|Former Council President Kevin Sherman Makes Ward 3 Bid|
|By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff|
04:00AM / Tuesday, April 06, 2021
|Kevin Sherman is seeking a return to the City Council, this time representing Ward 3.|
Sherman says he wants to be part of the decision-making process for Ward 3 in recovering from the pandemic.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former City Council President Kevin Sherman is running to replace Nicholas Caccamo as Ward 3 city councilor.
In his bid, he is focusing on neighborhoods, businesses, and public utilities within the ward as well as citywide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The main focus is Ward 3, the neighborhoods of Ward 3, the businesses of Ward 3. It's a great area, I've lived here for 15 years now in the ward and it's a really well-rounded area between businesses and residences, and schools and parks," he said in regard to the zone that includes the commercially developed East Street and mixed-use Elm Street.
"There's a little bit of everything that goes into it, and so neighborhoods are my No.1 priority, ensuring that we have attractive neighborhoods, the ability to have good housing, appropriate housing, the elimination of blight throughout the ward, is something I'm interested in. And then it goes from there."
Sherman served on the council from 2007 to 2013, when he decided to step back to take a break and focus on his career at Guardian Life Insurance Co. — the former Berkshire Life — and his family.
He's spent a great amount of time cheering on his daughters — now 14 and 17 years old — in girl's softball and basketball at the Boys and Girls Club while keeping up with city politics.
When the former councilor at large heard that Caccamo would not be seeking re-election, he was inspired to fill the open seat.
"I didn't have any intentions of running this time around until I saw that Nick was stepping down," he said. "Councillor Caccamo did a great job in Ward 3, there's been a long history of great Ward 3 councilors and once I saw he wasn't running, I talked to my family and we decided collectively that we would throw our hat in the ring to run for Ward 3."
Sherman said he has always been interested in politics, particularly in Pittsfield. Born and raised in the city, he has watched it evolve over the years and has continuously decided to call it home.
He is excited to potentially be a part of the city's decision-making process coming out of a markedly difficult year, as Pittsfield will be receiving a $34 million allocation of the American Rescue Act among other funds for recovery.
It is important to be a place that businesses and residents want to invest in, he said, and to support the existing economy.
"Coming out of the pandemic, there's going to be opportunities we didn't know we had, and one of those, I think, is certainly the influx of new residents," Sherman explained.
"And we see that in the housing market, where they're gobbling it up, and in the work from home perspective that is going to take place and to make this community, a welcoming community for individuals that don't need brick and mortars to work and that want to live in a city like Pittsfield, we need to make it attractive for them with clean neighborhoods, affordable, great housing stock, great education, system, safety, all that kind of stuff that we've always talked about. And we need good individuals in the city to then visit our businesses to invest in the city to build further."
Being a previous member of the council, Sherman knows that the decisions will not always be unanimous but acknowledges that civil conversations with differing opinions are important to have as well as respecting different points of view.
Sherman has been involved with local politics for a good amount of his adult life, being elected as an at-large councilor in 2007 at the age of 30. In 2002, he ran to replace state Rep. Christopher Hodgkins in the 4th Berkshire at the age of 25 and lost the Democratic primary to current Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli by 106 votes.
"I do have a lot to offer to the city in terms of experience from being on the council for a period of time as well as serving as president, so I've got a perspective from that, I've also got a perspective from stepping away for several years and certainly a huge investment in the city, where I've been born and raised and I want to make sure that the city continues to thrive, he said.
"Whatever it takes to keep Pittsfield growing in the right direction is important, so whatever great individuals we have in the city, whether they were born and bred here, or they're coming from another area, it's up to us to put on the good face and be business welcoming, and be residential welcoming, and make sure that our services are five star and from the educational system down to safety, down to just pothole filling."