Keep an eye on the watch. Leave enough time. You don’t want to be stuck a couple of miles away from the car past dinnertime with a 7:30 council subcommittee meeting at city hall.

That’s the reality for the incumbent. In this scenario, a full, well-balanced dinner is only made possible by the world’s greatest wife (yes, I may be biased). Nevertheless, the far-better-than “fast food” gets me to the chambers on time. 

Tonight at the Ordinance and Rules Committee it’s the issue of food trucks in our downtown. I’ll get to that on another post.

Onota Lake – courtesy of the Lake Onota Preservation Association (LOPA) website

I really think many people would be surprised how many second homeowners we have here in Pittsfield, especially in Ward 6. Often we think that south county is the place for New Yorkers and so-called snowbirds to come during the enjoyable summer months here in the Berkshires. Many of them don’t vote, they’re not even registered to vote – but I knock on their doors anyway. I’m pleased to say that they know who I am and do, in fact, follow what’s happening in the city. And make no mistake, they contribute. Whether it’s with their property taxes, often a large five-figure lake view tax, and helping pump more dollars into our economy – they are a part of this community. 

Throughout my journey through the ward, some will know the issues in the city, and even in city hall, so well that it may even test my own memory on the details of very particular issues. One constituent asked what I thought about the controversial proposed upgrade of a position in the personnel department, an issue that is now the source of an official complaint by a city worker. During that particular subcommittee meeting, I voiced my consistently held belief that there needs to be a comprehensive approach to developing a reformed pay scale in city hall. It needs to be competitive with other communities, so our city is not simply a training ground for talented workers to sharpen their professional skills before moving on to more lucrative opportunities. Significantly boosting the pay of one or two positions in the personnel department without a wider recognition of the pay scale in city hall was not a wise option, and I voted against the proposal.

Of course, that’s just one of so many issues we’ve tackled over the past four years. I look forward to more conversations about the work I’ve done and what’s on the horizon.

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