Updated 10/10/2012 06:38 AM
City council votes on no confidence for city solicitor
The Pittsfield City Council debates on a vote of no confidence for a city solicitor, who they claim is a mishandling of a legal issue. Our Madeleine Rivera has more on what happened in that meeting.
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "I wasn't looking for a witch-hunt, and I wasn't looking to get anybody," said Ward 1 Pittsfield City Councilor, Christine Yon.
City Councilor Christine Yon found herself in the defendant's seat Tuesday night. It's an ironic turn of events given that she along with a few council members sought a vote of no confidence for city solicitor, Kathleen Degnan.
"It's a serious thing to call out somebody's professional abilities and competencies. And, I think this thing's just been mismanaged," said Mayor Dan Bianchi.
Spectrum Health Care Systems took federal action last June after the city of Pittsfield illegally blocked the building of methadone clinic in a residential area. The city then made a $100,000 settlement with the health organization. Some councilors say Degnan mishandled the case. But, a lot of residents say they just want to put the whole thing behind them.
"I feel it's a waste of time for the councilors and this administration to have to be defending and attacking the city solicitor, who has virtually done nothing wrong. By putting a vote of no confidence, it doesn't achieve anything. There will be no ramifications either way," said Joseph Nichols, former Pittsfield Councilor, who spoke during the meetings opening comments.
There was a range of emotions at the city council meeting. Some residents say they want to move on from the Spectrum saga. But, some city council members say this is more than just Spectrum. This is about a lack of communication between the administration and the city council.
Yon, along with Councilors Jonathan Lothrop and John Krol, said that Degnan wasn't clear with them about the $100,000 payment. They also said that Degnan misrepresented them during talks with Spectrum.
It's a debate that most people say has reached the end of the line.
"She may have done errors but we all do. But, that doesn't mean we should chastise her in public forum like this," said Nichols.
At the end of the meeting, Councilor Yon asked to move on from the proceedings.