Pittsfield 2017: Slater’s Top 5
Inspired by Andy McKeever's article on iberkshires.com, the following, is how I remember my seventh year living in the city of Pittsfield, MA.
We entered 2017 with Phase Four of the $18 million dollar improvement project, (a grant dating back to the Patrick administration), complete! Finally, no more milling and paving. Brand new LED street lights, traffic signals, redone sidewalks, ornamental lighting, benches, bike racks gave North St. a nice facelift from the previous '70s inefficient design. The new parking meters also went live, giving the city some much needed income.
After 10 years as "acting" Chief, Michael Wynn is now official. Wynn pledged that he would "not let you down", and "promises to find new ways to be an even better police organization". Plans for a much needed new police station are supposedly in the works. Pittsfield Police officer Darren Derby kicked it up a notch in '17, by "getting out of his cruiser", even more this year with his youth/community engaging style of proactive policing.
Although Pittsfield is not out of the woods, I've noticed some blighted structures vanish this year. The former Oboyski's on Seymour St., properties on Lakeway Dr., Robbins Ave., Dewey Ave., Onota St., S. Church St., and upper North across from Dave's Sporting Goods. CT Management purchased Holy Family on Seymour St. and St. Mary's on Tyler St. with plans to renovate into market rate housing as well. Welcome back Tahiti, and welcome, The Hangar Pub and Grill on outer East St!
Not seeking re-election, Ward 1 city councilor, Lisa Tully's, seat will be filled by Helen Moon, a nurse at Fairview Hospital who said the presidential election of 2016 inspired her to run, will be the city's first Asian-American elected to the council. At large councilor, Kathy Amuso, decided not to seek re-election as well this year. Longtime Pittsfield resident and Berkshire Family YMCA employee, Earl G. Persip III, was elected getting 4,259 votes, beating hopefuls Ed Carmel and Craig Gaetani, and joining incumbents, Marchetti, White, and Mazzeo.
With the new Taconic High School set to open in September, construction progressed nicely in 2017. I had a chance to witness this, like, everyday, as driving Valentine Rd. is part of my morning commute. Wow, a brand new high school for Pittsfield, that will include several programs for once forgotten, now much needed, trades. Unfortunately, no space was allotted for Taconic's WTBR-FM, they will most likely move to the UCP facility on West St. Will Pittsfield eventually combine high schools? We shall see what the future holds.