To the Editor: Councilor Kronick’s debacle commandeered the City of Pittfield budget by killing hard-fought amendments and advancing a flawed budget. (“A Default Budget? Pittsfield Councilman’s ‘Irresponsible’ Decision Overturns All Revisions,” Eagle, June 14.)
With two words, “charter objection,” Mr. Kronick erased protections for our most vulnerable. We’ll probably never know if the first-year counselor planned the selfish and irresponsible move knowing the repercussions or if it was pure grandstanding. Yet, while this nuclear option grabbed the headlines, it shielded him from the real story. Mr Kronick has presented himself as transphobic, racist, bigoted and, in a bizarre twist, biased against high-paying jobs for people with less than a master’s degree – something he sees as ‘not much’ . (“Mayor Tyer Presents $198 Million Budget for FY23,” Eagle, May 18.)
As Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. Mr. Kronick is indignant at having a diversity director in Pittsfield. A councilman with the power to enact laws and control money in our city sees the need to promote diversity, equality and inclusion as a no-brainer. He cites his religious beliefs and economic conditions as grounds for cutting funding for diversity, equality and inclusion, a positive and effective step that is sweeping the nation. Like a fanatic, when Mr. Kronick starts talking about people who look different from him, he fumes about pronouns and the responsibility of addressing people the way they prefer. He says we should just call people what they were told at birth, because “it’s common sense”. In fact, it’s scary and offensive.
Another budget item he killed was a dedicated police social worker position. It’s this job that Kronick says deserves a base salary of $45,000 because it requires a master’s degree, which he calls “not much education.” What level of education should be required of members of the municipal council with their corresponding salaries?
The way Mr. Kronick feels so free to talk about his bigotry and prejudice says a lot about him. But we have to talk too. He said his actions were “on behalf of Ward 2.” Are they, Ward 2? Does he also speak for you when he says we shouldn’t bother learning pronouns; that there is no race or equality issue here in Pittsfield; that you need a master’s degree to earn an entry-level salary? We know that equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. Will Mr. Kronick?
Pittsfield, Mr. Kronick showed up. Believe it.
Sinead O’Brien, Pittsfield