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New England News

Pittsfield’s Tyer Starts Second Term

Josh Landes
Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer

Monday morning, Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Linda Tyer was sworn in for a second four-year term leading the largest community in Berkshire County.

Tyer is the first mayor in the city’s history to serve a four-year term, and as she took the oath of office for her second, she reflected on a life of public service.

“For the past 16 years without interruption, the people of Pittsfield have put their trust in me," said the mayor. "First as a city councilor, then as city clerk, and now as mayor.”

2019 ended with tension inside and outside city hall. Tyer fended off challenger Melissa Mazzeo, then an at-large city councilor, in November’s contentious municipal election while often clashing with the city council. The mayor used her address to underscore the importance of unity and inclusivity as the city swore in a new government, including the city council and school committee.

“Debating issues and initiatives that are critical to our city’s future may create tension. This is a natural aspect of our democracy," said Tyer. "However, if we proceed with faith and fortitude, we will discover compromise.”

After the election, Mazzeo called for the first city-wide recount of a mayoral race since 2009. It affirmed Tyer’s win and bolstered it with two additional votes. In her thanks to City Clerk Michele Benjamin – who ran unopposed in the November election – Tyer made reference to Mazzeo’s claims that the election may have been fraudulent and tampered with.

“As our city clerk, your hard work and dedication reflects the commitment you have made to preserving Pittsfield’s history and ensuring that elections are conducted with integrity and fairness to all,” said the mayor. 

The Democratic mayor also rolled part of her 2020 agenda.

“Rather than waiting for a corporate internet provider to invest in our future, we will take control of our own destiny," said Tyer. "Pittsfield will explore the possibility of becoming a fiber optic internet service provider. Community-wide access to fiber optics advances our economic competitiveness and will provide enough bandwidth for businesses and residents for decades to come.”

She pointed to efforts to expand outdoor recreational opportunities in Pittsfield.

“The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail bike path will finally extend into Pittsfield," said Tyer. "The historic Springside House is undergoing rebirth, bringing new opportunities to Springside Park – a natural gem in our great city. And this spring, we will see the completion of the West Side Riverway Park in the heart of the West Side.”

Tyer pledged that her administration would fight blight with a series of renovations on Eleanor Road and Fort Hill Avenue. As she told WAMC after the November election, the mayor said she would revive her “At Home In Pittsfield” program that was rejected by the city council.

“I firmly believe that small investments in exterior home improvements will give our under-resourced citizens the ability to protect their home from further decline, help build up their personal wealth, and create pride in their surroundings,” said Tyer.

Tyer also said the city would unveil plans to redesign the Tyler Street district in the Morningside Neighborhood. The mayor also plans to raise teacher salaries in the city with new state funding while increasing teacher diversity.

You can hear her full remarks here:


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