BOSTON – This afternoon State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield), State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D- Pittsfield) and State Representative Paul W. Mark (D- Peru) were joined on Beacon Hill by Pittsfield Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi to testify in favor of S. 1803, An Act revising the charter of the city of Pittsfield.
This home rule petition, filed on behalf of the City by its legislative delegation, was being considered by the Joint Committee on Municipalities & Regional Government. The Committee held a public hearing at the Massachusetts State House on this and other local government matters today. At the conclusion of the hearing the Committee convened in executive session and released the bill with a favorable report.
S. 1803 is a revision of the City’s Charter, drafted in consultation with the Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management at UMass Boston. It is the product of an 11-member Charter Review Study Committee, charged last fall with conducting a full evaluation of the Charter for the first time in 80 years. After a thorough vetting process that included multiple public forums and committee meetings, the recommendations outlined in S. 1803 were unanimously approved by the City Council on May 28th.
The new Charter provides the foundation for a modern, transparent and responsive municipal government for Pittsfield residents. City officials hope to place it on the November 2013 municipal election ballot; if approved by local voters, the new Charter will go into effect in January 2016.
S. 1803 now advances to a secondary Committee for further review before it is placed on the Calendar and brought before the full Senate for consideration.