field advance to the general election on Nov. 5.

A burning issue on Summer Street should reach some sort of resolution on Tuesday, when the City Council is scheduled to vote on an order that would make the city's newest parking lot free for 90 minutes.

Debate over paid parking in the lot sparked a larger discussion about the downtown parking plan and whether the city should again hire a consultant to review it. Councilors tabled the issue during their August meeting after realizing they didn't yet have any formal language on which to vote.

The City Council agenda also includes a slew of Pittsfield Fire Department appointments — former deputy chief Tom Sammons moved into the chief's role last week, meaning others must also be promoted beneath him — as well as the acceptance of a $354,000 grant from the state for work on city sidewalks, signals, bike lanes and other elements intended to make streets safer for all modes of travel.

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And Mayor Linda Tyer will take time to respond to a petition filed by councilors Chris Connell, Melissa Mazzeo and Kevin Morandi that calls on City Hall to unburden itself of surplus properties. In a memo directed at the councilors, Tyer says her administration makes active use of the majority of the properties cited in the petition.

Stay tuned for an announcement this week from the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, which is slated to inform the public about changes to the office's handling of juvenile issues.

Heads up

The 10th annual Berkshire Bioblitz is slated for this weekend at Springside Park. The two-day event that runs Saturday and Sunday offers nature walks with experts and opportunities to get up-close and personal with wildlife.

State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier will host a listening session on LGBT aging at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Berkshire Athenaeum. Farley-Bouvier serves as vice chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs.

And a new early childhood education lab at Berkshire Community College will host an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Field Administration Building room 203.

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


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