PITTSFIELD — The two candidates hoping to make their mark on Pittsfield’s future each say they have a unique vision for the city. A big part of what makes that vision work for mayoral candidates John Krol and Peter Marchetti are the city’s residents.
In the final set of questions from the second candidate sit-down with The Berkshire Eagle, Krol and Marchetti answered questions about their specific brand of campaigning and leadership.
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE: John, what is one uniquely John Krol idea? The kind of idea that you would point to and say this is emblematic of me as a leader.
JOHN KROL: When I look at the position of mayor, it is about having entrepreneurial spirit and being able to look at things in a way where we are looking to make Pittsfield see its very potential. That means a mayor who is out and about and listening to individuals and having those conversations because that is where the magic happens.
What I bring to the table is something that — I guess very few people have done — in conversations that I've had over the years, whether it was on “Good Morning Pittsfield” ... over the years doing podcasting and truly listening — because there are conversations and there are things that are said, but then there's truly listening. When I'm talking to business owners and when I'm talking to residents in the city of Pittsfield and when I’m talking to people who are thinking about doing business in Pittsfield, the most important thing is to be able to capture the magic and be able to utilize the best of the best from each of those individuals so that becomes a part of the policy we have in moving forward.
There are amazing ideas out there. So a mayor who is out and about having conversations and truly listening is what this city needs right now, because the ideas are out there — we don't have to reinvent the wheel — but it takes an open mind and an entrepreneurial spirit to make Pittsfield see its true potential.
THE EAGLE: Peter, what is one uniquely Peter Marchetti idea? The kind of idea that you would point to and say this is emblematic of me as a leader.
PETER MARCHETTI: I would say it's twofold: One, it's my ability to collaborate and two, I think that the 30 years of community service that I've provided to the city of Pittsfield — whether it be Pittsfield’s Fourth of July parade or serving a number of our nonprofits, boards and commissions — I sat at the table Berkshire United Way board meetings and worked on delivering their vision and their mission, I've worked on the Downtown Pittsfield Inc. board, again, looking to deliver on the promises of their vision and mission.
So when you look at a person who has touched maybe 15 or so, nonprofits, community boards, who’s been engaged with the community, who’s been having conversations, who's been listening to the conversations, who's actually been doing the work — I think those are critical pieces. When I first became chair of the Morningside Initiative, I sat in a room of 50 angry people and I challenged people to roll up their sleeves and walk the walk, not just talk to talk. I asked people — you know we can complain all we want to, but if we don't want to get involved and we don't want to work, then I think that's gonna cause the separation of roads and things not to get done. So I think it’s my collaboration and I think it's my ability to work with people and it's my community service for the last three decades.
THE EAGLE: What is something that you value in the campaign of your opponent, John Krol?
MARCHETTI: His tenacity.
THE EAGLE: What is something that you value in the campaign of your opponent, Peter Marchetti?
KROL: Peter has some wonderful, loyal people who are very, very good people who I've known for a very, very long time. I can tell you that boy, I wish they were on my side. But, I appreciate them — people like Sue Rock, people like Joanne Billow. Others. You know, they're certainly loyal to Peter and I appreciate that. I still love you guys.
MARCHETTI: I mean, I would just echo that mayoral elections, city elections in general, are really truly community-based things and sometimes we find ourselves on the same side and sometimes we don't. The question is: When the campaign is done, how do we rebuild and work for a better Pittsfield?
KROL: Listen, we are running a completely positive campaign. We will not run away from that at all. And we're gonna go right to the finish line on Nov. 7, fully running an issues-based positive campaign.
Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-496-6149. Click here to read Meg's original article.