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Three Candidates Emerge For Pittsfield's Ward 3
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:49AM / Friday, March 31, 2023
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three candidates have announced an intent to run for the Ward 3 council seat: Alisa Costa, Matthew Wrinn and William "Bill" Tyer.

Costa is a local advocate with a career in public policy and community organizing, Wrinn has a background in criminal justice and community involvement, and Tyer has served on various committees and boards in the community. 

Costa announced her candidacy in early March.

"I can't wait to get started doing what I'm most passionate about: creating a conversation between government and people. I think that's when we're at our best. Anyone who knows me since I moved here, I've been one of Pittsfield's biggest fans. And I'm always cheering on local business and individuals from all walks of life," she said in a video announcement.

"I want to use my skills in public policy and community organizing to tackle some of our city's challenges and try to get us to work together toward common goals. I think it's really important to have these conversations. And I can't wait to start knocking on doors and having them with the people of Ward 3 but I want to hear from you too."

Wrinn announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

"This city has always had a small-town feel, sporting events, the parade, Wahconah Park, the Boys and
Girls Club, and community support," he wrote in a press release.

"This community is like no other. There is nowhere else I want to be and there is nowhere else I want to raise my kids. The values of the people of this city are unmatched."

Tyer also announced his intent to run on Wednesday, explaining that he has been a part of the community for a long time and understands what has worked and what has not.

"I have always worked as a volunteer on campaigns state and local for many years," he wrote.

In November, Ward 3 Councilor Kevin Sherman indicated that he will be stepping aside and making room for new leadership in 2024 due to a lack of available time.  

Sherman had thrown his hat in the ring when former Ward 3 Councilor Nick Caccamo did not seek re-election.  He had previously served three terms on the council, during which he was president, before stepping down in 2013.

Wrinn said Sherman's shoes will be difficult to fill.

"Matt has respect, admiration, and regard for what Kevin has done and what Kevin means to this city and its residents," his campaign announcement reads.

"Matt has the knowledge and insight on the city and has the commitment to what the families and hardworking people of Ward 3 want and need. Matt knows he can do this ward justice. Matt's background in criminal justice and community involvement has taught him to 'work hard, be involved and listen.'"

A Pittsfield native, Wrinn attended Northeastern University and Boston University and now resides in the Orchards neighborhood with his wife, Amanda, and their children. He and his wife are active in the school system and youth sports.

"Matt understands and sympathizes with the concerns of Ward 3," his announcement reads. "Taxes, schools, roads, and more. Matt vows to always be available, approachable, and receptive."

Wrinn says Ward 3 residents can come to him with anything that may come up and that he wants the best for the ward, as it is his city, his family is here, and he is vested and committed.

Tyer ran for a seat on the School Committee in the 2021 and ran for an at-large council seat in the mid-1990s.  

He was a K-B Toys representative to the First Night Committee, which was a mayoral appointment by then Mayor Edward Reilly, and was also a founding adult member of the Pittsfield Youth Commission and served as a board member of Girls Inc.

Tyer also served on the Lee Planning Board, as a selectman for that town, and as a representative on the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

Now retired, he previously worked for Berkshire Health Systems.

Tyer is raising his children after the death of his wife, Samantha, in 2018. His two daughters attended Herberg Middle School and his son, who has autism, graduated from Pittsfield High School.

In his bid for School Committee, he wanted to look deeply into the special needs programming to see how the district can improve city outcomes and analyze how money is spent to make sure it is in the most productive way.

Costa moved to Pittsfield in 2016 and has been a longtime community volunteer and activist.

She has more than 25 years of public policy and community organizing experience in the fields of public health, anti-hunger, and food systems, and most recently in cross-sector collaboration and systems change while running the Working Cities Pittsfield initiative from 2017-2021.

In 2021, she started a private consulting firm, Engaged Communities, focusing on community engagement and systems change for organizations seeking to build practices that strengthen their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Nomination papers become available on April 3 and have to be submitted to the register of voters for certification by July 21. The last day to submit nomination papers to the city clerk is Aug. 4, in time for a preliminary election on Sept. 19 and the general election on Nov. 7.

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